There’d Be No Ferrari Portofino Without This 1952 Lancia Aurelia.


Believe it or not, It took almost six decades after the invention of the automobile before automakers realized it was a good idea to install a V6 engine in the goldilocks zone between a four-cylinder and an eight-cylinder road car. One brand or another had to make the leap of faith; in this case, it was the Italian Lancia that finally put two and two together with the absolutely gorgeous Aurelia. Happily, for us all, one that survived is now for sale.

Taking the distinction of one of the first Italian auto designs post Second World War, the Aurelia was designed by Lancia employees Vittorio Jano and Francesco de Virgilio and launched at the 1950 Turin motor show. Predating other famous names in premium Italian sports cars like Ferrari by at least several years.

Its two-liter V6 engine made 90 horsepower when new brand new. No modern F-Type Jaguar engine by any means, but in such a light car with such skinny tires, there’s still plenty of room for fun. Interestingly, the Aurelia also had four-wheel independent suspension, a technology first developed by Lancia in the 1920s with their Lambda. But still somewhat of a novel concept even in the 50s.

This example was imported to Switzerland in 1952 and has remained in the country with the same family who imported it until 2020. The car received a thorough body shop restoration sometime between 1988 and 1989, with an internal mechanical overhaul starting in 2020 and not finishing until 2021.

The anonymous private seller that listed this beautiful classic car for sale claims all the original dealership paperwork and a valid Swiss veteran registration good for another six years is still present and ready for sale along with the car.

The price for that privilege isn’t cheap. We’re talking $273,000 before they’ll even talk. A high price for any personal transportation, but this timeless classic is clearly much more than that. It also happens to be a more sound investment than a modern Italian sports car.