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New Aurelia book – a review

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Neils Jonassen has written a new book on the Aurelia, called “Lancia Aurelia in Detail”. The book is now beginning to be available in the US, and several people have asked for opinions on it.

Three things stand out with this book:

1) its a good consolidation of info on the birth of Aurelia. There is good information from the de Virgilio archives, and a good presentation of how the Aurelia came to be.

2)    there are very good individual summaries of the different models – the berlinas, the specials and the varied B20’s. In  general the detail is good, although not infallible.

3)    there is some nice work on placing Aurelias in context, both in competition and with other production cars of the time. Most of the references are to similar type (?) English cars, but other Italian and German cars are presented as well.

The book is not without a few faults, but none major. There are some minor errors, almost inevitable in any Aurelia history. There is also a bit of over-reliance on personal information retrieved from De Virgilio, and not a clear sense of the other players (engineers, designers) at the time. As both Gianni Lancia has elected to remain silent, and Jano is dead, information that comes to the table gets more attention.

THere are also some areas of repetition in the book. This is probably due to writing it in separate chapters, and not editing out the redundancy. Again, not major, but a bit unsettling.

There are good pictures of the different models, but in some cases, better examples could have been included. In particular, for a history like this, the s. 2 B20 selected should be one with original bodywork, not altered. The other models are better represented. It would be nice to have more information on some of special models, such as the station wagon or the B15, which are so rarely seen. But the information on the sedans is well done.

The good points of the book are that it places all the Aurelia information in one place, it updates the general history of the model, and it is in English (finally).

It provides little new information, but mainly serves as a solid, competent, and caring assembly of information that has been in separate places, and is now placed in one book. The technical data appears relatively accurate, but is mostly a repeat of infomation in other books. There is an inteesting chart of the cost of Aurelias vs. other cars in Switzerland, the only neutral, non-auto producing cuntry in a central location. This does place the Aurelia pricing in context, and is worthwhile. (note: in the blog, there is some additional pricing information on Aurelias in Switzerland as well, so I have to support this methodology!).

In conclusion, this is a worthy book. While not groundbreaking nor as complete as the history of Bernabo history, it is a solid compliaton and a good general contribution on an unrepresented model.

Aurelia GT – the book

Written by Geoff

February 5, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Aurelia

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