1950 Lancia Aurelia: Dolce Vita from the 50s

1950 Lancia Aurelia: Dolce Vita from the 50s

EngineV 6 60-degree | Vee-TypeHorsepower56 BHP (41.216 KW) @ 4000 RPMEngine LocationFrontDrive TypeRWDWeight2435 lbs | 1104.497 kgTransmission4-speed manual

Lancia Aurelia was one of the first mass-produced Italian models in the post-war years. The car was the embodiment of elegance and the brand’s style epitome for the future years.

Source: Silodrome

Lancia’s golden age began in 1950 with the introduction of the Aurelia, which was, in fact, one of the first mass-produced models in the post-war period. The design was done by talented engineer Vittorio Jano from Alfa Romeo at the Pininfarina auto studio.  The vehicle became the epitome of elegance and style and went on sale in 1950. The attractive exterior, which fascinated the public, was not its only advantage. The main advantage was its technical part. The US market was one of the main directions for export. Moreover, American buyers welcomed the model warmly: it quickly became the favorite of all European sports car enthusiasts, competing with native Ford Thunderbird and Chevrolet Corvette.

The origins

Source: Curbside Classic

The Italian automaker company Lancia had a hard time in the first years after the Second World War, like all automakers, especially from Germany’s allied countries. Later, the Italian auto industry began to recover. Interestingly, the idea of ​​creating Aurelia emerged during the Second World War. The company first intended to develop a front-wheel drive version,  however, later abandoned this idea. A similar situation happened with cylinder choice: the 4- and 8-cylinders versions were forgotten in favor of a 6-cylinder engine. Remarkably, the car became the company’s late founder’s son –  Gianni Lancia’s first project. The new car received a self-supporting body, similar to the 1923 Lambda model, developed by a famous racing vehicle designer Vittorio Jano. The technical part, particularly the transmission, was developed by Francesco de Virgilio. The newly created vehicle became the world’s first V6 series, reviving the company’s image in the automobile industry.  Its name paid a tribute to the Italian roots, emphasizing its origin: it was named after one of the local roads which Italians traditionally traveled from Rome to Pisa. By launching this new model, Lancia once again declared itself as a strong player in the automotive industry.

The 1950 model year

Source: Stone Forest

The Lancia Aurelia of 1950 release was the first mass-produced model in automotive history, which received a V6 engine with aluminum structural elements, a central camshaft, and spherical combustion chambers. Sure, this was a specific choice, taking into account the applied technical solutions: there was one camshaft for two rows of cylinders, integrated cylinder valves, a 60-degree bank angle, and hemispherical combustion chambers. There were several upgrades over the years of production (from 1950 to 1958) when the working volume was increased from 1.8 liters to 2.5 liters. It was done, first of all, for compensating the possible loss of dynamics for heavier modifications. The 1950 model got another innovation: a camshaft-rotate valve lifter made of light alloys. The cylinder head was shortened compared with previous automobiles, giving it greater rigidity. Moreover, Weber’s two-chamber carburetor was located between the blocks. A four-speed manual transmission was equipped with a unique transaxle system, which allowed the gearbox and main gear in one housing. This made the automobile unique and different from the other vehicles of its time. The decision to place the gearbox as a single unit with the rear axle was also very innovative. In this case, the gears were switched by a lever located on the steering column. Only in the last years of production, this approach was abandoned.

Did you know?

Source: Pinterest

The first model had two versions – a convertible and a sedan. They had a common power plant, but for the convertible version, a special elongated chassis was used. Remarkably, the first convertible was not a mass-produced vehicle: only 256 copies were released. These cars were the brainchildren of talented Pinin Farina, who made no two identical automobiles from this series.

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1950 Lancia Aurelia: Dolce Vita from the 50s

EngineV 6 60-degree | Vee-TypeHorsepower56 BHP (41.216 KW) @ 4000 RPMEngine LocationFrontDrive TypeRWDWeight2435 lbs | 1104.497 kgTransmission4-speed manual

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