Cohort Capsule: Lancia Aurelia – The Right Way To Do Suicide Doors

posted at the Cohort by Staxman

Leave it to Lancia to build the ultimate suicide doors. The Aurelia, which appeared in 1950 and was built until 1958, had a number of superb technical aspects, some of which we’ll touch upon here. But its suicide doors, without any center pillar, really takes that concept to the max.

Here it is from the other side, with doors closed. It was a very fine looking car for 1950; not exactly the ultimate leading edge of design, which would have given it the slab “pontoon” sides, but graceful and refined.

Here’s the door locks on the sill. There’s another set on the top. I assume it worked well enough. With a suicide rear door, it’s not necessary for the door to be as long as in a conventional one, given the way one enters more from the front.

The Aurelia bristled with advanced technical features, such as it s rear-mounted transmission/axle and independent rear suspension. An in the front was the world’s first production V6, a brilliant 60 degree mill developed by Francesco de Virgilio. It started out as a 1.8 L, and soon grew to 2.0, and 2.5 liters.

The transmission’s location at the rear makes itself very noticeable in this shot, as there’s no transmission hump. Looks like a FWD car floor with a small tunnel for its exhaust or such. Needless to say, weight distribution was excellent, as was its resulting handling.

I can’t begin to do these superlative cars justice here today, but they are considered as some of the finest built cars of their times. If you want more info, we’ve covered the various versions before here; the links are at the bottom.

The Aurelia begot a superb coupe and spider, both of which are now extremely valuable collector cars.

So come on in and catch up Lancia history and the variants:

The Many Deadly Sins of Lancia  Tatra87

The Aurelia B20 Coupe  R. Kim

Aurelia B24 Spyder  P.Schoar