Lancia Aurelia B20 GT: Elegance and Power in a Classic Sports Car

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT is a vehicle that represents the pinnacle of mid-20th-century Italian design and engineering. This classic sports car is not only a masterpiece of engineering but also a testament to Lancia’s commitment to innovation and excellence in the automotive world. In this article, we will explore in detail the features, history, and legacy of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT, a car that continues to be revered by enthusiasts of Italian sports cars and classic car collectors.

Foto: ©Stellantis

History of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Origins and Development

The Lancia Aurelia was first introduced in 1950 and quickly became one of the most advanced vehicles of its time. Designed by Vittorio Jano, the Aurelia was the first production car to use a V6 engine, developed by engineer Francesco de Virgilio. This innovation marked a milestone in the automotive industry and set a new standard for luxury sports cars.

The B20 GT model, a coupé variant of the Aurelia, made its debut in 1951. With its elegant design and advanced technology, it immediately stood out in the market. The B20 GT combined excellent aerodynamics with a powerful engine and a well-balanced chassis, allowing it to compete successfully in various motor races.

Participation in Competitions

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT had a notable presence in automotive competitions, establishing itself as one of the most successful Italian sports cars of its era. In 1951, the B20 GT won the Gran Turismo class in the Mille Miglia, one of Italy’s most prestigious races. It also achieved victories in events such as the Targa Florio and the Carrera Panamericana, demonstrating its ability to face the most demanding challenges in motorsport.

Technical Specifications of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Engine and Performance

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT was equipped with a 2.0-liter V6 engine in its early versions, capable of generating 75 hp. This engine evolved in successive series of the model, increasing in displacement and power. Later versions of the B20 GT featured a 2.5-liter engine with up to 118 hp, allowing it to reach a top speed of approximately 185 km/h.

The Aurelia’s V6 engine was known for its smoothness and efficiency, characteristics complemented by a four-speed manual transmission. This combination offered an exceptional driving experience, with a perfect balance between power and maneuverability.

Foto: ©Stellantis

Design and Bodywork

The design of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT is a blend of elegance and functionality. The two-door coupé body, designed by Pininfarina, is a perfect example of mid-20th-century Italian style. The fluid lines and aerodynamic profile not only contributed to the vehicle’s aesthetics but also to its performance on the road.

The interior of the B20 GT was designed to provide maximum comfort for its occupants. Leather seats, a detailed instrument panel, and high-quality finishes reflected the attention to detail that Lancia put into each of its vehicles.

Technical Innovations

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT incorporated several technical innovations that set it apart from other vehicles of its time. One of the most notable was the transaxle system, which located the transmission and differential at the rear of the car, improving weight distribution and stability.

Another important innovation was the front suspension with a “sliding pillar” design, providing smooth and precise handling. Drum brakes and radial tires were also advanced features for the time, contributing to the vehicle’s safety and performance.

Legacy of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Impact on the Automotive Industry

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT left an indelible mark on the automotive industry. Its combination of innovative design, advanced engineering, and exceptional performance made it a model for future developments in the sports car sector. The influence of the B20 GT can be seen in many other vehicles of the era and in Lancia’s subsequent developments.

Presence in Popular Culture

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT is not only famous for its performance on the racetracks but also for its presence in popular culture. It appeared in several films and works of art, highlighting its status as an automotive icon. A notable example is its appearance in “The Calculus Affair,” one of the adventures of Tintin, where the car is featured in an exciting chase scene.

Collecting and Current Value

Today, the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT is a highly sought-after car by classic vehicle collectors. Its rarity, combined with its history and timeless design, makes it a valuable piece in any car collection. Well-preserved models can fetch very high prices at auctions and private sales, reflecting its status as a true classic in the automotive world.

Foto: ©Stellantis

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT in the Mille Miglia 2024

Participation of Miki Biasion

The legacy of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT remains alive today, as demonstrated by its recent participation in the Mille Miglia 2024. This event, known as “the most beautiful race in the world” by Enzo Ferrari, is a historical recreation of the speed races that took place between 1927 and 1957. In the 2024 edition, the famous rally driver Miki Biasion competed behind the wheel of a 1955 Aurelia B20 GT, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Lancia D24 Spider in the 1954 Mille Miglia.

Significance of the Event

The participation of the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT in the Mille Miglia 2024 has great symbolic value. It not only commemorates a historic victory for Lancia but also marks the brand’s renaissance in the automotive world. With the support of the new Lancia Ypsilon, this event is a bridge between Lancia’s glorious past and its promising future.

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT is more than just a car; it is a symbol of innovation and excellence in Italian automotive design. Its history, technical specifications, and legacy in motorsport make it a truly exceptional vehicle. For enthusiasts of Italian sports cars and classic car collectors, the Aurelia B20 GT remains a treasured gem. In the Mille Miglia 2024, its participation reaffirms its status as one of the great icons of motorsport and celebrates Lancia’s rich heritage in the world of motor racing.