Lot 14

2014   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2014

1951 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Coachwork by Viotti

SOLD $192,500


$225,000 - $275,000



Car Highlights

The 67th Pre-Series Car
Rare and Desirable Viotti-Built Coachwork
One of 371 Examples Produced in 1951
Beautiful Late 2000s Restoration
Groundbreaking Aluminum-Alloy V-6 Engine
Documented with FIVA Papers and ASI Gold Award

Technical Specs

1,991 CC DOHC V-6 Engine
Weber 40 DCF Carburetor
75 BHP at 5,000 RPM
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Front and Rear Independent Suspension

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that this car is sold on a Bill of Sale as title paperwork is processed.

Register to Bid

Ron Francis, Hereford, United Kingdom (acquired in 1964)Massimo Fila, Milan, Italy (acquired from the above in 1988)Emilio Comelli, Concesio, Italy (acquired in 1989)Andrea Giusseppe Campioli, Carpi, Italy (acquired in 1991)SRL Rent Autonoleggio, Faenza, Italy (acquired in 1997)SNC Fattoria del Lago di Morini, Pietro E.C., Brisighella, Italy (acquired in 2003)Marco Morini, Faenza, Italy (acquired in 2011)Current Owner

Lancia has long been revered for its groundbreaking early chassis designs and competition-proven engines, and perhaps no production car in the company’s storied history is more significant than the Aurelia B20 GT of 1951. The Aurelia model had appeared a year earlier in sedan form, powered by a trendsetting aluminum-alloy V-6 motor co-designed by the great Vittorio Jano (of Alfa Romeo fame), now widely recognized as the first production V-6 in history.

The B20 GT was immediately discernible from the B10 sedan by its sleek fastback coachwork, penned by Mario Felice Boano. Conceived as a grand touring car, the new Aurelia was dubbed the “B20 GT” and is noteworthy as the first production car to be named with the since widely copied mantle of “GT.” Although Lancia commissioned Ghia to build the initial “pre-series” run of 98 cars that preceded Pinin Farina’s involvement, the Turinese firm was already overwhelmed with orders, prompting them to subcontract some of the cars to Pinin Farina and a relatively unknown carrozzeria named Viotti. Lancia experts now recognize that Pinin Farina assumed production before Ghia’s contracted cars were complete, making the run of so-called “pre-series” cars even shorter than the 98 examples often cited by historians. By the time B20 GT production came to an end in 1958, 3,871 examples had been built in a total of six series, highlighting the extreme rarity of surviving early examples.

The Aurelia GT was also a notable race competitor, with a 2nd overall finish at the 1951 Mille Miglia, 1st in Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans a month later (with Giovanni Bracco driving at both events), and a 1-2-3 finish at the 1952 Targa Florio.

This finely restored B20 is just the 67th car produced and is one of fewer than 98 early pre-series examples officially contracted to Ghia, though the car is even more rare given that it is one of the handful of cars subcontracted to carrozzeria Viotti. A remarkably rare Aurelia, chassis no. 1047 was originally finished in metallic beige paint with a nut-brown interior and was approved for sale on June 8, 1951.

Original registration records indicate that the B20 was imported to England in 1960 and remained in British ownership for more than two decades. Returning to Italy in 1988, the Aurelia was treated to a restoration by Gianni Sala of Reggio Emilia. The car’s documentation includes restoration invoices, period registration records, highly desirable FIVA papers, and a Gold award from the ASI (Automotoclub Storico Italiano).

Bolstered by documented provenance since 1960, this car remains exceptionally well presented and has been mechanically serviced in its current stewardship. Close inspection will reveal the high quality of work performed in addition to the many unique features present. Given its early build date, this wonderfully restored and historically rare Aurelia B20 GT is eligible for exclusive touring events like the Mille Miglia Storica and would make a stunning presence on any concours field.