Today’s car is a 1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Fuorilegge (Outlaw) one of nine built by Thornley Kelham. I photographed this car at Manhattan Beach Cars & Coffee located at The Point in El Segundo, CA. The car is finished in Lancia Racing dark blue, with cream bonnet stripe and wheels and an oxblood red leather interior. It is powered by a 225 hp, 2.8-liter, Flaminia V6 engine, converted to fuel injection and mated to a 4-speed manual transaxle. Slowing this beauty down are discs in all four corners with inboard brakes in the rear. The lowered suspension has a sliding pillar system, much like the Morgan, that has been customized with nitrogen gas-filled shock absorbers to look factory, but produce modern handling responses.
Thornley Kelham, a Cotswolds, UK based company that specializes automobile restoration which includes many Lancia’s. They took on the task of a comprehensive restoring the original Aurelia B20GT driven by Giovanni Bracco at the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1951. After being shown at Pebble Beach in 2014 Thornley Kelham was approached by an American collector with the idea of making a normal-rules-don’t-apply version of the B20GT an “Outlaw”. Similar to what Henry Pearman at Eagle does with Jaguar E-Types and what Ron Emory does with Porsche 356s. It took Thornley about a half a second to say “YES”. One of the most notable features of the Bracco car was the chopped top, performed by Lancia with an effort to streamline the car.
They found a 6th series Aurelia that was in bad shape, stripped it down, and began to create the outlaw. Resculpted the chopped top, widening all four fenders by 2″, fatter tires, Jaguar D-type style wheels added, bumpers and rain rails removed, the front turn signals hidden inside of the Series 1 art deco headlights, the rear lamps B20GT Series 2 style, Nardi scoop cut into the hood, and Monza style fuel filler cap. The interior highlights the Alcantara headliner (a soft, suede-like material), Porsche Speedster seats, the double stitch diamond pattern quilting, new pedal configuration to accommodate the left hand drive conversion and a 6 point roll cage that is almost invisible. The list of modification goes on forever.
The car had been named after a Roman road: the Via Aurelia, leading from Rome to Pisa. The Lancia Aurelia B20 coupe was an elegant but rather plain car, even though it had been styled by Ghia and body by Pininfarina.
The original car that had over 5000 hours to complete was met with resounding positive responses at the 2015 Salon Prive’. Two orders for the cars were made that day. This race car inspired car has taken the term Restomod to new levels with its European touches. The color, the beautiful flowing body lines, the super attention to detail, the upgrade components and the amazing craftsmanship makes you just want to stare at this car. It is the perfect car for Concours d’Elegance, vintage races, Cars and Coffee events or for me taking it through the S’s in our local canyons would be ideal. Thank you for riding along. Frank