Chassis No. B56S 1006
Engine No. B12 N 2746
Two tone black over aqua blue with red leather upholstery.

Engine: V6, overhead valve, 2,266cc giving 87bhp at 5,000rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Brakes: four wheel drum; Suspension: front, sliding pillar with solid axle and coil springs; rear, De Dion axle with leaf springs. Left hand drive.

Vincenzo Lancia was born in 1881 and his first job was as a bookeeper to Giovanni Ceirano's bicycle import business in Turin. When Fiat took over Ceirano in 1899 Lancia became head inspector. A year later he started an eight year racing career with Fiat. In November 1906, he set up as a manufacturer, forming Lancia & Cie, Fabbrica Automobili. By 1908 he started to produce cars and the first model was called an Alfa. The most famous car produced prior to the second world war was undoubtably the Lambda series which was produced throughout the 1920s. It was a highly innovative car for its day, with its single-overhead cam V4 engine, vertical coil independent front suspension, unitary contruction of the chassis and four wheel brakes. The car not only broke new ground in design but had excellent road holding capabilities and fine performance.

Like the Lambda before it, the Lancia Aurelia (and notably the B20 Coupe) was an outstanding success as the first new post-war model produced. It offered a stunning combination of light and beautiful monocoque coachwork with a light free revving 2 liter V6 engine, a transaxle and outstanding handling. It was designed by Gianni Lancia and the legendary former Alfa Romeo engineer Vittorio Jano. The Aurelia B20 was very successful as a racing car which led to the development of the D20, D24 and D25 race cars with V6 engines of 2.6 to 3.7 liter engines and claimed many victories including the 1953 Targa Florio and Carrera Panamerica and 1954 Mille Miglia and Taga Florio.

The initial Aurelia Sedans were built on a steel platform chassis and although the B20 series used unitary body construction, the separate chassis was retained on the B50 series to enable specialist coachwork to be fitted. This B56S chassis is one such example which was chosen to be fitted with an extremly rare Pininfarina design known as the "Florida". The first research prototype Florida was a two door coupe which was exibited at the Turin Motor Show in 1955. This stunning design is considered as one of Pininfarina's masterpieces and the Florida subsequently evolved into the Flamina (saloon and coupe). Following the prototype, just three four-door examples were manufactured, two in right hand drive form and the unique example offered here in left hand drive form.

The Florida was a radical departure from the conservative and traditional car design of the day and has led some commentators to say it was a turning point in car design which more than thirty years later still influences the entire world production. The whole approach to 'monolithic' designing (very rounded and closed cars, as if sculpted out of a solid block) suddenly gave way to an architecture of Juxtaposed panels, the 'void' enclosed by the roof acquiring an expressive strength of its own. Another critic elabotated: but most importantly it opened a radically new chapter in the interpretation of autobody design in general. The car was treated as two separate, superimposed volumes, clearly accentuated by the color break.
This unique Florida is in superb original condition and is thought to carry its original paintwork, which now has some age cracks. The only items thought to have been replaced are the tires, battery, modern temperature gauge (removable) and a new fuel pump. The interior red upholstery is all original and only the driver's seat shows any significant wear. Like the other two cars, this vehicle was probably a motor show exhibit and the pillarless design is neatly offset by a futuristic interior with a black trim and chrome strip running the length of the inside. The enthusiastic owner describes the performance and handling as outstanding for a vehicle of just 87 horsepower. As a former owner of a B20, he believes this car to handle better! The Florida is well publicized in many Lancia and Pinninfarina histories and here is a rare chance to acquire the real thing.

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