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1954 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Outlaw

Canepa

1954 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Outlaw
Canepa
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SH ID

23-0313001

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Description

“The coolest looking Lancia Aurelia!” –Bruce Canepa

 

#3 of only 9 total builds from Thornley Kelham

 

Over 5,000 build hours

 

Based on the Bracco Aurelia race car for inspiration

 

3” chopped roof, bespoke bodywork, custom interior

 

Lancia Flaminia-based 2.8 liter v6 producing 225 horsepower

 

4-speed manual transmission

The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT came from humble beginnings. The original Aurelias had the first production V6 engines, and it only took a matter of time before people started testing their limits. The first series of B20 GT cars were built in early 1950. They were 2-door sports cars and were considered some of the first Gran Turismo cars in the world. During the 1951 Mille Miglia, demand outstripped supply for these little sports cars after proving their worth during the races. With an adept chassis and significant power for the time, the cars were becoming popular and eventually evolved over time spanning the course of 6 different series of Aurelia B20 GTs. Not often does the idea come about of turning an Aurelia B20 GT into some sort of “outlaw”, a car that is restored and upgraded without the usual rules of engagement if concours shows. Thornely Kelham of Gloucestershire isn’t just your normal restoration facility, as they have the skills and know-how to create designs anew. Having sourced and restored the “Bracco” Aurelia B20 GT, a special racecar that took 2nd overall in the Mille Miglia and a scored a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1951, Thornely was acutely aware of the intricacies of the Aurelia platform, but also heavily drawn towards it. One of the most notable features of the Bracco car was the hot rod-like chopped roof, no doubt in an effort to streamline the car at the time. After the restoration and appearance at Pebble Beach in 2015, the idea was planted of a Fuorilegge (“outlaw” in Italian), which brings us to this special car. The 1st B20GT Outlaw project began with an American collector asking Thornley Kelham if they would build something like the Bracco car, but with modern upgrades paired with the “outlaw” philosophy that has been popularized by the Porsche 356 community. With “about a half a second of hesitation” they said yes, they could do that. They found a disheveled 6th series Aurelia, stripped it down to the bare bones, and began to chop, widen, and create the outlaw. Over 5,000 hours were invested in that first car and the cars after it, it being the test bed and having a large amount of creative license to create what Thornley Kelham thought would be the best interpretation. All four fenders were widened, fatter tires fitted, Jaguar D-type style wheels added, bumpers and rain rails removed, the front turn signals hidden inside of the head lights, Nardi scoop cut into the hood. On the inside, an Alcantara headliner, Porsche Speedster seats, and an FIA-spec roll cage certainly gives the vibe of a street racer with class. Mechanically, the car was quite different than before. While the Lancia uses a Flaminia V6 engine, it was bored out to 2.8-liters with more powerful camshafts and a custom exhaust to produce about 185hp, giving a healthy boost over a stock engine. The steering rack was upgraded to a rack and pinion setup, brakes upgraded to discs on all four corners (but inboard brakes on the rear), and the sliding pillar suspension has custom gas-filled shock absorbers to look factory but produce modern handling capabilities. When the time came to reveal the newly-created outlaw, Thornley Kelham were a little anxious as they were not sure how the car would be received. Fortunately for them, the B20 GT outlaw was met with thunderously positive responses at the 2015 Salon Prive’ held at Blenheim Palace. Two orders for the cars were made that day, and then two more shortly afterwards. Soon enough, Thornley Kelham were building their 5th and 6th cars in January of 2019. Aurelia B20 GT Outlaw chassis #3, the car here, is one of the early orders for Thornley Kelham. Finished in Lancia Racing Blue with a crème stripe over the hood and paired with a beautiful Oxblood Red interior. This vehicle is a true masterpiece, owing to its many meaningful specifications. One of which is the seats which are inspired by the 275 GTB to help preserve the overall Italian-ness of the car. Another is the 2.8-liter engine, which, like other Aurelia Outlaws, now has fuel injection. This car however has been fitted with a more improved fuel injection system allowing for an output of 225hp. Air conditioning was added to keep you cool, an upgraded pedal setup for supreme feedback, a special smaller Lancia steering wheel, an analog gauge panel under the dash, Series 1 Art Deco headlights, and a few other subtle touches that set this car apart from any others. The sloping roofline is still one of the most stunning parts of the car, hand formed by the artesian craftsman of Thornley Kelham. Since its completion in 2019, this Outlaw has garnered just over 3k miles with drives in the 2019 Coupe de Alps (France) and in the Zoute Grand Prix (Belgium). When it was brought over to the US, it was cautiously air-freighted to avoid the possibility of sea transport corrosion. After touching down, the vehicle was then displayed at the Quail in 2021 and was most recently featured on an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. When the Lancia arrived at Canepa, eyes wandered over to the car and began taking in all the details. The deep Lancia Blue color, the swooping body lines, the immense attention to detail, and the supreme craftsmanship. One of the most unique and stunning cars to come through Canepa’s doors, it was certain that the Lancia was in the right place among the other cars in our facility. Being able to custom design and build a car with the highest degree of quality and attention to detail is quickly becoming a lost art. Finding skilled craftsman to carry out someone’s ultimate vision is increasingly difficult, but the team at Thornley Kelham have not only managed to do it, but they have completely surpassed the previously-set bar. From the nickel-plated hardware to the perfect metal shaping of all the fenders by hand, the custom upholstered seats to the ultimate tactile and sensory feedback that the steering, suspension, and the 2.8-liter Lancia V6. The Lancia Aurelia B20GT Outlaw is a car that will be remembered and cherished for years to come.