Long Line of Distinguished Owners Only Adds to this Lancia’s Beauty
Owner: Paolo Mazzotto
Year, Make, and Model: 1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 Series III
Location: Rome, Italy
During the summer of 1953, the Como Lancia dealership ordered the Aurelia on behalf of Mr. Antonello Provasi of Lecco, a gentleman driver who intended to race it. The car was ordered as “competition type” with the same specifications of Lancia’s official vehicles in 1953. According to competition specs, it was built by Pininfarina in exactly the same way as the corsa units: welded boot, “banquet” seats, air intake on the roof, aluminium hood, Plexiglas front and rear windows, and removal of foglights and bumpers. Since Lancia reserved the competition-grade engine for official drivers, the motor was tuned by Nardi in Turin, who was communicating very closely with Lancia Corse (Lancia’s race division) at that time. The motor was officially tested by Lancia and showed an equivalent power to the “official” Lancia units (129.4 BHP at 5.400 rpm). Upon its delivery, it was put to use immediately. On May 7, 1954 he qualified first in Monza at “Campionato ACI Como” (with an average speed of 144.590 Km/h).
In late 1954, Antonello, after buying a Ferrari 3000, decided to sell the car to Mr. Salvatore Piccolo from Messina, who drove it in various minor races (The nocturnal 10 hours of Messina, Catania-Etna, Pellegrino Mountain, etc.), also with another Sicilian driver, Mr. Curcuruto. The car still has various punching seals around its steering column. Mr Sciarrone from Messina purchased the car in 1958 and later parked it in a warehouse where it remained until 1983, when it was bought by Mr. Guido Rosani (Lancia historian and author of the book D24 and the Sport Lancias) complete and original.
In 1985, the car was given to Earl Vittorio Zanon di Valgiurata, who restored it completely, both mechanically and cosmetically. He then participated in the 1996 Tour de France with Mr. Maurizio Tresoldi, finishing second in the reliability trial class, only “a whisper away from a Mercedes 300 SL”, as the press wrote at that time (“Ruote Classiche” 6/1996). Now resuscitated, the car competed in three editions of the Mille Miglia and in several other commemorative races (Bari Grand Prix, Montecarlo-Sestriere, Dolomiti Cup, Pontedecimo-Giovi, Tuscany Cup, etc).
I don’t know exactly what I love about it, except that it is beautiful. Driving it makes me happy and while it might have been crazy to buy it, I fell in love with the Aurelia at first sight.
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