<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119

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Lot 54
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America
Coachwork by Pinin Farina

Sold for US$ 1,265,000 inc. premium
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America
Coachwork by Pinin Farina

Chassis no. B24S-1110
Engine no. B24-1119

2,451cc OHC All-Alloy V6 Engine
Single Dual-Throat Weber Carburetor
118bhp at 5,300rpm
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes — Inboard at the Rear

*Exquisitely restored by marque experts
*Painted in original color
*Interior fully restored to original
*Equipped with the desirable Nardi kit


THE LANCIA B24S

Lancia's first post-war production car, the Aurelia B10 berlina, debuted at the 1950 Turin Motor Show, and though the four-door sedan may have worn undistinguished bodywork (by Ghia), the technology that lay hidden under its prosaic steel would establish the Aurelia, in ever increasing steps of sophistication through six series over the following eight years, as the first of the modern Gran Turismo motorcars.

Brilliant chief designer Vittorio Jano and equally brilliant young engineer Francesco de Virgilio directed the Aurelia program, which gave us the industry's first production V6 engine, a body/chassis of leading-edge unitary construction, and, at its rear, a cleverly packaged combination transaxle and inboard brakes for excellent weight distribution. It also would be the first car delivered with radial tires (Michelin X) as factory standard equipment. Before running its course in the summer of 1958, the Aurelia badge would encompass a family of closed and open cars that began with an unprepossessing four-door berlina and climaxed with one of the most spectacularly designed sports cars of the 1950s, the rare B24S Spider America.

Those First Series sedans came with the first version of Lancia's overhead valve V6, generating 56bhp from the 1,754cc all-alloy engine. In 1951, the B21 sedan arrived with a 1,991cc version of the V6 rated at 70bhp. Flexing the muscles it had found with this platform, Lancia introduced in 1952 the new short-wheelbase B20 GT Coupé, equipped with a stronger, 75bhp V6 primed for competition. In fact, B20 GTs introduced radials to motor racing at Le Mans in 1951. Equipped with the Michelin X, a GT won the 2.0-liter classification, and later that year finished second in the Mille Miglia behind a mighty Ferrari 340 America.

The Second Series Aurelia debuted in 1952 with the B20's engine now at 80bhp. Though the racing version of this revised B20 slipped to third in 1952's Mille Miglia, Lancia more than made up for it with a scarcely believable 1-2-3 finish in that year's Targa Florio.

A B22 sedan followed, its V6 delivering 90bhp from a dual-carburetor configuration. In 1953, the Third Series engine, modified with a racing-spec camshaft and single Weber carburetor, was increased to 2,451cc and given a new block and new heads. Output increased significantly to 118bhp at 5,000rpm.

Inflamed by the motorsport successes which clearly validated the superiority of the Aurelia's advanced platform, Lancia loyalists called for a sportier variant. Starting point was the new Fourth Series Aurelia of 1954, regarded by many experts to be the best of the six series, as it was newly fitted with a De Dion tube rear suspension to replace the previous trailing arm setup, and the engine bearings were upgraded. Lancia responded with the most attractive, beguiling Aurelia yet, the B24 Spider America, first shown to the public at the 1955 Brussels Motor Show. Designed, as its name implies, with America's robust post-war economy and growing taste for European sports cars in mind, the B24 was offered in both left- (B24S for sinistra) and right-hand drive versions. (Prior to 1955, all Lancias were delivered with right-hand drive.)

Minor mechanical and external changes continued through the Fifth and Sixth Series of Aurelia before production ended in 1958 with approximately 13,500 having been built.

Just 240 Spider Americas were built before production ended in 1955; of those, 181 were left-hand drive. Lancia supplanted the Spider in 1956 with the better equipped, more comfortable B24 convertible based on the Fifth Series platform. Just 521 B24s were built, and only 86 ever arrived in the United States. (A number of B24 convertibles were reportedly lost to the depths as a result of the sinking of the Andrea Doria in 1956, but other reports say the cars had already been delivered to U.S. importer Max Hoffmann on the merchant ship President Madison.)

