2451cc OHV V-6 Engine
Single Weber 40 DCZ5 Carburetor
118bhp at 5,100rpm
4-Speed Manual Transaxle with Clutch In Unit
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes, Rear Brakes Inboard *Three owners from new
*Never apart for restoration
*Extensively rebuilt mechanically by marque expert
*Superb driving example
*Offered with rare optional hardtopThe Lancia Aurelia B24
Much was expected from the B24 Spider America
, launched in January 1955. On a platform further shortened 8.3" from the B20 GT coupe, it was a clean, sleek, minimalist car with no exterior handles, Plexiglas removable side windows and a very transatlantic wrap-around 'dogleg' windshield. Only 240 were built over the course of one year before the almost equally sporting but more comfortable B24 Convertible came along in 1956. With a more upright straight-sided windshield, deeper doors with roll-up windows, and exterior and interior handles, it was clearly designed with a more sophisticated audience in mind and meant to be used as more than a fair weather plaything. The Motorcar Offered
This Lancia B24S (for 'Sinistra' or left hand drive) Convertible has only had three owners from new, has never been wrecked and has never been apart for a restoration. Dr. Jerome Levinson of Poway, California took delivery of his new convertible in 1959. As incredible as it sounds today, it was common in the 1950s for some of today's most desirable sports car icons to go months, if not years, unsold in showrooms and on dealer lots in a time before shoppers could easily find available cars outside their own cities. As a consequence, this Aurelia, while built in 1957, carries a title dated 1959. When new it was finished in Silver with its rare optional hardtop finished in black over a red interior. Early on, Dr. Levinson changed the color of the car's exterior, choosing Pino Verde metallizato
, or pine green metallic for the body and pale green metallic for the hardtop.
Dr. Levinson enjoyed his B24 Convertible for almost thirty years before selling it, with approximately 50,000 miles showing on the odometer, to Mr. Robert Scarpone of San Anselmo, California in 1987. Mr. Scarpone, a Lancia enthusiast, hired the current owner to gently recommission the car, which had seen little use in the last years of Dr. Levinson's ownership. In his care he replaced the original steel wheels with the stylish period Borrani wire wheels which it wears today, had carpets made to replace the somewhat perished original rubber front floor mats and fitted a replacement soft top. After using the Lancia sparingly in the first few years of his ownership he took it off the road, removing and disassembling the engine in anticipation of a full restoration to follow.
For 15 years the Aurelia rested in that state in clean storage. The current owner, a knowledgeable and experienced Lancia collector and mechanic, was able to negotiate its purchase from Mr. Scarpone in 2005. During the next five years he carefully rebuilt and balanced the engine and all other driveline components, and rebuilt the brakes. It is worth noting here that all of the major components, including the engine and transaxle are the original factory numbered items. The body is straight, with the unmistakable fit of panel and dimensions of gaps, and the satisfying shut of the doors which can only be found on an unmolested example, sitting today as Pinin Farina built it in 1957.
While the overall originality of this car is obvious and desirable, a few modifications have been made over the years to improve drivability, including the fitting of an electric fuel pump to prime the carburetor and to assist in high altitude running. The voltage regulator has also been converted to electronic operation. It rides on correct Pirelli Cinturato tires and has a Borrani wire wheel as a spare. A list of the extensive mechanical maintenance carried out since 2005 is available for review. This is a driver's car, after all!
On the road, this Aurelia drives as a well-enjoyed and correctly maintained example should. All the electric components, including the clock, functioned properly during an enjoyable recent test drive. With higher compression 9:1 pistons the engine is particularly eager to play, and added valve stem seals keep the cockpit free of oil fumes. Our recent drive in this B24 on Northern California back roads proved why the model has become so coveted for event driving. It delivered not only a stylish 'vintage' experience with modern ease, but also performance completely at home on today's roads. Whether on a winding, climbing mountain road or long fast sweepers or even on the Interstate highway, this car felt strong, secure and capable.
The fortunate next owner of this car will have the choice to continue to maintain it mechanically in the thorough manner in which it has enjoyed, and drive the heck out of it right away, or eventually give it a sympathetic restoration for which it is a perfect base. It will be difficult to get out of the driver's seat long enough to make the decision.