- Lancia Aurelia B50 Cabriolet – The 1951 Geneva Motor Show Car
- Coachwork by Pinin Farina with embeleshments by Saoutchik
- Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance prize winner
- Stunning restored condition
- Five known owners from new
Designed by the great Vittorio Jano, the Lancia Aurelia was worthy of the imagination and standards of Vincenzo Lancia. Most of the major Italian design houses built small series of cars on the B50 platform, usually coupes and a few sedans from Vignale, Allemano, Castgna, Bertone, Ghia, Boneschi and Viotti, among others. However, the first body the B50 chassis was Pinin Farina, who arguably created the most attractive design to grace the platform, an elegant 2+2 convertible. Of the nearly 500 B50 chassis made, 265 were this model.
The Pinin Farina cabriolet was the most in-demand among the coach built Aurelias. Such was its appeal that the Pinin Farina cabriolet was offered as an official catalogued model of the factory, through all factory Lancia dealers. With the production of coach-built Alfa Romeos in decline, the Aurelia was Italy’s prestige car choice as well as their fine detail, fit and finish marked them as the equal of any luxury model of the post-war period.
There was an arrangement between Lancia and Pinin Farina that the majority of the Aurelia B50 chassis’ which received the Pinin Farina cabriolet body, were sold through the Lancia dealer network. Outside this network a number could be sold directly to clients by the Pinin Farina company.
Built in the late 1950, the first year of production, this Lancia Aurelia is believed to have been the Pinin Farina Geneva Motor Show car of 1951 and was sold from the show stand to a woman from England. In 1953, the Aurelia was sold to an American and the Virginia based owner who retained the car until his death in 1995 when it was inherited by his son. He sold it in 1998, and it was at this point running but in need of restoration. In 1999, Rick Fitzgerald purchased the car and began a meticulous restoration on the Lancia at great financial cost, lasting from 2000 until 2005. The car was an excellent candidate for the extensive restoration as it had covered what is believed to be barely 34,000km.
Complimented by it’s black canvas top and chocolate brown leather with grey piping, the Grigio Conchiglia (shell grey) livery of this Aurelia B50 Cabriolet is subtle, elegant and perfectly suited to it’s clean and classic design. Finished just prior to the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, it was invited to enter a class devoted to the cars of the Pinin Farina design house and coach builder. The car then prevailed to win a third-place prize against formidable competition within the class. It came into the Gooding’s possession when it was sold at auction in 2006. In 2009 the B50 was shown at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley, California. Since the ownership of the car by the current owner, the B50 has been driven approximately 200 miles and is in all ways as impressive as it was when it first emerged from restoration five years ago.
This Lancia Aurelia is complete with original tools, Marchal headlamps and fog lamps, and some recent mechanical work has been performed to ensure comfortable and reliable touring. Scrupulously maintained mechanically and kept sharp cosmetically. With its original low mileage, comprehensive restoration and negligible miles driven since, this Lancia is an excellent example of a rare and important piece of the great marque’s history. The Aurelia is acknowledged to be one of the greatest post-war cars ever built, with engineering and design advanced well ahead of its time. For one of the most elegant and sophisticated representations of the model, look no further than this superb Pinin Farina convertible.
It has come to the attention of The Classic Motor Hub that the car underwent modifications by the world famous Parisian coach builders, Saoutchik. This car is one example, showing details such as decorative chrome trim on the rear fenders, perforated shields over the exhaust resonators and a starburst “cut class” detail in the front turn signal lenses, repainting the car from white to French blue, replacing the top from black to blue, adding front and rear fog lights, adding bumper overrides as well as changing the interior colour from black and white to blue and white.
This car is available for immediate inspection at The Classic Motor Hub.