The Lancia Raggio Azzurro I or commonly known as the Lancia Nardi Blue Ray was unveiled at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, and also in Paris and New York Motor Shows.
Lancia Raggio Azzurro was created by Enrico Nardi, thus earned the Lancia Nardi Blue Ray moniker.
The Nardi Blue Ray was built on a tubular steel Pan American road racing chassis built by Nardi.
A Lancia Aurelia B20 2.5-liter 60 degrees V6 engine was then chosen to power the car. To increase the engine performance, Nardi then mated the engine with two twin-barrel Weber 40DZS carburetors. Nardi modifications further included Nardi-made modified camshaft, pistons, exhaust manifold, new radiator header, cast alloy functioning air scoop, and a new intake manifold to comply with the carburetor system. `
It was then mated to a Nardi floor-mounted gear changer and a four-speed Aurelia B20 gearbox.
The suspension system was a combination of vertical pillar independent suspension in the front and lateral half elliptic leaf springs in the rear. Drum brakes were Aurelia-derived ones.
These modifications resulted in a power output of 190 horsepower at 5500rpm. In modern standards, this doesn’t sound like enough, but this was enough to propel the car to a maximum speed of 140mph.
The coachwork of the car was designed by Michelotti. The bodywork was then constructed by Vignale. All the bodywork including the floor and inner fenders were of alloy construction. The only exception was the roof frame which was made out of chrome.
The roof was made out of blue Perspex. A grilled air scoop and internal directional vents were incorporated into the roof along with internal directional vents to improve airflow to the cabin. The side windows were made using blue Perspex and slides upwards towards the center of the roof. The rear window was also of blue Perspex construction.
The sixty-eight spoke wheels of the car were specially commissioned from Borrani
Lancia Raggio Azzurro II
In 1957, the Lancia Aurelia B24S went to a final update before its withdrawal from the market in 1958.
The bodywork of the Lancia Aurelia was left unchanged, but the car received some significant mechanical upgrades.
The stock five-cylinder V6 engine now delivered a maximum power output of 112 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque.
Officine Nardi decided to create a special coupe variant based on the updated Lancia Aurelia.
It was derived from the original Lancia Raggio Azzurro concept car which was designed to compete in Carrera Pan Americana event in 1955.
Lancia Raggio Azzurro II was requested by an American customer in need of a more conventional design and something iconic.
The bodywork was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and the construction of the car was contracted to Carrozzeria Vignale.
The bodywork was fitted to a tubular steel space frame which was then incorporated into the chassis. Then the bodywork was fitted to the framework.
The tubular space frame was also designed by Giovanni Michelotti himself.
Officine Nardi then upgraded the V6 engine by mating it with a new exhaust manifold and two Weber 40 carburetors. These upgrades increased the maximum output up to 140 horsepower from its previous 112 horsepower.
Due to the lightweight design, aerodynamically tweaked bodywork, and upgraded engine, the car could reach a top speed of 200kmph.