Beautiful B12: 1955 Lancia Aurelia offered at Bring a Trailer auctions

Willie Grace | 11/25/2014, 10:41 a.m. | Updated on 11/25/2014, 10:41 a.m.
This example, a 1955 B12 Berlinetta, isn't the most desirable Aurelia body style -- that would probably be the coupe ...
"Dead-reliable Italian classic" isn't an oxymoron with this B12 Aurelia.

Ready for a Sunday cruise or a drive to Capetown

Introduced in 1950, the Lancia Aurelia combines understated, timeless styling with then-cutting-edge technology. Under its hood sits the world's first production V6, mated to a four-speed transaxle.

This example, a 1955 B12 Berlinetta, isn't the most desirable Aurelia body style -- that would probably be the coupe -- nor is it the cleanest, most original Lancia of its kind on the planet. But it will take you to Cape Town and back with minimal mechanical problems, if that's what you're looking to do.

How do we know? Well, that's exactly what its current owner, Walter Miller, says he did with it, and we believe him: we got the story from him in person when we took the Aurelia for a spin earlier this year.

The car's 2,266 cc V6 is original, but it's been worked on and puts down something like 150 hp (up substantially over the stock 90 hp). Many of the aftermarket modifcations Miller found when he bought the car have been undone; gone is the roll cage and non-period seats, replaced with a set of correct seats -- possibly the ones that originally came with the car, as there aren't many sets of B12 seats out there -- sourced from Europe. Some rally essentials, like fuel cells, underbody skid plates, and stainless braided brake hoses and fuel lines, remained.

The Aurelia is currently up for auction at Bring a Trailer. With over a week left, it's comfortably under $40,000.

If you've ever contemplated entering the Colorado Grand or California Mille -- or you've set your sights on more challenging rallies in more exotic locales -- this might just be the Italian classic for you. Check out all the photos and dive into the documentation at Bring a Trailer.

For more information go to http://www.autoweek.com