1953 Lancia Aurelia B52 PF200 C Spider Pininfarina

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At the Turin Motor Show in the spring of 1952, Pinin Farina (later, simply Pininfarina) debuted a new concept car built on a Lancia B52 Aurelia chassis alongside their freshly redesigned Nash-Healey. Pinin Farina’s new Aurelia was abundant with Jet Age styling cues and featured a protruding circular nose with a large chromed bezel, reminiscent of the intake of an F-86 Sabre fighter plane. A raked windshield, pontoon-style fenders, and uninterrupted beltlines led to a finned tail that had six individual exhaust tips emerging immediately above the rear bumper. This unique roadster was dubbed the PF200 and was the first of a short run of similarly styled cars that Pinin Farina built over the next four years, which all featured the signature gaping nose and general proportions of the first Turin car. This run principally consisted of two more open-top cars and three to four coupes.

 

No two PF200s were identical, with only the prototype featuring the circular nose. Succeeding versions were constructed with more ovular shapes, while some had standard tailpipes, and others featured the bumper-through exhausts of the original Turin car. Even the three open cars varied from one another, as one had a removable top and side curtains (in true spider fashion) and the others featured wind-up windows and a more permanent soft top. With a fire at the Pininfarina factory reportedly destroying a fair amount of documentation, including the individual records of the PF200 examples, definitive original sources regarding the model are scant, but it is believed that no more than a total of eight cars were produced, with perhaps just over half of those surviving today.

 

CHASSIS NUMBER B52 1052: THE PF200 C

The second of what is believed to be three open-top examples of the PF200 built, chassis number B52 1052 was shown at the Geneva Salon in March 1953. Slightly more ornate than the original prototype, it had chrome hashes behind the doors and featured front bumperettes that were directly underneath the headlamps, rather than in the inboard bumper arrangement of the prototype. It is the only car of the entire run to feature a nose badge that reads “pf200 C,” prompting speculation that this car was conceptually positioned as a competizione version of the style. It was equipped with a two-position windscreen and omitted wind-up windows, for a more sporting appeal.

 

The PF200 concept again appeared the following month at the 1953 Turin Motor Show. As with the other PF200 examples, this Aurelia was constantly being updated by Pinin Farina, as evidenced by minor changes from appearance to appearance, including sometimes being finished in different colors. Following its appearance at Turin, B52-1052 was next photographed at the Stresa International Concours d’Elegance in September 1953, where the car won a Grand Prize Honor. A placard commemorating this win was mounted to the dashboard, and this original distinction continues to grace the car today. By this time, the Lancia had been equipped with a full windshield frame, complete with a top edge that features a charming ‘blip’ curve in front of the driver, as well as wind-wings and a hood deflector (à la competition cars). The presence of Milan license plates reading “MI 215522” suggests that this Spider had been purchased and registered by a private owner at this point.

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