The Spider America rested on a wheelbase even shorter than the coupé's, and its appearance was reminiscent of Lancia's D24 racing car with its long, sloping hood and jutting air intake, wraparound windscreen, and the sinuous line described along the top of the prominent fenders, through the small, artfully curved doors, rearward to the steep fall-off of the boot lid. The discreet split bumpers front and rear and the hidden external door handles were other major elements of the Spider's signature styling.

The rather plain dash panel contained only essential instrumentation. Viewed through the three-spoke Nardi wood steering wheel was a central speedometer flanked by a combination oil and fuel gauge and a larger tachometer reading to 6,000rpm. The doors, closed by elegant pulls, were topped with fully removable framed glass, divided to accommodate large front vent windows. The secondary pieces of glass were fixed. All mechanicals of the Spider America were identical to the B20 GT's save for a slightly de-tuned engine and re-positioning of the gearshift changer to the floor. Running gear was Borrani wire wheels with single knock-off bolts.

Top speed was around 115 mph (184 km/h), but outright pace was never to be the Spider's forte. Rather, it was the car's remarkable road manners and tenacious handling that helped secure its reputation as one of the world's finest driving cars of the day.

The opportunity to own such an exceptionally well-restored examples of post-war European sports car technology rarely occurs, as the Spider America is one of the most coveted of Lancia's highly regarded lineage of superb motorcars, and almost never leave the collections in which they reside. The B24S is sophisticated, energetic elegance at its best.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

A rare beauty with an uncommonly detailed restoration, this 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, B24S-1110, spent most of its life in Europe owned by Italian university professor Maurizio Pini. It is unclear how the Spider made its way across the Atlantic to a sheet metal shop in Brooklyn, New York, but that is where Lancia expert Francesco de Piero of Montreal discovered it through a 15-year-old advertisement in an enthusiast magazine. Amazed at finding the car still available, de Piero traveled to Brooklyn to find the car sitting on its original Borrani wire wheels but in very poor shape (racing stripes and sheet metal rearview mirrors welded to the fender tops...). A Flaminia engine sat inside the bay, but fortunately the original 2,451cc Spider engine was there, on the floor, complete but partially disassembled.

The modest sum of $1,500 was exchanged, and the following day the car was shipped from New Jersey to de Pietro's hometown in Italy. Upon close examination, de Pietro determined that the work required to return the Spider to original condition was then beyond his available time and budget, so he sold it Giancarlo Cappa, who ran Italian restoration business KCA. After a minimum of spit and polish and a black paint job, Cappa re-sold the car, which then went through several subsequent owners before ending up in the hands of the previous owner, who called upon de Piero for his expertise in restoring the Lancia.

The bodywork was completed by Italian firm Fara of Carmanogla. Meanwhile, de Piero attended to every last nut, bolt, fastener, screw — everything! — during his expert restoration. Outlining the steps taken to ensure strict adherence to originality would fill a book, but several examples illustrate the work's expert touch and attention to detail. Because the original jack was missing and is essentially no longer available, de Piero crafted one from a Flaminia jack, which has the same base, and a B24 Convertible's unit, which had other elements of the correct configuration. He also enlisted a textile company to re-create the cloth material covering the rear of the cabin, and utilized an involved lithographic process to make superb reproductions of every decal and label found on the car.

The car was also returned to its original Grigio Chiaro paint by Carrozzeria Lanuova in de Piero's hometown of Pordenone, and the interior was reupholstered with rosso scuro leather copied from a sample taken off the back of the glovebox door. Borrani restored the wheels, and German firm Hartz Sonnenland supplied a top material that is as close to the original as de Piero could locate.

In a summary of his huge task, de Piero detailed more than 1,300 hours of his own time over an entire year from June 2012. This car received the kind of lavish attention and immaculate workmanship that comes only from a top expert in the field.

This rare and sublime example of post-war sports car has totally matching numbers, including the gearbox and steering box, and is desirably equipped with the Nardi performance kit that included a "hot" Nardi camshaft for much improved performance. It is offered with tool kit and extensive documentation of the restoration process and sales history. Few cars of the time so ably demonstrated la dolce vita, and even fewer of the surviving Spider Americas are so beautifully and accurately restored.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the title for this vehicle is in transit.
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<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
<b>1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America</b><br />Chassis no. B24S-1110<br />Engine no. B24-1119
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