Lancia Aurelia B20 GT: Everything your heart desires

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT has everything an Italian coupé of the 1950s requires: performance, comfort, style – and a competition history. We discovered a particularly lovely 5th Series example of this sophisticated post-War beauty in London.

The feminine curves of the front of the Aurelia melt into a flowing roofline, ending in even more curvaceous loveliness at the rear. Once you’ve seen an Aurelia in profile, it’s a vision you’re unlikely to forget. Nor is it just the youthful appeal of the coupé and convertible versions that can be hailed as a success: the same goes for the entire Aurelia family. And in addition to the adulation it received for its styling, there was also the no small matter of its race and rally success.

This competition prowess was helped by the adoption of a superb Vittorio Jano-designed V6 engine – initially 1.8 litres, but growing over time through 2.0 litres to 2.5 litres.

The fact that the Lancia Aurelia was actively successful in competition means that, today, it is a firm favourite for many major historic events. It’s no surprise, for example, to learn that the 5th Series GT shown here has been a participant in the Tour Espana, Tour Auto, Coupe des Alpes and Gstaad Classic.

But that’s not the sole reason for us taking a particular liking to this car. Rather, it’s the total package, including attractive two-tone paintwork – blue-grey and midnight blue – along with cream wheels and partly cream interior. According to the vendor, this Aurelia “was undoubtedly used for rallies or circuit racing in its day”, as evidenced by its rare Nardi kit. 

For a large part of its life, this Aurelia resided in Malibu, California. It was only in 2006 that it returned to Europe and was comprehensively restored at KCA in Turin, the Lancia expert par excellence. Currently equipped with Belgian papers, the Aurelia has valid FIA papers and, we’re told (for a little added interest), it was once the property of a former Belgian Prime Minister. With a history to be proud of, the Italian beauty is for sale from DD Classics in London.

Photos: Jan Baedeker

This stunning and beautifully restored 1956 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Fifth Series is currently for sale at DD Classics in London.