Lancia

These Striking Lancia Aurelia Restomods Pay Tribute to California’s Outlaw Mythology

These Striking Lancia Aurelia Restomods Pay Tribute to California’s Outlaw Mythology

The good old Lancia Aurelia has just been reborn as the ultimate high-end hotrod.

Inspired by California’s outlaw culture, Thornley Kelham has set about restoring nine examples of the iconic 1950s racer for collectors. To recap, the Aurelia B20GT was the first car to ever be equipped with a V-6 and radial tires, which made it hugely ahead of its time. The British outfit’s take on the low-slung ride, fittingly dubbed the “Outlaw”, has that same aggressive attitude, but packs even more power and panache.

The shop has actually already delivered a handful of revamped Outlaws, each featuring a tuned V-6 bored out to 2.8 liters. This lot is capable of churning out around 177 hp, whereas the original Aurelias were good for about 119 hp. That boost in power wasn’t enough Thornley Kelham, though.

The Outlaw sports a leather interior and wood steering wheel. 

Thornley Kelham

The last three restomods, known as the “European CSL”, have been given even more grunt. That’s because each car will be fitted with 3.2-litre “Busso” V-6—the same engine that appears in some truly legendary Alfa Romeos. The team says the new mill can produce in excess of 304 horses, which is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed transaxle gearbox. The four-wheelers will also be treated to modern brakes and an upgraded suspension for improved handling.
The formidable trio will be a lot lighter than their predecessors, too. (That explains the CSL, which typically stands for “coupe, sports and lightweight”.) The exterior will be hand-forged from aluminum panels rather than steel for a total fighting weight of roughly 2,425 pounds. In total, some 5,000 hours will be spent on each car, with 2,200 hours dedicated to strengthening and modifying the chassis and body.

The Outlaw’s V-6 can churn out more than 300 hp. 

Thornley Kelham

The interior, meanwhile, will be finished in full leather and fitted with a wood steering wheel and integrated roll cage. You can, of course, expect all the mod cons, such as A/C and power steering.
While the Outlaw is quite an achievement, Thornley Kelham isn’t resting on its laurels. In fact, the team says it has more reinventions in the works.
“The European CSL is the first of a new line-up of projects we have developed to launch in the coming years that will be badged as ‘The Europeans’ by Thornley Kelham,” co-founder Simon Thornley said in a statement. “As with the Aurelia commissions, these will be built around iconic performance cars, developed with fresh designs, upgraded performance and a meticulous eye for detail.”

Get ready for a whole army of outlaws.
Check out more photos below:

Thornley Kelham

Thornley Kelham

Thornley Kelham

Thornley Kelham

Thornley Kelham

Thornley Kelham

Thornley Kelham

Car of the Week: This 1975 Lancia Stratos Has Agility That Would Make a Hummingbird Jealous

Car of the Week: This 1975 Lancia Stratos Has Agility That Would Make a Hummingbird Jealous

Lancia isn’t exactly a household name, and when the Italian automaker stopped selling cars in North America in 1982, it was only a matter of time until the marque became forgotten by all but a few die-hard enthusiasts. Much of the malaise took hold after Lancia became a subsidiary of Fiat in 1969, and with the subsequent launch of the Beta series in the 1970s. Essentially rebadged Fiats, albeit great looking ones, the lineup included a coupe, estate wagon, sedan and the Montecarlo (Scorpion in America), which was a noteworthy Pininfarina design that looked like a tiny Ferrari. But with only 81 hp from an emission-control-choked Fiat inline-four engine, the cars had little bite to back up their sporting looks.

It wasn’t always that way, though, and it’s easy to imagine Vincenzo Lancia, who founded the company in 1906, rolling in his pine box at the thought of such compromised smog-era offerings. In its formative years and during its heyday, Lancia can be credited with some landmark engineering advances—the first to market with production cars featuring a complete electrical system, a monocoque chassis, an independent front suspension, a five-speed gearbox and a V-6 engine.

The 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale that will soon be offered online through Stratas Auctions. 

Photo by Jessica Lynn Walker, courtesy of Stratas Auctions.

Models like the 1921 Lambda, the Aurelia B20 coupes and ultra-collectible Aurelia B24 Spider from the 1950s are lynchpins in classic collections today, in part due to the high level of engineering and build quality that characterized Lancia automobiles. Of course, there’s also the timeless styling reflecting the best of their respective decades.
But the Italian automaker had a few tricks remaining as the 1960s came to an end, and in the field of rallying, there were few marques that achieved the success of Lancia. The small but mighty Fulvia HF Rallye was a front-wheel-drive terror, with all of 1,600 cc to prove that bigger isn’t always better. Fortuitously, the 1980s saw continued Lancia success with the Rally 037 and, later, the boxy-but-beautiful Delta S4 Integrale, all of which have become collectibles in their own right.

