- 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, Castagna, Bertone, Ghia, Boneschi and Viotti, among others. However, the first to 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 of choice. Their fine detail, fit and finish marked them as the equal of any luxury model of the post-war period.
Built in late 1950, the first year of production, this Lancia Aurelia is believed to have been the Geneva Motor Show car of 1951 and was sold to a Mrs Nancy Payne-Jennings from England. She sadly passed away within a year of purchasing the car and in August 1952 the Aurelia was sold to an American, Mr Jenkins of Virginia, who undertook an extensive tour of the UK and Europe.
During the tour he commissioned the world famous Parisian Carrosserie, Saoutchik, to work on the car, including various features such as the chroming to the rear flanks, auxilliary front lights, perforated silencer covers and extensive chromework to the interior, hood frames, door shuts etc. Indeed, this chromework is a well-known “signature” of Saoutchik’s work of the period: https://crankhandleblog.com/articles/ambitious-art-deco-artist-Jacques-saoutchik/
Mr Jenkins retained the car for over 40 years, keeping company with his 300SL, until his death in 1995, when it was inherited by his son Todd. He sold it in 1997 to a Mr Rick Fitzgerald, a Los Angles based professional car restorer who began a meticulous restoration on the Lancia, for his own personal use, lasting until 2005. The car was an excellent candidate for the extensive restoration as it had covered what is believed to be barely 34,000km and needed no welding work. Complimented by its black canvas top and grey leather, the Grigio Conchiglia (shell grey) livery of this Aurelia B50 Cabriolet is subtle, elegant and perfectly suited to its 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 coachbuilder. The car then prevailed to win a third-place prize against formidable competition within the class. Unfortunately, Mr Fitzgerald found himself getting divorced and it was sold at a Goodings auction in 2006.
Scrupulously maintained mechanically and kept sharp cosmetically, in 2009 the Lancia Aurelia B50 was shown at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley, California. Since the ownership of the car by the consigner, the B50 has been driven over 2000 miles and is in all ways as impressive as it was when it first emerged from restoration.
This Lancia Aurelia is complete with original tools, Marchal headlamps and fog lamps, and a recent service has been performed to ensure comfortable and reliable touring. With its original low mileage and comprehensive restoration and now showing 44,000 kms, this Saoutchik modified Lancia is a unique and 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 advanced engineering and design 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.
This car is now for sale and available for immediate inspection at The Classic Motor Hub.