The 1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Turned From A Rusty Wreck Into A Concours Condition Mille Miglia Contender
Restoring classic cars is a highly specialized business. Factors such as the vehicle’s desirability can often dictate whether returning car to its former glory is a viable proposition, and then there are those that have just got to a point where they are beyond saving. Most people would have relegated this 1953 Lancia Aurelia into that category without hesitation were they to have seen it two and a half years ago in its dilapidated state. Luckily, the car’s new owner contacted restoration specialists Thornley Kelham, who not only has extensive experience in restoring Aurelias but also service, maintain and rally prep a number of vintage and classic vehicles.
Having rescued the Aurelia from its sad fate, the Thornley Kelham team conducted a ground-up restoration project, which involved replacing and even fabricating entire body parts that had been ravaged by the elements for years. Practically every panel needed significant restoration work and so poor was the car’s structural rigidity that it needed strengthening before it could be sand-blasted and prepared for its factory correct beige paintwork.
With the aim of having the car take part in the Mille Miglia, a set of Rally De Corsa style seats were fabricated for the Aurelia and common period competition upgrades such as a Nardi floor shifter, bonnet scoop and twin carburettors were installed, finished off with Borrani wheels. The restored car could not be further removed from the sad dilapidated wreck that it was less than three-years-ago, and it has since completed a 500-mile weekend of fault-free driving in the hands of its owner who is no doubt looking forward to its Mille Miglia debut. Thornley Kelham will be on hand to provide a dedicated support team throughout the event, ensuring that this pristine Lancia Aurelia B20 GT runs smoothly throughout the punishing event.
Images courtesy of Thornley Kelham