Victoria and the Island is known for its large number and variety of collector and vintage cars. We are lucky to have such a variety of special and rare cars, both domestic and foreign brands. One that recently came to my attention and is owned by a Victoria area collector is the 1955 Lancia Aurelia GT Coupe. I first saw this car at a European cars & coffee event at the Oak Bay Marina earlier this year and manged to get myself invited over to the owners garage to take a closer look.
This is a significant vehicle as there were very few imported to North America and most of them went to the USA, this cars is one of them. The Aurelia was manufactured from 1950 – 1958 with 1955 being the first year they were available in left hand drive and imported to the USA. Another unique feature was the 2.5 litre v6 engine which was the very first ever V6 developed for a production car.
One of a limited run of cars that were assembled in the Pininfarina works with special interior (such as original leather interior) and mild exterior fittings (such as original tinted windows). The entire batch (about 10 cars) were all shipped to the USA and sold mainly to the west coast, this car was even displayed in the 1956 Pebble Beach Concours. Interestingly this car comes with a floor mounted shifter when most were built with a column shifter. This car originally came in light blue but was changed to Magenta during a restoration in 1977.
The owner says it is a pleasure to drive and wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a long distance trip. In the past the car has successfully completed a 1,000 mile rally with no problems. I gladly volunteered to be the copilot should he decide he wanted to do another such trip, here’s hoping!