Lot 75: c.1952 LANCIA AURELIA PF 200 CONVERTIBLE (PROTOTYPE)
COACHWORK BY PININFARINA
Silver with beige leather interior
Engine: V6, 1,991cc (with Nardi carburator kits), c.90bhp at 4,800rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual integral with the rear axle; Suspension: independent front and rear; Brakes: four wheel drum. Right hand drive.
Sergio Pininfarina, son of designer Battista Pinin Farina, notes "...this car is very unique," truly an understatement when the subject is post-war Italian automobile design. The styling for this Lancia by Farina was greatly influenced by the powerful design trends coming out of Detroit, principally from Harley Earl's Art and Color Section at General Motors, which was emphasizing jet aircraft styling cues in both its show cars and production models. A similar design to this Lancia was also executed by Farina and appeared in 1953 on a Cadillac Series 62 chassis. Earl's approach of creating a lower, wider, longer profile accented with stylish cut down doors and prominent fender lines differed from Pinin Farina's interpretation of American styling shown on these unique show cars with a fuselage-like appearances.
The Aurelia's chassis was designed by former Alfa Romeo engineers, Vittorio Jano and Gianni Lancia, son of company founder Vincenzo Lancia. Making its debut in 1950, the Aurelia was powered by the world's first production V6 engine, developed by Ing. Francesco De Virgilio, who had been with Lancia since 1939.
Although this Lancia is titled in the USA as a 1952 model, in all probability the car was built in late 1953 and was probably one of the European show cars at that time. Photographs of the Turin show cars of 1952 and 1953 have subtle differences in styling. A photograph from The Brussels Auto Show in January 1954.
In the hands of the current owner since 1968, the Lancia Aurelia prototype was featured at the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance honoring Carrozzeria Pininfarina and was last shown at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance this year. During the past thirty years the car has been used infrequently but has been invited to occasional shows, always attracting great attention. The current mileage of around 52,447kms is thought to be original. The aluminum bodywork was restored in 1975 and professionally rust proofed. In 1984 the car was completely repainted in metallic silver and the carpets replaced. The car comes with the original spare tire, tools, owners' manual, keys and radio. This lovely Lancia car has recently been tuned and mechanically inspected and is said to run very well.
A grand departure from contemporary 1950s coachwork, the Aurelia is a stunning illustration of an era when Italian designers, and Pinin Farina in particular, were on the cutting edge of automotive styling - if not slightly over it. This Lancia is highly usable for a number of touring events such as the California Mille Miglia and Colorado Grand, and its rare coachwork can also command concours d'elegance appearances around the world.
Exceptional Motor Cars|
Christies, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
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