Lancia Aurelia Outlaw Euro CSL revealed with 3.2 Busso V6
Thornley Kelham to build last three Aurelia Outlaws in a lighter, faster European CSL spec
If you thought the chop-top phenomenon was limited to American hotrods based on Ford Model As, think again because British restorer Thornley Kelham has applied the same technique to European icons like the Lancia Aurelia in its ‘Outlaw’ restomod series. To finish off the nine car run, TK has revealed a European CSL specification for the final three units, each featuring a collection of further chassis upgrades, an aluminium body and Alfa Romeo’s iconic Busso V6 engine.
Each of the three units will be built to its owners visual specifications, but the technical package will be consistent between them starting with the Aurelia’s body and frame, which have been further strengthened and modified to handle the near three-times power increase the CSL offers. The biggest change compared to standard Aurelia Outlaws (if you can call them that) is the switch to an aluminium body in place of the previous steel.
This reduces weight by as much as 75kg, and is hand rolled and beaten like the steel body to create the unique chopped roof that so clearly identifies Outlaw models. TK estimates a single car takes 2200 man hours to strengthen, prep and shape the bodywork, which then sees another 800 hours in paint prep.
The engine is also a new item for the CSL, which now uses a 3.2-litre iteration of Alfa Romeo’s Busso V6. Some work has been done to the engine, including porting, polishing and balancing the heads, while new mapping and a bespoke exhaust system liberate an estimated 300bhp, around 50bhp more than the Busso’s most potent 247bhp application in late-model 147 and 156 GTAs. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed transaxle, which also houses a limited slip differential and an entirely bespoke independent rear suspension setup.
The CSL’s front suspension has undergone its own modifications, with more setup and hardware changes, while the brakes are also now discs rather than the drums of standard Aurelias.
But why the chopped roof, you might be asking? Well all Outlaw Aurelias have been built in homage to Giovanni Bracco’s one-off Mille Miglia Le Mans Aurelia B20GT, which also featured a lowered roof for the Pescara 6-hour race in 1951 to aid aero at a time when very little was known about racing car aerodynamics. This was the very car that Thornley Kelham restored and took to Pebble beach in 2015, making them ideal candidates to create this fascinating series of restomods.
The end of the Aurelia’s Outlaw series doesn’t suggest the end of TK’s restomod ambitions though, confirming that this is just the beginning of a new series of European CSL projects it will undertake in the coming years.