1955 Lancia B20GT Aurelia
s/n B20-3419, MOT20*4127*
Powder Blue with Grey Cloth Interior
Since their first offerings to the automotive public, Lancia has consistently designed and engineered some of the most technically advanced and beautiful racing and touring cars. This is certainly the case with this particularly remarkable Lancia B20 GT Aurelia - truly a Gran Tourismo car in every respect, boasting impeccable provenance, superb restoration, and highly respected ownership.
The Aurelia design hosted a number of special features including a hemispherical head, aluminum V-6 engine with rear transaxle, offering excellent weight distribution and vastly improved handling. With the all-new unibody construction, the compact V-6 engine combined with the dynamic chassis, suspension and power resulted in a truly modern car. The Lancia B20 was an innovation in GT cars, literally inventing the term with this car as the very embodiment of Gran Tourismo.
B20s evolved with multiple improvements in drive train and suspension until the recognized peak of refinement was achieved with this car. The Series IV is perhaps the best of the B-20's six series, combining excellent power to weight ratio via the potent 2.4 Liter V6, increased grip of a De Dion rear suspension, and inboard rear brakes. B20s were reliable and agile and proved as such in competition. At the 1951 Mille Miglia, a B20 finished second overall just minutes behind the leader, a Ferrari 340 America. The unrelenting Lancia lost ground only on the high-speed section returning to Brescia.
This highly desirable Mille Miglia-eligible Series IV is perhaps the best of the B-20's six series, combining an excellent power to weight ratio (the lightest of all six series cars) with the increased grip of a De Dion rear suspension. Among B20s, this example represents likely one of the finest on the market today. Current owner, well-known Pebble Beach Chairman Emeritus Jules Heumann has shaped the world’s most important concours event for four decades. His curatorial excellence and attention to detail, combined with impeccable taste is second to none. This is his third personal B20. The resultant documentation and comprehensive 2014 restoration reflect his high standards. When Mr. Huemann purchased the car, he refined it to an even further exceptional mechanical and visual standard under his personal direction.
Resplendent in its original Powder Blue with cloth trim, this car was originally delivered to Italian aristocrat Count de Boyle, friend of Enzo Ferrari and head of the official Lancia and Ferrari Concessionaire TAK Motors of South Africa, where the car spent most of its life. In typical Italian fashion, the Count is said to have given the car to a female admirer.
The overall condition can best be described as a high quality restoration with excellent body and paint, featuring beautiful chrome and trim finishes as one might expect on a car of this level. What began as a complete and excellent restoration was further refined with attention to reliability and refinement. The elegant powder blue paint is factory correct and presents the Pininfarina coachwork favorably in any setting. The restoration included all systems, however many details have been further improved including new grille emblems and side badges, servicing all instruments, rebuilding the front suspension oiling system, rebuilding the brake fluid reservoir, installing a new exhaust system, correcting engine gaskets for the water manifold, improving the hand choke cable for smoother operation, installing new seat belts, and a host of several additional interior details to bring the car to the visual and operational standard one might expect from a car of this lineage. Additional items installed on the car include a Nardi steering wheel, correct Nardi floor shift, and (though not currently installed on the car but part of the sale) a Nardi dual intake manifold and carb block (no intake casting or carbs included).
The engine in the car has been comprehensively rebuilt and properly tested. It has been recently refined with additional improvements noted above. The car has been completely rewired, has a new electric fuel pump, 5 new Michelin tires, new floor and trunk insulation, and new upholstery including doors and headliner. The resulting combination of elegance and refinement are what make this Lancia B20 stand out.
Of particular note is the beautifully detailed interior. The dashboard and instrumentation are exceptionally well finished featuring correct instruments and switches, proper finishing plates, and correct interior materials. The seats are tightly covered with no notable wear. Door panel and side coverings are nicely finished with proper fasteners and trim per original specifications. Headliner is nicely fit with no sagging and all. Interior rubber and edging is nicely finished with excellent door sills and finishing plates adorning your entry.
The engine compartment is wonderfully restored using correct factory finishes, proper wiring, hosing, and correct factory aluminum ID plates. The single carburetor and round intake are fitted to the engine and provide ample power. Undercarriage has been maintained to a high standard with no significant marks or road damage. All finishes and fittings are correct or enhanced (as needed) from the original equipment, with appropriate concessions for safety and reliability.
Included in the sale are several spare parts, original parts book, factory service manual, and a reprint of the factory handbook. Spares included in the sale:
6 hubcaps and mounting clips
2 Spare foglight lenses
2 Series IV rear center light (clear)
2 Parking light lenses
Nardi intake manifolds
Nardi dual carburetor manifold
Nardi water manifold
2 fuel lines for Nardi intake
Spare air filter
Cast aluminum fan blade (6 blade type)
2 Gearbox shift forks
2 heater hoses
Spare set of radiator shutters
Spare heater shroud
Spare water pump kit
Fusebox ID plate
Spare distributor with points
Several sets of points
Aluminum hood lock plate
2 new pedal pads
Spare radiator cap
Spare wiper motor
Spare set of wiper gears
Misc hydraulic fittings and lines
Spare seat track
Set of aluminum moldings
Misc rubber mounts and machined shoulder bolts
2 Oil filters
This Series IV Aurelia is beautifully restored and mechanically balanced with excellent road manners and reliability. The driving experience is rewarding with immediate power delivery and response. Suspension and tires are properly balanced for tours and rallies, consistent with the duties of such Gran Turismo cars. The car is a pleasure to drive offering excellent steering and shifting via synchromesh transaxle. There is very minimal driveline vibration (often typically, or almost obligatory in these cars) and braking is smooth and progressive when warmed up. Excellent driving manners are infrequently interrupted by only one exception, common to other Aurelias. The pressure plate springs in the clutch are retiring from their youthful tension and thus the clutch can slip under a heavy foot when engaged in high gear. General operation, under most driving circumstances is rewarding, however, these springs will need to be addressed in the future. All lights, indicators, horn and instruments function as expected.
With formidable provenance, excellent road manners, and an elegant Pininfarina coach built body, this Mille Miglia eligible Lancia B20 is ready for touring or concours events. The high standard of excellence represented by the restoration and refinement under Jules Huemann’s ownership represent a unique opportunity for the next very fortunate enthusiast.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.