My Car Quest

April 15, 2024

This Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Hot Rod Is Awsome

by Mike –

Why don’t more owners of classic Italian cars restore them like some American car owners do using hot rod or restomod styles?

They would not be original but they can be oh so cool, and be better drivers, and even look better as our car here today demonstrates.

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

The Lancia Aurelia is a milestone car – the first with a V6 in a production car. It also had a successful racing history.

The 2-litre Aurelia, driven by Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli, finished second behind the Ferrari America in the 1951 Mille Miglia.

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

The same year it took first in class and 12th overall at LeMans. Modified Aurelias took the first three places at 1952’s Targa Florio with Felice Bonetto as the winner and another win on Lièges-Rome-Lièges of 1953.

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

1957 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Outlaw

I photographed this Lancia at the Carmel Concours-on-the-Avenue in August 2016.

The owner wrote,

The Aurelia introduced in 1951 embodied world-class engineering excellence and “giant killer” ability. Thornley Kelham of South Cerney, Gloucestershire, UK said that “they love working on Lancias” and so when approached to build a unique B20 GT inspired by the Bracco car, they immediately agreed. Starting with a derelict 6th Series B20 they chopped the roof and widened the fenders giving the car an aggressive look that matched the “resto-mod” approach to the engine bay, and interior in a matching mid-brown. Under the hood went a 2.8-liter V6 – quoted at 170 hp – sourced from the later Flaminia. Giant killer in black!

Owner – William E. “Chip” Connor of Reno, Nevada

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT

Below are some great hot rods, restomods and custom cars.

The Nickel Car (The Bob Morris Deuce Roadster) – owned by Bruce Meyer

'32 Ford Hot Rod -The Nickel Car

The DuVall windshield is what I noticed first about this beautiful Hot Rod. Most Hot Rods have a fairly flat single piece of glass for the windshield.

The DuVall windshield is split in the middle with each side sweeping back with metal in the middle holding the two pieces of glass together. In the case here the metal is nickel-plated.

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale – by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone

Ferrari Bertone

Ferrari 250 GT Bertone

This 1962 Ferrari is a one off Bertone design styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1961.

It is easy to spot the styling cues of Giugiaro. The hood scoop, for example, is similar to the hood scoop on the Iso Rivolta GT, also styled by Giugiaro.

Seduced – ’32 Ford Roadster – by Moal Coachbuilding

This car was owned by a former work colleague of mine, Paul Hansen (unfortunately he died a few years ago). It won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award in 2005.

Seduced by Moal

Seduced by Moal

1948 Buick Super Convertible – by Jonathan Ward

Buick Super Convertible

This car was at the Carmel Concours On The Avenue in 2014 – the sign on the car said,

1948 was the last year of the 1942 series Buick Super, a coupe with Sedanet fastback styling, low and wide, with the Airfoil front fenders.

Postwar the Series 50 Super combined the large Series 70 Roadmaster body with the “economical” Series 40 Special motor, the 248 ci Fireball straight-8.

Buick Super Convertible

America loved these cars. Jonathan Ward’s “The Most Advanced Form of Simple” Buick was “handmade in Los Angeles” by Icon whose style is “derelict” but whose substance is “highly modified daily driver” complete with Cadillac’s 2014 supercharged CTS-V 556 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that helps celebrate the visual romance of a barn find without the barn!

Buick Super Convertible

Gary Wales “Bentley”

Gary Wales "Bentley"

Gary Wales, still creating cars full tilt boogie at age 75. His Bentley, which modern Bentley designers insisted on taking to England to be inspirational to the boys on the boards.

Gary Wales "Bentley"

Gary Wales "Bentley"

Let us know what you think in the Comments – what car models would you like to see done as a hot rod, restomod or custom?

Strale Daytona 6000GT Prototype (Iso Daytona)

Strale Daytona 6000GT (built on an Iso Rivolta GT platform) – One-Off – photo by Mike Gulett

A version of this article was originally posted in November 2016. Photos by Mike Gulett and Wallace Wyss.

This Lancia Aurelia Hot Rod Is Awsome
Article Name
This Lancia Aurelia Hot Rod Is Awsome
Why not hot rod an Italian classic car like this Lancia Aurelia B20 GT? Or create a custom or restomod from any car?


  1. Byron LaMotte says

    Looks way COOL! Congratulations.

  2. Gorgeous!!!

  3. Mike Clarke says

    I saw this car three different times over the Monterey weekend and it does catch your eye at first, but then your brain kicks in and you can see from the lines that the italian’s wouldn’t build something like this. IMO the chop top just renders it into the ho hum hot rod world. There’s a reason companies paid Italian designers big money for designs.

  4. Siata 200CS roofline on this car really makes a difference to the look of it. Hot rod or not – beautiful car.

  5. The car is a great concept. Doing this to a “classic” will send purists into cardiac arrest but if the car is derelict anyways you have a great platform and a blank slate to work with so why not.
    Some people may not like the style taken by the builder but lots of Italian designers also performed some pretty blah designs in the day that are just begging for some alterations from a shop.
    I saw a Jaguar at a show that was modified like this before and even though it was received with mixed reviews it was saved from the scrap yard as it was not worth restoring to original.
    This could easily become a new trend even if it is on the fringe now. I hope to see more of these in the future.

  6. Raymond Zinn says

    Period, a beautiful car with classic lines. Who’da thought that they would create something like this. Any of the US customizers of the ’50s would say, good job.

  7. ben duijvestijn says

    you can do it also with 60ties italian cars

  8. Admit I’m usually not much of an outlaw/custom guy but loving this.
    What’s really special is how they customised mainly by using period-style mods.
    -Pirelli diamond rubber mats and quilted transmission tunnel as found in ’50s competition Ferarris.
    -period Marchal fog/driving lamps but here fared into the nose
    -Black paint over Cognac leather very 1950’s
    -’50s Porsche Speedster bucket seats
    etc. etc.
    Even the chopped roofline was sometimes done by Lancia on some of their factory competition cars back in the day.
    End effect is even though it is custom, it still has the feeling of an original car.
    Design so harmonious didn’t even notice the rollcage! ‘Fess up if you didn’t either! 😉

  9. Wayne Watkins says

    My old 53 VW Oval with 929 Mazda headlights , flared fibre glass guards , whale tail & 74 Australian Holden Torana tail lights , called a Vorsche

  10. Edwin Niles says

    Your “6000GT” sure looks like the “other Nembo” S/N 1623GT. Just sayin’.

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