Lancia gave its chief designer, Vittorio Jano, a clean sheet of paper when it replaced the Aprilia which had been the company’s mainstay since 1937. Jano, the man responsible for most pre-war Alfa Romeos, worked with a brilliant young engineer named Francesco de Virgilio. The result of their partnership, the Aurelia, was one of those rare cars which owed nothing to its predecessor.
When the Aurelia was unveiled it was, by common consent, the most superbly engineered saloon car there had ever been. A short wheelbase version, the B20, was third in the 1951 Mille Miglia and another was second in the 1952 event, splitting two Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘gullwing’ coupes. Later that year, the Aurelia finished 1-2-3 in the Targa Florio, a remarkable achievement for a production saloon car.
With such a record in racing, the Aurelia cried out to have an open sports version in the catalogue and, in 1955, Lancia duly obliged. Pinin Farina styled a sleek two-seater, baptised ‘Spyder America’ in deference to its main target market, which was a triumph of simplicity and elegance characterised by its distinctive panoramic windscreen and stylish quarter bumpers. Since the Aurelia had unitary construction, Pinin Farina made the entire body/ chassis unit which was one of the first jobs awarded to their new manufacturing plant.
The Aurelia underwent constant development and there were six distinct series. From the fourth series on, a de Dion rear axle replaced the original trailing arms. All B24 Spyders had the de Dion layout and the 2541cc version of the engine which was tuned to give 118 bhp. Top speed was estimated to be 115 mph (184 kph), but more important was its superb handling and road holding which made it unbeatable on country roads.
A mere 240 examples of the two-seat Aurelia B24 Spyder America were made (in both left and right-hand drive forms) as production was limited by the capacity of the Pinin Farina factory – and fewer still exist today. The combination of rarity, engineering excellence and Pinin Farina’s gorgeous body makes this superb car a blue chip investment.
Bonham’s Sale of #1004
This example was tracked down by Silvano Cima in America 20 years ago and imported to Italy, where it underwent a total, no expense spared restoration by KCA of Milan. Strikingly finished in its original metallic green with natural leather upholstery, its appearance enhanced by polished Borrani wire wheels, the car also boasts the high performance Nardi kit. Italian registered and ASI homologated, this is probably the finest Spyder America we have offered to date.
At their Les Grandes Marques a Monaco in 2005, Bonhams sold #1156. The top bid was 210 000 EU ($264 000 USD).
Series Production Car
2541 cc / 155.1 in³
88.0 kw / 118 bhp @ 5300 rpm
46.44 bhp per litre
body / frame
~185.1 kph / 115.0 mph
Auction Sales History
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America B24S-1138 – sold for $1,952,500 Exquisite, 100pt restoration by Lancia expert Tony Nicosia. Exciting period racing history with Lou Brero behind the wheel. Delivered new through Kjell Qvale’s legendary dealership. Matching numbers Spider America that has remained in the dry-western climate since new. Ready for top events such as Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance or Mille Miglia Storica. Auction Source: 2015 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America B24S 1155 – sold for $1,292,500. The Most Desirable Road-Going Lancia Sports Car. One of Only 181 Left-Hand-Drive Spider Americas Built. Retained by One Owner for Over 40 Years. A Documented 40,000-Mile Example. Restored with Exemplary Attention to Authenticity and Detail. Presented in Classic Original Color Scheme. Never Before Displayed or Judged at Concours d’Elegance. Eligible for the Finest Historic Events Including the Mille Miglia. Sure to Impress the Most Discerning Collector. Auction Source: The Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America B24S1077 – sold for $1,815,000 The Most Desirable Road-Going Lancia Sports Car. One of Only 181 Left-Hand-Drive Spider Americas Built. Known Ownership History from New. Desirably Equipped with Fontana Hardtop and Nardi Kit. Recent Paintwork and Cosmetic Attention by CB Restorations. Spectacular Dark Blue over Red Color Scheme. Eligible for the Finest Historic Events Including the Mille Miglia. Offered with FIVA Passport, Tools, Owners Manual, and Documentation. Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider B24S 1147 – sold for €492,800. The car offered here at Villa Erba is one of the few equipped with a glove box door, as found with U.S.-delivery cars, and it is also fitted with metric Italian gauges. At one point, it was owned by the late Gary Lee Byrd, a legendary figure among American Lancia enthusiasts, noted for his passion for the marque and for owning and restoring, at one point or another, virtually every model the factory ever produced. He was once described as “the most knowledgeable Lancisti on the West Coast”, respected for his knowledge and the quality of the automobiles he owned.
