June 3, 2023

Mechanic Escape

Built for the human race

Experimental 1951 Lancia Aurelia restoration took 4,000 hours

Launched in 1950, the progressive Aurelia is 1 of the most sought-after Lancia versions made after Globe War II. Collectors shell out a top quality for cars with a documented racing historical past, and 1-offs developed as in-dwelling experiments are interesting, so it’s no ponder a 1951 coupe that ticked equally boxes deserved a 4,000-hour restoration.

United Kingdom-based shop Thornley Kelham defined a wealthy privateer racer named Giovanni Bracco obtained this 1951 Aurelia new in Italy and took it racing pretty much right away. It finished second total in that year’s Mille Miglia, initial at the Caracalla Evening Race, and it earned initial in its course (and twelfth total) in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. These had been spectacular final results for the Aurelia, whose major claim to fame was currently being the initial typical-output motor vehicle equipped with a V6 engine, but Lancia was no stranger to podium finishes.

Its tale took an intriguing convert when it confirmed up at the 1951 edition of the Carrera Panamericana with a markedly decrease roof line. Bracco realized the Lancia family members perfectly, and he organized to have its best chopped at the manufacturing facility to make it extra aerodynamic. He crashed on the fourth day of racing, bought it to a Mexican architect, and returned home. It re-appeared at the next year’s Carrera Panamericana and finished ninth in advance of disappearing. Some speculated it was concealed in The united states other individuals assumed it had been crushed and recycled.

The initial hypothesis was correct, but proving it was much easier stated than done. The motor vehicle had been given a redesigned rear conclude Thornley Kelham explained as hump-backed and Volkswagen Beetle-like. Some of the authentic parts had been lower out and discarded, which made the restoration procedure exponentially extra demanding.

The shop fabricated a new, time period-correct rear conclude working with 3D scans and fiberglass molds. It then painted it black, its authentic shade, in advance of offering it a coat of purple, the shade it wore when it was entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and finally spraying a second coat of black, the shade 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 model — when it raced, so Thornley Kelham sourced a pair and re-trimmed it. Time period-correct lettering included a ending contact to the restoration.

The V6 engine and the four-speed manual transmission had been completely rebuilt. All instructed, resurrecting this 1-of-a-form Aurelia needed 4,000 hrs of do the job spread out about a 3-12 months time period.

“Many years of modifications and misuse made this most likely 1 of the most tough restorations we have ever done,” defined Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, in a assertion. The shop is currently doing the job on a task that appears to be even extra ambitions than reviving the Lancia. It’s in the procedure of bringing a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 obtained new and raced by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini again to life after decades of neglect.