Launched in 1950, the progressive Aurelia is one of the most sought-right after Lancia styles built right after Earth War II. Collectors pay out a high quality for cars with a documented racing historical past, and one-offs developed as in-household experiments are interesting, so it truly is no surprise a 1951 coupe that ticked both of those packing containers deserved a 4,000-hour restoration.
United Kingdom-centered store Thornley Kelham spelled out a rich privateer racer named Giovanni Bracco purchased this 1951 Aurelia new in Italy and took it racing practically right away. It concluded next general in that year’s Mille Miglia, very first at the Caracalla Evening Race, and it earned very first in its class (and twelfth general) in the 24 Hrs of Le Mans. These were extraordinary results for the Aurelia, whose main claim to fame was currently being the very first frequent-creation car equipped with a V6 engine, but Lancia was no stranger to podium finishes.
Its tale took an intriguing transform when it showed up at the 1951 version of the Carrera Panamericana with a markedly reduce roof line. Bracco realized the Lancia loved ones effectively, and he arranged to have its top rated chopped at the manufacturing facility to make it additional aerodynamic. He crashed on the fourth day of racing, bought it to a Mexican architect, and returned house. It re-appeared at the adhering to year’s Carrera Panamericana and concluded ninth in advance of disappearing. Some speculated it was hidden in The us other folks assumed it experienced been crushed and recycled.
The very first hypothesis was proper, but proving it was easier explained than finished. The car experienced obtained a redesigned rear stop Thornley Kelham described as hump-backed and Volkswagen Beetle-like. Some of the initial sections experienced been slash out and discarded, which built the restoration approach exponentially additional tough.
The store fabricated a new, time period-proper rear stop working with 3D scans and fiberglass molds. It then painted it black, its initial shade, in advance of providing it a coat of crimson, the shade it wore when it was entered in the 24 Hrs of Le Mans, and ultimately spraying a next coat of black, the shade it was painted in when it raced in the Carrera Panamericana. It was equipped with seats from an Ardea — Lancia’s V4-run entry-degree product — when it raced, so Thornley Kelham sourced a pair and re-trimmed it. Interval-proper lettering extra a ending touch to the restoration.
The V6 engine and the four-speed guide transmission were wholly rebuilt. All explained to, resurrecting this one-of-a-sort Aurelia needed 4,000 hours of perform unfold out more than a a few-calendar year time period.
“Many years of modifications and misuse built this perhaps one of the most tough restorations we’ve at any time finished,” spelled out Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, in a statement. The store is at present doing the job on a challenge that seems to be even additional ambitions than reviving the Lancia. It truly is in the approach of bringing a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 purchased new and raced by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini again to existence right after a long time of neglect.