The Stratos model line comprises less than 500 examples. 

Photo by Jessica Lynn Walker, courtesy of Stratas Auctions.

No rally car in Lancia history, however, has achieved the renown of the Stratos HF, a stumpy design masterpiece penned by Marcello Gandini when he was at Bertone and working on the soon-to-come Lamborghini Countach. Made from 1973 to 1978, the Stratos HF (for High Fidelity) looks unlike any other car to come from the maestro’s pen, though certain styling cues— like the greenhouse—ever-so-slightly recall the Lamborghini Miura.

The 2,161-pound car’s transverse-mounted, 2.4-liter Ferrari Dino V-6 engine. 

Photo by Jessica Lynn Walker, courtesy of Stratas Auctions.

But the Stratos was not for rich-and-famous posers for whom Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis were often the automotive prop of choice. Instead, the bare-bones Lancia, with its buckboard-short 85.8-inch wheelbase, iffy fiberglass bodywork and minimalist cockpit, was aimed squarely at rally competition. And rally it did, in dominating fashion. It was a star of the Monte Carlo Rally, and won the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976. In race-car guise, it won the 1974 Targa Florio, took five victories in the Tour de France Automobile and three wins in the Giro d’Italia Automobilistico.

The Stratos HF Stradale, a stumpy design masterpiece penned by Marcello Gandini. 

Photo by Jessica Lynn Walker, courtesy of Stratas Auctions.

The formula for success was pretty simple, and put first things first. A space-frame chassis, a fiberglass body and a spartan interior with door pockets large enough to store a racing helmet kept things light, with the Stradale (street) version tipping the scales at a mere 2,161 lbs. Under the rear clamshell engine lid is a transverse-mounted, 2.4-liter Ferrari Dino V-6 engine that makes about 190 hp at 7,000 rpm in street tune, and about 100 hp more in the competition version. A five-speed gearbox stirred things up, and lightning-fast rack-and-pinion steering made the 146-inch-long car as agile as a hummingbird in flight. With such a glorious competition history to its credit, and with just less than 500 made, the Stratos is a highly desirable collectible today.

While not specifically the rally version, Lancia’s Stratos HF Stradale still has a minimalist interior. 

Photo by Jessica Lynn Walker, courtesy of Stratas Auctions.

This 1975 example is a matching-numbers car, wearing correct-as-original Azzurro (blue) paint and fitted with its original drivetrain. It’s enhanced with an ownership history from new and an odometer reading just over 30,000 kilometers (roughly 18,641 miles). The exceptional representation of the model will be for sale online, offered by Stratas Auctions from September 8 through 24, and is estimated to fetch between $500,000 and $550,000.

Learn more about Robb Report’s 2022 Car of the Year at the event taking place in Napa Valley here and in Boca Raton here.

With This One-Off Lancia Prototype, You Can Own a Piece of Automotive History for $182,000

With This One-Off Lancia Prototype, You Can Own a Piece of Automotive History for $182,000

Automotive history is littered with broken dreams. For example, back in the late 1960s Alejandro de Tomaso dreamed up a plan that would see him takeover the Lancia marque and turn it into a genuine Ferrari rival. Needless to say, that scheme never came to fruition, but that doesn’t make the Fulvia HF Competizione prototype produced during that time any less impressive.

Designed by Tom Tjaarda as an attempt to coax Ford into buying the Italian automaker and installing de Tomaso as its CEO, the one-of-a-kind sports car is a true museum piece. And now it could be yours after RM Sotheby’s listed the yellow prototype for sale.

Lancia Fulvia HF Competizione prototype  RM Sotheby’s

In an attempt to win over Ford execs, including the legendary Lee Iacocca, de Tomaso and Tjaarda whipped up stylish grand tourer designed to be as comfortable on the race track as it was on country roads. The resulting car features a sleek wedge-like profile and a number of sporty flourishes, like a hood scoop and a large, retractable rear wing that give it real attitude. It doesn’t look all that different from the vehicles being built by the Italian supercar makers during the era, but it looked unlike anything else the Lancia badge had ever been slapped on before.
But there’s more to the Fulvia HF Competizione than its looks. De Tomaso and Tjaarda wanted the car to impress on the track. To facilitate this, the prototype’s modified chassis was fitted with a 1,600 cc V4 engine that supplied some real oomph. Other race car-like modifications include two independent oscillating wishbones, an aluminum gas tank to keep weight down, a quick-release fuel tank, roll cage and plexiglass windows. In fact, there appears to have been so much confidence in its racing ability that it was reportedly further modified and tested for Le Mans before the plan was eventually abandoned.
RM Sotheby’s

Having not sold at RM Sotheby’s most recent London auction, the Fulvia HF Competizione can be purchased now for about $182,000. One thing to note, though: You’ll have to travel to Chobham, UK, to pick up your new ride.

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