Lancia’s classic Aurelia, the first car ever to employ a V6 engine, was launched at the 1950 Turin Motor Show.
The B10 saloon was joined the following year by the B20 Coupé, a fastback ‘2+2’ on a shortened wheelbase which, can be said to have introduced the Gran Turismo concept to the world.
The shape, designed by Mario Felice Boano and refined and built by Pinin Farina, became an instant classic for its smooth, clean lines and its competition prowess.
The model was immediately entered for the 1951 Mille Miglia and three examples, finished in the first seven places overall and took the first three in class, with Bracco-Maglioli finishing second, beaten just by Villoresi’s Ferrari that had over twice the displacement of the Lancia.
Bracco, partnered by Lurani, was then 12th overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours after driving his race car to the event from Italy.
Lancia prepared seven “Corsa” versions of the car for 1952, six of which finished the Mille Miglia in 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th overall and 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the Targa Florio.
The B20 dubbed by the motoring press “a sprinter in a dinner jacket”.
The car’s great successes derived from its wonderful balanced handling, light weight and reliability.
Six series of the Aurelia were built by Lancia between 1951 and 1958.
Introduced in 1953, the 3rd and subsequent series B20s were powered by a 2,451cc, 118bhp version of the pushrod V6.
To the enthusiastic sporting driver the most desirable models were the 1st, 2nd and 3rd series cars with independent rear suspension.
The later de Dion sprung cars were heavier, more refined and less entertaining to drive.
To many, the 3rd series, which combined the light weight of the early cars with the 2.5-litre version of the V6 engine, was the most desirable of all with a top speed of over 115 mph – exceptional for the day.
The Aurelia B20 represents for many the zenith of Lancia’s post-war production.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
At the 1st of June 1953 the Lancia was delivered to its first Italian owner, Mr. Giorgio Fassio in Genova.
Giorgio Fassio was the eldest son of Ernesto Fassio, industrialist, shipowner and publisher, founder of Villain & Fassio. (In 1954 a Chemical/Oil Products ship in the family fleet was given the name “Giorgio Fassio”).
This very rich Italian family was a lover of beautiful cars and Giorgio had a friendship with Enzo Ferrari.
The new Lancia was configured, clothed with Pinin Farina’s elegant coachwork and finished in a Green color.
Subsequently it was sold in Genova the 15th of October 1954 to the Madam Anna Maria Mutti, she was the wife of the Mille Miglia driver Mr. Carlo Croce.
Mr. Croce was part of the Croce shipping family, in fact the name Carlo Croce also appears on a ship in the fleet.
A peculiar coincidence: like the first owner Mr. Giorgio Fassio, the second owner Carlo Croce also had a ship (a cargo vessel) in the family fleet that took his name.
Mr. Croce raced under the Genoese “Scuderia Janua” team insignia, was an excellent racing driver and began to use the B20 on the most important racetracks.
He started in 1954 with the Giro Automobilistico d’Italia where he qualified 7th overall and 5th in class.
After that first race, for a more sporty outfit, the bumpers were removed and above all the sliding glass windows were fitted.
In 1955, the Lancia was raced at the Mille Miglia with Mr. Carlo Croce as driver, together with the car there are old photos of the car during its racing career and copies of original Mille Miglia documents.
Mr. Croce can be described as a veteran, in fact he participated in the 1951 Mille Miglia in a Lancia Aprilia, in 1952 in an Alfa Romeo 1900, in 1953 in a Lancia Aurelia B21, but obtained his best result just in 1955 with this specific B20, ranking a very honorable 18th place overall, worthy of the best professional drivers on sports cars.
The same year, Mr. Croce drove with the car the II edition of the Gran Premio Nuvolari, the IX edition of the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti, the Stella Alpina and the important Coppa Intereuropa on the fast Monza track.
The car remains registered in his wife’s name until 1958.
The line of owners that follow is traced and known.
The Lancia migrated to Sweden in July 1993, before returning to Liguria, Italy in 2009 when the ownership passed to an Italian restoration company, Rubino Classic Cars, in the area of Imperia and where it was commissioned to a full restoration in a Black livery, with cream white rims and grey “Lancia” cloth interiors.
A second restoration followed in 2013. Afterwards the Lancia was ready to be enjoyed by the former Italian owner, Mr. Indaco from Viterbo, participating in a number of events including participating successfully in the 2016 and 2017 Mille Miglia as well.
The restoration is simply stunning throughout, having been painstakingly restored in Italy by marque experts, using great care retaining original components, most critically, the original engine.
This wonderful car has the FIVA Passport issued in March 2019 proven to be Mille Miglia eligible and can be subscribed for the 2024 Mille Miglia next June.
This historically significant and superbly sorted Lancia comes with Lancia “Certificato d’ Identità”, FIVA Class A3 Passport, old photos of the car during its racing career, copies of original Mille Miglia documents, copies of the Italian registrations in the 50’s, multiple photos documenting the restoration process and the ASI Passport adding to the documentation and history associated with this fine example of Italian motoring excellence.
This particular example featured in several publication:
The beautiful lines of its aluminium body showing a restrained elegance, the car presents well in Amaranto (Maroon Red) with a wonderful Grey cloth interior.
The exterior of this Lancia has been finished to a high level with a nice but slightly patinated paint and very nice fitting and gapping of all body panels.
Doors open and close smoothly and various bright work throughout the exterior have been polished and finely detailed to complement the deep Bordeaux paint where the detail of the hand painted original Mille Miglia race number is off-course amazing.
The bold and elegant exterior is further enhanced by the art deco influenced interior.
Once seated inside, the car is surprisingly roomy and open due to the expansive glass and light pillar work.
The door panels and seats are covered in contrasting Grey beautiful cloth.
The dashboard is a wonderful display of fully functional instruments and indicators, beaming in harmony with what has to be one of the most artfully designed steering wheels ever to grace the interior of a sports car.
All components are very nice in presentation and condition overall – beautifully designed and faithfully restored.
We already knew from the books that Lancia had always been synonymous with state of art technology and we were completely convinced after our 2018, 2019 and 2020 Mille Miglia experience in a Lancia Lambda.
The timelessly stylish body is accompanied by wonderful road manners and a delightful engine.
Driven 5-6 times/yearly in warm, dry weather, the car starts and runs very well, the battery was recently replaced and the gearbox shifts very well, provided respect is paid to correct shifting technique, and the electrical system is in good condition.
Beautifully presented throughout, will be a most welcome entrant at the 2024 Mille Miglia edition next June where the car can be subscribed.
This Italian thoroughbred is a sophisticated collector car with international appeal and pedigree.
Its rarity, its history, but also its sporty and powerful appearance, make this vehicle a very good choice for a subscription in the Mille Miglia.
The Lancia has a very impressive history file.
Included in the history file are amongst other papers:
The Mille Miglia Registro is the official Certifying Body that registers and certifies all cars that are eligible to enter the Mille Miglia.
This specific Lancia has been Certified confirming this car is indeed an original Mille Miglia Veteran car and has participated in the 1955 Mille Miglia.