Launched in 1950, the impressive Aurelia is one particular of the most sought-just after Lancia products produced just after Entire world War II. Collectors pay a high quality for automobiles with a documented racing background, and one particular-offs constructed as in-dwelling experiments are fascinating, so it is no speculate a 1951 coupe that ticked both of those packing containers deserved a four,000-hour restoration.
United Kingdom-based mostly shop Thornley Kelham spelled out a rich privateer racer named Giovanni Bracco ordered this 1951 Aurelia new in Italy and took it racing pretty much quickly. It completed 2nd general in that year’s Mille Miglia, 1st at the Caracalla Night time Race, and it acquired 1st in its course (and twelfth general) in the 24 Hrs of Le Mans. These had been impressive benefits for the Aurelia, whose most important assert to fame was becoming the 1st regular-output car geared up with a V6 motor, but Lancia was no stranger to podium finishes.
Its tale took an intriguing flip when it confirmed up at the 1951 edition of the Carrera Panamericana with a markedly lessen roof line. Bracco understood the Lancia family members well, and he arranged to have its prime chopped at the factory to make it much more aerodynamic. He crashed on the fourth working day of racing, sold it to a Mexican architect, and returned home. It re-appeared at the next year’s Carrera Panamericana and completed ninth right before disappearing. Some speculated it was hidden in The usa others assumed it experienced been crushed and recycled.
The 1st hypothesis was correct, but proving it was a lot easier stated than done. The car experienced obtained a redesigned rear stop Thornley Kelham explained as hump-backed and Volkswagen Beetle-like. Some of the initial components experienced been reduce out and discarded, which produced the restoration procedure exponentially much more difficult.
The shop fabricated a new, period-correct rear stop working with 3D scans and fiberglass molds. It then painted it black, its initial coloration, right before giving it a coat of pink, the coloration it wore when it was entered in the 24 Hrs of Le Mans, and finally spraying a 2nd coat of black, the coloration it was painted in when it raced in the Carrera Panamericana. It was fitted with seats from an Ardea — Lancia’s V4-driven entry-level product — when it raced, so Thornley Kelham sourced a pair and re-trimmed it. Period of time-correct lettering additional a finishing touch to the restoration.
The V6 motor and the 4-velocity guide transmission had been fully rebuilt. All explained to, resurrecting this one particular-of-a-form Aurelia required four,000 hrs of do the job spread out over a three-12 months period.
“Decades of modifications and misuse produced this possibly one particular of the most hard restorations we’ve at any time done,” spelled out Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, in a statement. The shop is currently doing the job on a job that appears to be like even much more ambitions than reviving the Lancia. It truly is in the procedure of bringing a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 ordered new and raced by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini again to lifestyle just after many years of neglect.