2,451cc OHV V6 engine
Single Weber 40 Carburetor
118bhp at 5,300rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Sliding Pillar Independent Front Suspension and De Dion Rear Axle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes.*Delivered new to California
*One of 181 left-hand drive B24S Spider Americas built
*Four owners from new
*Recent quarter of a million dollar restoration
*La Dolce Vita encapsulated in a motorcarThe B24S Spider America
Race developed V6 engine, superlative handling and sensational Pinin Farina styling: these are the ingredients of a sports car classic and the Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America has them all.
Lancia's classic Aurelia, the first car ever to employ a V6 engine, was launched at the 1950 Turin Motor Show. An advanced unitary construction design, the 1.7-liter Aurelia featured all-independent suspension and a combined gearbox/rear transaxle on which were mounted the inboard brakes.
The sedan was joined the following year by the Pinin Farina-styled B20 Coupé, a fastback '2+2' on a shortened wheelbase which, with its combination of sports car performance and sedan-like practicality, can be said to have introduced the Gran Turismo concept to the world. Introduced in 1953, the 3rd and subsequent series B20s were powered by a 2,451cc, 118bhp version of the pushrod V6, and this was adopted for the B24 Spider, also called the 'America', launched in 1954.
Acknowledged as one of Pinin Farina's masterpieces, the Aurelia B24 Spider combined sporting characteristics with an elegance that presaged another of the Torinese carrozzeria
's great works, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder of 1955. For the B24 Spider the Aurelia B20 chassis was further shortened and came with a floor-mounted gearchange as standard. Its performance equalled that of the B20 Coupé, top speed being in the region of 115mph (185km/h).
Unusually clean lines enabled the Spider to achieve what was an exceptional performance for an open car of the period, being unencumbered by external door handles (there were internal pull-cords) and benefiting from a gracefully curved wraparound windscreen, and the model's signature styling feature, split bumpers front and rear. Only 240 B24 Spiders were manufactured during 1954/55, and today the model is one of the most sought-after of post-war Lancias. The Motorcar Offered
Only 181 left-hand drive B24S models were builtthe S stood for sinistra
, Italian for 'left'. This example started its journey down the production line on September 9th, 1955 and was completed just under a month later on October 5th. Originally finished in grey over black leatherone of five B24Ss to be finished in that color scheme, 1144 was delivered new to the United States with its first owner residing in sunny San Diego, California. Retaining the car for a dozen years, in 1968 it moved onto its next owner, James S Lockhart, who split his time between the Hollywood Hills and Belfair, Washington southwest of Seattle.
Lockhart kept the car in very original condition, save for a repaint to Rosso Capri
, until his death in 2002 . 1144 was given to a friend in Pebble Beach, who kept the car briefly before selling it to Bryan Meredith of Victoria, Australia in October of 2003. A little more than a year after acquiring the Lancia, a comprehensive, no-expense-spared restoration was undertaken. Over the course of five years, some $250,000 in invoices were accrued. Much of the restoration was completed by Art on Wheels in Ringwood, Victoria. Mechanical refurbishment and rebuilding was completed at a cost of AU$30,000 by Pur-Sang Automobiles Pty Ltd in South Melbourne.
Completed in 2010 in black over red hides, the finished product is stunning. The gorgeous lines of the car, combined with the sporting touches unique to the Spider such as the split bumper, handle and window-less doors, and wraparound windscreen, are further accentuated by the addition of center-lug knock-off wire wheelsadded at a cost of 16,200 (the five, original steel wheels still accompany the car). Lighter and more athletic than the Convertible
, despite the relatively small number of formative changes, the Spider is a completely different, far more striking and purposeful vehicle. While the convertible was elegant, the Spider was downright sexy, as befitting famous Spider owner Brigitte Bardot.
A recent test drive demonstrated the Lancia to be a very good driver while the V6 provided a lovely staccato soundtrack. Rowing through the gears, one is delighted by the torque of the motor and can appreciate the car's light weight and nimble feel. With mere pull strings for door handles and a rudimentary top, it was clear that Lancia intended for the Spyder to be a true sports car in every sense of the word, with few concessions to passenger comfort.
Nicely documented with a three-inch-thick binder of restoration receipts and documentation, its original California pink slip in James Lockhart's name, an original California black license plate, the aforementioned original set of five steel wheels, and the original carpets and seat covers still present, the restored Spider presents as a complete historical package today.
Lancia B24S Spiders have become a hot commodity in the last few years, and for good reason. With their supermodel good looks, sporty drivetrain, and near universal eligibility for events, it is clear why the Aurelia has become a must-have 1950s Italian GT and the Spider America is at the absolute pinnacle of the Aurelia peak. Ownership qualifies you for a spot on such highly prized events as the Mille Miglia, the Colorado Grand, the California Mille, and many others. With all the restoration work already completed, and a strong history documenting its past, the B24S offered here is one of the most achingly beautiful cars we have ever offered, and is certainly not to be missed.