Lancia Aurelia B50 Coupé 1951
Coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina
Chassis no. B50 1194
* Landmark Lancia model
* Rare coachbuilt variant
* Professionally restored in Italy
* One of few survivors
One of the most influential designs to emerge from Italy post-WW2, the classic Aurelia was the first car ever to employ a V6 engine. Designed in wartime by Francesco de Virgilio and launched at the 1950 Turin Motor Show, the Aurelia B10 was powered by a 1,754cc 60-degree V6 of all-aluminium construction that used overhead valves operated via short pushrods instead of Lancia's traditional overhead camshafts. An advanced unitary-construction design, the Aurelia retained Lancia's 'sliding pillar' independent front suspension, first seen on the Lambda, but used a novel semi-trailing-arm layout at the rear, another world first. The transmission too, was unusual, comprising a two-piece prop-shaft and combined gearbox/rear transaxle on which were mounted the inboard brakes, though for once this was not an entirely new departure. The original B10 saloon was joined the following year by the landmark, Pininfarina-styled B20 Coupé, a fastback '2+2' on a shortened wheelbase which, with its combination of sports car performance and saloon car practicality, can be said to have introduced the Gran Turismo concept to the world. Models with longer wheelbases and larger engines in various states of tune followed, while to cater for independent coachbuilders, Lancia offered the longer-wheelbase (291cm) B50 chassis, based on B10 mechanicals, and later the B52, which came with the 2.0-litre engine of the B20/B21.
This very early example of a landmark model from one of motoring's most charismatic marques carries coupé coachwork by Stabiliment, Farina of Turin, the family firm where styling maestro Battista 'Pinin' Farina learned his craft. According to information supplied by the vendor, this stunning and very rare B50 coupé was comprehensively rebuilt by respected restorers, Officina Faralli near Pisa in Italy. The engine has been completely overhauled and a new exhaust system fabricated by ASSO Marmitte, and practically every component of the car has been checked and restored were necessary. The beautiful lines of its aluminium body showing a restrained elegance, the car presents well in black with a correct beige cloth interior, the two front seats being complemented by two foldable occasional rear seats.
Very few of these Farina-bodied Lancia Aurelia B50 Coupés were constructed, and even fewer have survived, making this an ideal candidate either for continental touring or Concours d'Élégance events, where it will surely be enthusiastically welcomed. The car is offered with cancelled French registration documents but still comes with its Italian numberplates. Rare and desirable, this coachbuilt Lancia represents a wonderful opportunity for the discerning collector and is worthy of the closest inspection.
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