Unveiled to the public in 1950, Lancia’s Aurelia platform left a lasting impression from the start. Crafted under the guidance of the skilled engineer Vittorio Jano, this model, named after the historic 239-mile Via Aurelia connecting Rome and Pisa, showcased cutting-edge technology and innovative design. Boasting a unitary body construction, a clever rear transaxle, and the world’s inaugural production V-6 engine, adorned with hemispherical combustion chambers and in-line valves, the Aurelia distinguished itself as a swift, comfortable, and exceptionally well-handling vehicle in its class.
This marked Lancia’s transformation from a small coachbuilder to a mainstream manufacturer. While the Aurelia initially debuted as a four-door Berlina, by the second year of production, buyers had the option to choose the sleek B20 GT. The coupe’s effortlessly stylish two-door design made a timeless statement, standing out even among the most glamorous counterparts. Its performance matched its aesthetic appeal, thanks to the introduction of an upgraded 1,991 cc variant of Francesco de Virgilio’s groundbreaking V-6.
Over the Aurelia’s lifespan, five major revisions led to six distinct series. Notable changes included the introduction of the 2,451-cc engine in the Series III and the shift from semi-trailing arms to a De Dion tube rear suspension in the Series IV. However, it was the final Series VI variant that epitomized usability and refinement. Beyond inheriting technological advancements from earlier series, the concluding model featured subtle revisions such as improved sound insulation and opening quarter-light windows, making it the pinnacle of the Aurelia’s development.