Cafe Racer-Styled Desirable IV Series B20. Beautifully Equipped with Flat Wood Wheel, Nardi Kit, Wires, and Hood Scoop. Lancia's Highly Event Eligible Innovative Gran Tourismo Design Masterpiece!
1955 Lancia B20 Aurelia
s/n B20-3445, engine no. B20-4144
Dark Green with Red Interior
With a remarkable 113 year history since inception, Lancia has consistently designed and engineered some of the most technically advanced and beautiful racing, sports, and touring cars. Leading with innovation and engineering excellence decade after decade throughout the 20th century, Lancia established not only a leadership position when new, astute collectors are finding more and more that classic Lancias are among the finest cars to drive and show in many of the top concours fields throughout the world. This is certainly the case with the Lancia B20 GT Aurelia - truly a Gran Tourismo car in every respect, offering some of the most engaging design and engineering features of the era.
Among the many engineering advances, the hemispherical head, aluminum V-6 engine (a production first) with rear transaxle and fully independent suspension, was a triumph of performance, offering excellent weight distribution and vastly improved handling. With the all-new unibody construction, the compact V-6 engine combined with the dynamic chassis and all-new radial tires, delivered truly revolutionary driving manners. The Lancia B20 was not only an innovative GT car, it featured a beautifully crafted Ghia body with clean lines, low roofline, and elegant detailing, as penned by Felice Mario Boano. Eventually Pinninfarina would take over production as volume demand increased, making it one of the most celebrated designs of the post war era.
B20s evolved with multiple improvements in drive train and suspension until the recognized peak was achieved in the Series IV, the best of the B-20, spanning six notable series iterations. The Series IV achieves this pinnacle of performance balance combining excellent power to weight ratio via the potent 2.4 Liter V6, increased grip of the De Dion rear suspension, inboard rear brakes, and lightly tinted glass. The Series IV would also be the first offered in left-hand drive, making it available for import to North America. B20s proved to be both reliable and agile 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. The B20 would further perform with a class victory in a later Mille Miglia, and also achieve class wins at Le Mans, Carrera Panamericana and other venues.
Regarded today as one of the first GT cars produced, the B20 offers stunning coachwork and innovative engineering with elegant features deserving of the Italian 2 liter coach built performance genre. Just 3,871 B20s were produced from 1951-1958, 426 of which were built in 1955.
This particular example is a late production 4th series car with the unique distinction of being the last right-hand drive 4th series car built. Among the many fine original features still with the car; the original Temperato glass and desirable Jaeger instrumentation, the original engine, and several other original components. Believed to have been imported from Europe in the 1960s, the car remained with a long-term owner until it was purchased in the 1980s. Having been stored for many years, the car remained in very sound original condition when it was next delivered to Lancia Aurelia expert Tony Nicosia in 2011. Nicosia embarked on a thoughtful recommissioning of the car, being mindful to preserve as many of the original features as possible. Nicosia reported upon inspection that the car appeared to retain the original body panels and the original engine, showing no signs of damage other than mild rocker panel and wheel arch corrosion.
The recommissioning included mechanical services covering the drivetrain, suspension, fuel system, and brakes. The front suspension was rebuilt, and the transaxle was overhauled including the installation of a new first gear. The clutch was replaced, the driveshaft rebuilt, and the entire assembly balanced to ensure minimal driveline vibration – a critical mechanical process that is often overlooked. The brake master cylinder and wheel cylinders were replaced, while the brake drums were precision ground to minimize rotational vibration. The starter was rebuilt, and the engine tuned without the need of a rebuild as it showed good compression and sound operation after completion. A total of $80,000.00 was spent for the recommissioning. Upon completion in 2013, the car was enjoyed for a few years and then consigned it for sale at Fantasy Junction.
