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1952 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series II Pininfarina Coupé

Lot Number: 715

1952 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series II Pininfarina Coupé

With just two owners from new, this venerable second-series B20 GT Coupé has benefitted from a substantial investment (£180,000) at marque specialists, Thornley Kelham, and has been superbly prepared for Historic Rallying.


LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Friday 23rd February, 2024 at 2.00pm GMT at The Wing, Silverstone Circuit, NN12 8TN

  • Body Colour


  • Drive


  • Registration Number

    VXS 118


With just two owners from new, this venerable second-series B20 GT Coupé has benefitted from a substantial investment (£180,000) at marque specialists, Thornley Kelham, and has been superbly prepared for Historic Rallying.


Designed in 1949 by Vittorio Jano, and unveiled in 1950 to a nation slowly recovering from a World War, the Lancia Aurelia was, very simply, revolutionary. The car combined luxury, performance, looks and charisma, and offered a dream to a nation just finding their way. It bristled with innovation - the first V6 production engine, transaxle, inboard rear brakes, monocoque construction and a very efficient slippery shape.

In a country in love with motorsport, it's no surprise that the Aurelia was immediately seized upon by wealthy Italian privateers and achieved almost instant success in competition with perhaps the most famous being Giovanni Bracco's second place in the 1951 Mille Miglia, in which he outpaced the winning Ferrari over the mountain passes. In the 1951 event, B20s took three of the first seven places, and in the 1952 Mille Miglia, four of the first eight.

The model went on to be developed over almost eight years through six distinct Series and they were bought by wealthy, discreet Italians and those in the know throughout Europe. Factory driver, Gino Valenzano, quoted in Niels Jonassen's Lancia Aurelia in Detail, was of the opinion that the 2-litre engine in the first two series was much sweeter and more willing to rev than the later 2.5-litre and the independent rear suspension was far superior to the De Dion system introduced on the Series IV. He further notes that the 2-litre cars, which are hundreds of pounds lighter, are more agile and can be cornered with greater precision.

On offer here we have #2065, one of 731 Series II models built and dating from 1952. It arrived at renowned marque specialists Thornley Kelham's workshop direct from a US auction, at which it had been purchased, unseen, by their UK-based client. Apparently he fell in love with it at a distance (we've all been guilty of that) and its back story and the fact that it had been with one owner from 1961 to 2016 reinforced his interest.

According to TK: 'Although the car came with little written history, it was clear from the various stickers, decals, etc that it had been used extensively for rallying. In addition, various rally modifications and the generally very tired condition of the car confirmed that it had led a full and hard life'.

Owner of an extensive collection of classic and vintage cars, all regularly and enthusiastically driven, our vendor instructed that the Lancia should be made 'safe, structurally sound, mechanically and electrically strong and reliable, and capable of some serious rallying here in Europe'. These requirements necessitated significant bodywork repairs, particularly to the sills; an electrical rewire; rebuild of the engine, transmission, suspension and brakes and a thorough overhaul of the fuel and cooling systems. Sadly, the original 2-litre engine was in such poor condition that TK were forced to source and rebuild a new correct Series II engine from scratch, adding an original Nardi upgrade kit for the carburettors to improve both maximum power and mid-range torque. Additional works included upgrading the interior with new rally seats, rubber mats and seals plus additional instrumentation and improved safety features. Indeed, virtually the only area TK left untouched was the paintwork!

In total, our vendor invested over £180,000 to bring this gorgeous 1950s Lancia to its present condition and since the completion of the rebuild, he has successfully driven it on a rally around Ireland. If you are looking for a professionally prepared, decently quick and comprehensively equipped early B20GT, particularly suitable for competitive historic rallying, then look no further. Totally evocative of European Rallying in the mid-1950s, there can't be a better looking, more desirable example anywhere.


Lot Number
Registration Number
VXS 118
MOT Expiry
Chassis Number
B20 2065
Body Colour



For further information regarding this lot please contact Rob.





Due to the change in venue all vehicles must now be collected from The Wing, Silverstone Circuit, NN12 8TN on Sunday 25th February between 10am and 3pm

Any vehicles not collected by this time will be transported to a secure storage facility in Northampton by our transport partner EM Rogers, the charges for which are £175 plus VAT for removal and £10 plus VAT per day for storage. We will make contact on Sunday morning to confirm how you will be removing your vehicle(s). If we do not hear back from you by 1pm on Sunday, we will arrange collection with EM Rogers on your behalf.


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