Exotic Cars

Lancia B20GT Outlaw

vintage sports car

Vintage sports car

Driving from Verona to Milan last fall, we passed a white Lancia coupe headed in our same direction. I dropped my speed just to get a quick picture of what I’ve always considered one of the great automotive designs. A beautiful, original car, but how much originality will it ultimately maintain is up to the owner. Headed for a rally, restoration, chop and channel?

Like the Panama Canal that divided that country in half, the battle rages on between those that feel that cars, especially vintage, shouldn’t be messed with, and those that feel a title confers your right to do anything you want with your hunk of iron. I fall firmly into the latter camp. Thornley Kellham in Cirencester, UK. has been doing high-quality restorations for years while also transforming certain client’s cars into something special and this B20 GT restomod is only one of many vintage machines he has stamped his signature on.

What started as a derelict Lancia B20 GT has been transformed into one of those cars you want to walk around, several hundred times, while nursing a good glass of wine. Gorgeous from any angle, with a 3 inch chopped roof, slightly flared fenders, now sporting a 2.8 L V6 engine from a later Lancia Flaminia, this B20 produces 225 horsepower, vs. the original cars having between 75 and 118 HP.

vintage sports car

This restomod Lancia is actually based on a Carrera Panamericana racing machine that was similarly modified and prepared for the grueling road race through Mexico, and it’s easy to see why many people want one. The Carrera car had rack and pinion steering, specially made brakes, suspension and lowered springs. Where it finished is history, and the past restoration of this important racing car eventually became copied into this Outlaw.

old sports car

black sports car

The Lancia B20 GT two-passenger coupe was introduced in 1951, and was an instant hit with wealthy European drivers. Innovative in the extreme, the B20 was blessed with the first V6 in a production car, inboard rear brakes, special transmission attached to a rear transaxle. Blessed with light weight, a monocoque chassis and state of the art (for 1951) handling, with very little racing preparation it immediately took second place in the 1951 Mille Miglia. Suddenly everyone wanted one and the B20 GT became the flag bearer for Lancia, both adored by the Italian rich, and by well heeled individuals campaigning in the Mille, Targa Florio and other exclusive events throughout Europe.

The European line-up’s impeccable interiors, reimagined by Thornley Kelham with redesigned layouts, leather-trimmed rollcages and new materials, will be finished by O’Rourke.… It will represent the finishing touch on a range of cars that must bring together world-class engine-building and chassis experience with decades of top-tier concours-standard restoration expertise and a dedication to ultimate perfection. World-class restoration service in house; reimagined and modified classics from design to project delivery through our European programme; classic rally preparation and support; engineering; servicing and a discreet sales operation.

Some call these restomods “Outlaws”, sometimes used as a compliment, while others often use the term as an insult. Owning one of these, I would be happy to suffer insults all day long.


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