How much did an Aurelia cost? Back then, it also depended on where you bought the car. The prices varied a great deal by country. For example, a B10 bought in Italy in 1951 cost $2,928, but was 35% more if bought in Switzerland. In Rosani’s article in Storia della Lancia, he listed prices for all models in Italy, from that time and in 1991 equivalents. Jean-Pierre Baumgartner has provided Swiss prices for Lancias from 1952, and these are summarized in the first table below. To facilitate comparisons, the Italian and Swiss prices are then converted to US$ in the second table.
A few interesting facts emerge. For example, – a B21 was 15% more expensive than a B10 in Italy. – a B20 was about 50% more than a B10 in Italy. – a s.2 B20 cost about $4,600 in Italy, but $ 7,209 in Switzerland (1952). – a B24 Spider cost $5,325 (1955) in the US and $6,900 in Switzerland. – B20 prices in the US varied. The s.4 was $6,175 in 1955 by Inskip and in 1958, it was listed at $5,830 by Hoffman, which was about $1,200 more than in Italy.
1. here are the Italian prices along with Swiss prices: 1950’s Lira 1991 Lira 1952 Swiss Fr. B10 1951 1,830,000 36,253,000 18,150 B21 1951 2,305,000 41,621,000 22,600 B20 (1) 1951 2,870,000 51,823,000 B20 (2) 1952 31,000 B20 (5) 1956 2,922,000 43,565,000 B24 (4) 1955 2,822,000 29,500 Alfa 2500 SS 1952 43,700 Ferrari 212 Inter 48,000
2. Next, the same information (1950s prices) but in US$ equivalents (early prices from a Lancia letter from 1952. Later prices by importer ads, as noted): Italy US Switzerland B10 1951 $2,928 $3,305 $4,220 B21 1951 $3,688 $3,727 $5,255 B20 (1) 1951 $4,592 B20 (2) 1952 $4,645 $7,209 B20 (4) 1955 $4,675 $6,175* B20 (5) 1956 $5,830** B24 (4) 1955 $5,325*** $6,900 Alfa 2500 SS 1952 $10,162 Ferrari 212 Inter $11,162
* from a 1955 Inskip price list ** from a 1958 ad by Hoffman *** from a 1955 Inskip advert US prices were not so far from prices in Italy, but a Swiss customer paid quite a bit more. A B20 in Italy might cost $ 4,645, but if bought across the border in Switzerland, would cost $7,209. By comparison, an Alfa 2500 SS cost over $10,000 and a Ferrari 212 was over $11,000. A B24 Spider would cost $6,900 in Switzerland, however the Spider was advertised in 1955 by Inskip in the US for $ 5,325.Although the B20 couple was listed at $6,175. By 1958 prices had changed in the US – the coupe and the B24 convertible were being officially imported by Hoffman, and were listed for $5,830. One other thing : the list price of a B20 in Italy didn’t change very much during the 1950’s. The first series was listed at 2,870,000 lira, the fourth series at 2,822,000 (per Lancia PR material in my collection), and the fifth at 2,922,000. But if one looks at the prices in 1991 equivalents, a very different story emerges: Rosani notes that the first series is (in 1991) priced at 51,823,000 lira, and the fifth series is 43,565,000 lira. This corresponds to about an 18% drop in price due simply to depreciation of the Italian lira. Did this matter? It is hard to know for sure. Perhaps the cost of labor and goods in Italy in the 1950’s did not reflect this so quickly. Nevertheless, this is a pretty large devaluation, and may have had some impact on Lancia’s fiscal health.