The current owner, a well-respected collector of vintage performance cars, purchased the car in 2015 and embarked on a comprehensive refurbishment including paint, interior, and many other cosmetic improvements. The car was sent to experts at Dominick European in White Plains, NY where the body was stripped to bare metal, doors, hood, and trunk removed, and all glass removed. The rocker panels, wheel arches and a few areas in the floors were repaired due to mild corrosion and the car was primed and painted a very deep green using two stage paint– an elegant yet sporting color. As the car features a Nardi engine kit with twin carburetors, the decision was made to install a hood scoop to add to the sporting nature of the car. Beautifully finished without front or rear bumpers, the car was reunited with a set of Borrani wire wheels, believed to have been originally on the car when delivered. Additional work included refining the brakes, tuning up the engine, and detailing were further performed to complete the car to a high standard. During the body and paint work, the interior was addressed with new red material covering a pair of Alfa GT seats installed in place of the former bench seat. The interior was finished with non-original diamond stitching but add a fine touch to the sporting nature of this car.
Today this beautiful Lancia B20 is a very handsome example of a refined original Series IV featuring sporting updates to the classic original. Currently showing 54,512 kilometers, the overall presentation is very compelling, particularly in these colors. The high-quality body and paint work have been applied with great care resulting in fluid reflection lines and deep gloss throughout the exterior surface along with excellent panel fit and finish. Although the inner panels have not been refinished, they are presentable and honest with the doors, hood, and trunk offering crisp closures. Exterior trim is refreshingly minimal save for the grill, headlight trim, and window garnish, all of which have been polished and refined to a very high level. The elegant dark green color presents the Pininfarina coachwork perfectly, particularly while perched on polished Borrani wire wheels and period correct Michelin tires.
The beautifully detailed interior has been redone with high quality materials including the installation of low back bucket seats from an Alfa GT. These seats are quite nicely suited to the interior as they offer more support and represent more of the sporting nature of the B20. The painted dashboard and beautiful white on black Jaeger instrumentation are exceptionally well finished featuring beautiful color and numeric indication. The delicate switches, chrome plated door handles, knobs, radio, and a warmly hued wood rimmed Nardi steering wheel are each delightful bits of Italian jewelry, each in their own right, but together, in elegant harmony. A pair of rear speakers have been added to the back of the cloth lined rear seat bulkhead, concealed by the fabric lining. The front seats are tightly covered with no notable bolster wear, featuring diamond stitched inserts that match the door panels.
The engine compartment is a very nice balance of original features and restored components using correct factory finishes, proper wiring, hosing, and correct hardware. The desirable Nardi intake and twin carburetors, most likely installed in period, are accurately presented with the correct gloss black finish painted on the carburetor bodies. Even the rare thermostatically controlled air intake flaps and lever mechanism are still mounted to the radiator. The trunk is generally clean and tidy with a largely original appearance including a spare Borrani wire wheel and what appears to be the original leather wheel strap. The undercarriage is clean, dry, and has been refinished to a high standard with no significant marks or road damage and no visual evidence of structural damage. All finishes and fittings are correct and properly maintained, in keeping with the exterior and interior finishes throughout the car
This Lancia B20 is a genuine delight to drive. With a fantastic presence and innovative engineering, this Lancia truly delivers once on the road. The car starts easily, warming to operating temperatures and settling into a smooth idle. The exhaust note is modest when idling but steps up to a satisfying roar when given a bit more coaxing into higher revs. The synchromesh gearbox works smoothly with the clutch, and the brakes respond with much better grip than one finds in cars of this period. Because of the proper driveline sorting and balancing, there is very minimal driveline vibration. The car stops smoothly, with progressive braking becoming quite good once warmed up. The independent suspension offers excellent road manners and confident cornering, all of which are rewardingly balanced for tours, events, or rallies.
Offering a very fine combination of restoration, sporting interior, original features, excellent road manners, and an elegant Pininfarina body, this Lancia B20 is ready for touring, specialty events, or concours shows. For someone seeking a uniquely appointed late build Series IV with handsome cosmetics and proper mechanical sorting, this Lancia truly offers some of the very best attributes of 50s Italian Gran Turismo motoring.
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.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608