Take Advantage Of Reduced-Price Petrolicious Membership And Enjoy The Lancia Aurelia B20 Coupé In Our Latest Film
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In today’s episode of Homologation Specials (one of our film series for Petrolicious Members), we join host Sam Hancock for a day in Reggio Emilia, Italy with a car that is hard to neatly categorize. As Sam correctly points out, although the Lancia Aurelia B20 Coupé is strictly speaking not a homologation special in the sense that it had to be built as a road car in order to compete as a race car, it was a road car that found ample success in the realm of motorsport all the same.
Besides heralding the dawn of the grand touring car—a vehicle that could win a hillclimb by day and pull up proudly to the opera house later that night—the Aurelia, the “racing driver’s daily driver,” performed quite well in a variety of competitive settings with just a few modifications. Indeed in specifications close to standard road going form, the Aurelia finished second in the Mille Miglia and won its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1951, before going on to win the Targa Florio in 1952 and the Monte Carlo Rally in 1954.
Its prowess on the circuits, sprints, and rally stages of Europe was due in large part to the advanced technology that Vittorio Jano, Francesco de Virgilio, and the rest of the talented Lancia engineers fitted inside the beautifully minimalistic Ghia-designed bodywork. Besides being the first production car to carry a V6 engine, the Aurelia also boasted independent suspension, a rear transaxle, and in-board brakes in the rear. None of this came cheap though, and while customers were given fabric-covered seats (like the ones fitted in the fourth-series example pictured here), the Aurelia was priced above the Bentley of its day.
Photography by Rosario Liberti