Lancia Aurelia

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Lancia Aurelia
SC06 1956 Lancia Aurelia B20S.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Lancia
Production 1950-1958
18,201 produced
Designer Vittorio Jano
Felice Mario Boano at Ghia (Coupe)
Pinin Farina (Convertible)
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Body style 2-door convertible
2-door coupé
4-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 1.8 L 1,754cc V6
2.0 L 1,991cc V6
2.5 L 2,451cc V6
Chronology
Successor Lancia Flaminia

The Lancia Aurelia is a car that was produced by the Italian manufacturer Lancia. Designed by Vittorio Jano, the Aurelia was launched in 1950 and production lasted until the summer of 1958.

The Aurelia used the first production V6 engine, a 60° design developed by Francesco de Virgilio who was, between 1943 and 1948 a Lancia engineer, and who worked under Jano. During production, capacity grew from 1.8 L to 2.5 L. Prototype engines used a bore and stroke of 68 mm x 72 mm for 1569 cc; these were tested between 1946 and 1948. It was an all-alloy pushrod design with a single camshaft between the cylinder banks. A hemispherical combustion chamber and in-line valves were used. A single Solex or Weber carburettor completed the engine. Some uprated 1991 cc models were fitted with twin carburettors.

At the rear was an innovative combination transaxle with the gearbox, clutch, differential, and inboard-mounted drum brakes. The front suspension was a sliding pillar design, with rear semi-trailing arms replaced by a de Dion tube in the Fourth series. The Aurelia was also first car to be fitted with radial tires as standard equipment.[1]

First series[edit]

Lancia Aurelia B10 Sedan Berlina 1951
Lancia Aurelia B50 cabriolet by Pinin Farina
Lancia Aurelia GT 1951
Lancia Aurelia GT 1955
Lancia Aurelia GT 1957
1958 B24 Convertible

The very first Aurelias were the B10 berlinas (sedans). They used a 1754 cc version of the V6 which produced 56 hp (42 kW). The B21 was released in 1951 with a larger 1991 cc 70 hp (52 kW) 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 75 hp (56 kW) in the B20. In all, 500 first series Aurelias were produced.

Second series[edit]

The second series Aurelia coupé pushed power up to 80 hp (60 kW) 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 90 hp (67 kW).

Third series[edit]

The third 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.

Fourth series[edit]

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 not destroyed during the accident scene sealing the end of the story: an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider was used as replacement.

Fifth series[edit]

The fifth series coupé, 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 Flaminias. The driveshaft was also revised to reduce vibration.

Alongside the fifth series coupés was a revised open car, the B24 convertible. This differed from the earlier B24 Spider, having roll-up windows, better seating position, and a windscreen with vent windows. In mechanical aspects, the B24 convertible was similar to the coupé of the same series.

Sixth series[edit]

Power was down to 112 hp (84 kW) 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 bonnet. They were the most touring oriented of the B20 series.

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 boot, 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.

Lancia Aurelia Spider (B24)[edit]

Produced only in 1954-1955, 240 cars were built. Panoramic front windscreen, distinctive 2 part chrome bumpers, removable side screens, soft top and Pinin Farina styling. 181 LHD cars with B24S ('sinistra') designation; rest, 59 cars, were RHD.[2] All were equipped with 2,451cc engines. Dashboard features 1 prominent and 2 small dials.

Lancia Aurelia Convertible (B24)[edit]

Produced from 1956, second series with many small alterations to the Aurelia Spider. One part chrome bumpers and wider bonnet air-scoop. Cars from this series no longer have panoramic windscreen and now have fixed quarter-lights. 521 cars were built. All had 2,451cc engines. Dashboard features 2 big dials.

B50 Cabriolet[edit]

First prototype shown at 1950 Turin Car Show. Produced in small numbers, around 265 cars, by cabriolet-specialist Pinin Farina, B50 Cabriolet was a four-seat comfortable cruiser. Powered by 1,754cc engine. Majority of the production was done between 1950-1952. Some cars had an improved B52 platform.[3]

Racing pedigree[edit]

In the 1951 Mille Miglia the 2-litre Aurelia, driven by Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli, finished 2nd beaten only by the Ferrari America. The same year it took first in class and 12th overall at LeMans. Modified Aurelias took the first three places on 1952's Targa Florio with Felice Bonetto as the winner and another win on Lièges-Rome-Lièges of 1953.

Technical specifications[edit]

B21 engine technical specification
Bore: 72.00mm.
Stroke: 81.50mm.
Capaicity: 1991cc.
Dry weight: 150 kg.
Firing order: 1L-4R-3L-6R-5L-2R.
Carburetors: Solex 30 AAI, 23 and 24mm venturis.
Power: 75GrossHP@4500RPM.

Production numbers[edit]

Aurelia production data
Berline B20 coupé B24 Chassis
Year B.10 B.21 B.15 B.22 B12 2000 2500 Spider/Convertibile B50 B51 B52 B53 B55/56 B60 Total
1950 954 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 291 51 --- --- --- --- 1296
1951 2994 1118 --- --- --- 371 --- --- 193 47 --- --- --- --- 4723
1952 1326 2123 61 294 --- 736 --- --- 1 1 86 86 --- --- 4714
1953 177 539 20 780 --- 124 720 --- --- --- 12 --- --- 1 2373
1954 --- --- --- --- 995 --- 573 1[a] --- --- --- --- --- --- 1569 [a]
1955 --- --- --- --- 1372 --- 426 239 --- --- --- --- 10 --- 2047
1956 --- --- --- --- 33 --- 189 150 --- --- --- --- 4 --- 376
1957 --- --- --- --- --- --- 420 176 --- --- --- --- --- --- 596
1958 --- --- --- --- --- --- 312 195 --- --- --- --- --- --- 507
Total/model 5451 3780 81 1074 2400 1231 2640 761 [a] 485 99 98 86 14 1 18201 [a]

[a]= the data does not contain preproduction B24 prototype constructed in 1954

In popular culture[edit]

The Lancia Aurelia is featured prominently in the The Calculus Affair, one of The Adventures of Tintin, in the story's car chase scene. The car's Italian driver has great pride in Italian cars, which he claims are the best in the world.

Dino Risi’s 1962 movie The Easy Life (Il Sorpasso, starring Vittorio Gassmann and Jean-Louis Trintignant, a fine example of the Commedia all'italiana genre) features the Lancia Aurelia, one of the most iconic cars in Italian cinema. It was unusual at that time for a film to be filmed almost entirely in a car and The Easy Life can be considered one of the first road movies. The Lancia Aurelia used was a 1954 B24 Spider and the driving scenes were very unusually filmed on the road rather than with a projected backdrop.

References[edit]

  • Jonassen, Niels (2007). Lancia Aurelia in Detail: GT, Spyder & Saloon. Herridge & Sons. ISBN 978-0-9549981-4-1. 
  • Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7. 
  • "Lancia Aurelia". Viva-Lancia. Retrieved December 23, 2004. 

Lancia Aurelia at Lanciastory

  1. ^ "Michelin and the Birth of the Radial Tyre". Auto Universum. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Lancia Aurelia B24S Spyder America". aureliaspider.com. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  3. ^ "Aurelia cabriolet". ritzsite.nl. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 

External links[edit]