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Lancia Aurelia

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Lancia Aurelia B20S
Lancia Aurelia
Production: 1950-1958
Successor: Lancia Flaminia
Manufacturer: Lancia
Class: Grand tourer
Body Style: 2-door convertible
2-door coupé
4-door sedan
Designer: Vittorio Jano
engine: 1.8 L 1800 V6
2.0 L 2000 V6
2.5 L 2500 V6
Lancia Aurelia Coupe at the Copperstate 1000
Lancia Aurelia Coupe background

The Lancia Aurelia is considered by many to be the first true Grand Turismo automobile. Designed by Vittorio Jano, the Aurelia was launched in 1950 and production lasted through the summer of 1958.

The Aurelia used the first production V6 engine, a 60° Jano design which grew from 1.8 L to 2.5 L. It was an all-alloy pushrod design with a single camshaft between the cylinder banks. A hemispherical combustion chamber and inline valves were used. A single Weber 40 carburetor completed the engine.

At the rear was an innovative combination transaxle with the gearbox, clutch, differential, and inboard-mounted drum brakes. Front suspension was a sliding pillar design, with rear semi-trailing arms replaced by a de Dion tube in the 4th series.

First series

1951 Lancia Aurelia B50 Vignale

The very first Aurelias were the B10 berlinas (sedans). They used a 1754 cc version of the V6 which produced 56hp. The B21 was released in 1951 with a larger 1991 cc 70hp engine. A 2-door B20 GT coupé appeared that same year. It had a shorter wheelbase and a Ghia-designed, Pininfarina-built body. The same 1991 cc engine produced 75hp in the B20. In all, 500 first series Aurelia's were produced.

Second series

The second series Aurelia coupe pushed power up to 80hp from the 1991 cc V6 with a higher compression ratio and repositioned valves. Other changes included better brakes and minor styling tweaks, such as chromed bumpers instead of the aluminium ones used in the earlier car. . A new dashboard featured two larger instrument gauges. The suspension was unchanged from the first series. A new B22 sedan was released in 1952 with dual Webers and a hotter camshaft for 90hp.

1951 Lancia Aurelia GT
1951 Lancia Aurelia GT

1955 Lancia Aurelia B20

Third series

The 3rd series appeared in 1953 with a larger 2451 cc version of the engine. The rear of the car lost the tail fins of the earlier series, but was well resolved in an elegant and definitive look for the Aurelia coupe.

Fourth series

1958 B24 Convertible

The fourth series introduced the new de Dion tube rear suspension. The engine was changed from white metal bearings to shell bearings. An open car, the B24 Spider was introduced at this time (1954 to 1955) and was well received. It was similar to the B20 coupé mechanically, with an 8 inch (203 mm) shorter wheelbase than the coupé.

The fourth series cars were the first Aurelias to be available in left-hand drive; fourth series Aurelias were the first ones to be imported to the US in any number.

This model was immortalized by Dino Risi's 1962 movie Il Sorpasso (The Easy Life), starring Vittorio Gassman. The actual car used for shooting (a single model) was destroyed during the accident scene sealing the end of the story.

Fifth series

The 5th series coupes, appearing in 1956, was more luxury-oriented. It had a different transaxle (split case), which was more robust and similar to that used in the later Flaminia's. The drive shaft was also revised to reduce vibration.

Along side the fifth series coupes was a revised open car, the B24 Convertible. This differed from the earlier (4th series) B24 Spider, having roll up windows and better seating position, a windscreen with vent windows. In mechanical aspects, the B24 convertible was similar to the coupe of the same series.

Sixth series

Power was down to 112hp for the 1957 sixth series, with increased torque to offset the greater weight of the later car. The sixth series coupés had vent windows, and typically a chrome strip down the hood. They were the most touring oriented of the B20's.

The sixth series B24 convertible was very similar to the fifth series, with some minor differences in trim. Most notably, the fuel tank was in the trunk, not behind the seats as it was in the fourth and fifth series open cars. This change, however, did not apply for the first 150 sixth series cars, which were like the fifth series. The sixth series convertibles also featured different seats than either both earlier cars.



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Vincenzo Lancia · Corporate website · A brand of the Fiat group
1940–1980 Lancia Post War
« Previous Lancia Automobiles S.p.A., a subsidiary of the Fiat S.p.A. since 1969, car timeline, 1940–1980 -- Lancia Post War Next »
Type 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Family car ... Ardea Appia Fulvia
... Aprilia Beta / Trevi (828)
Executive car Flavia 2000 Gamma (830)
Coupé Fulvia Coupé/Sport
Beta Coupé/Spider/ Montecarlo (828)
Aurelia Flaminia Gamma Coupé/GT (830)
Sports car Stratos
Racing car D23/D24 D50