The Spider has since been the recipient of a decade-long restoration, personally directed by the owner, with a Turin-based specialist in the Lancia brand. During the restoration, the original colours of beige over black were replaced with sporting red over biscuit tan, always appropriate to an Italian sports roadster. It is important to note that the car retains a rare, original domed horn button, seldom seen on restored examples. Always treated like a work of art to be admired, the Lancia has been driven only 690 kilometres since completion of the restoration, all during regular short tours in the Turin area, to keep the car mechanically functioning as it should. Auction Source: 2013 Villa d’Erba Auction by RM
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America – sold for €425,600 The Aurelia B24 Spider America has become one of the most sought after and valuable post-war Lancias and the reasons why are not difficult to see. They are beautiful, rare, a delight on the road and a more than welcome entrant to all driving as well as concours events around the world. The chance to join the privileged set of owners who own these remarkable cars is a very special opportunity indeed. Auction Source: Monaco 2012 by RM Auctions
1958 Lancia Aurelia B24 Convertible B24S-1601 – sold for €202,531. Registered for the first time on 27 August 1958, this Lancia Aurelia Convertible changed hands in 1973, bought by a certain Vincenzo Giuliani from Saint-Brice-la-Forêt. Jean-Claude Bajol acquired the car from him during the 1980s, making him the third owner. The car was restored some time ago at the Chanabet workshop in Toulouse, and is presented in midnight blue with a black hardtop. The red leather interior displays a lovely patina, and the rubber mats have been preserved. The car is complete with tool kit and original jack. The engine compartment appears to be in working order. The engine runs very well and is ready to be driven with the perfume of the original leather. The odometer reads 48,218 km and is thought to be correct. Particularly rare, with good provenance and just three owners, this car offers a great opportunity for a demanding collector. Auction Source: 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile
1954 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America – sold for $423,500. The current owner acquired the car in England and imported it to Costa Rica, where a complete restoration was undertaken. While the body was found to remain in very good condition, a 4,000-hour, concours-quality restoration was recently completed in preparation for its sale at Monterey, preceded by the car’s display at the nearby Quail Lodge. As restored, the Spyder is now handsomely finished in black with a Burnt Orange/Pumpkin leather interior. Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM
In 1992, it was cosmetically restored by Lancia expert Franco DePiero in Italy. The owner at the time was president of the U.S. Lancia club and an avid vintage racer. He had his full-time mechanic perform the complete rebuild of the Lancia’s matching numbers drivetrain at his garage in Sears Point, California. During the restoration, the original Weber carburetor was replaced by a period correct Nardi twin-carburetor conversion set-up – which, along with the Borrani center lock wire wheels and the signature Nardi steering wheel, completes the highly desirable Nardi package.
This lovely Lancia B24S was painted in a correct dark Navy Blue and is equipped with removable side glass, which was painstakingly restored. When removed, they are easily stored in the trunk along with the car’s original lug wrench and jack. The convertible top was also replaced and despite being a fifties design is very simple to erect and seals nicely – and when lowered disappears completely from view.
Today, this remarkable Spyder remains in high point condition, a testimonial to both the quality of the car before restoration, and caliber of the restoration itself. Only minor evidence of aging can be found upon close examination, but with careful use the car will mellow gracefully, gradually acquiring the patina of a lovely, untouched original. Auction Source: 2007 Monterey Preview
1954 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spyder America – sold for €233,227. The Spyder offered here is one of 240 B24 Spyder Americas built. In fact, it is one of only 59 right-hand drive examples, of which only 30 to 35 examples are still known to exist. Factory records indicate that 1045 was produced between May and June 1955 finished in grey with red leather interior. The current owner purchased the vehicle in 2007 from Belgium at which point 1045 was inspected by Anthony Hussey of the Lancia Motor Club who confirmed it to be, “genuine and in good condition”. Hussey also noted that the engine number was correct to the chassis. Today 1045 is presented in restored condition and nicely finished in Lancia red with tan leather.
These attractive Spyders are highly prized by collectors as they offer a superb combination of delightfully nimble handling, quick and responsive steering, and undeniable grace and beauty. Their racing heritage and thoroughly sporting manner makes them not only eligible, but ideal candidates, for a wide variety of driving events worldwide. Auction Source: 2008 RM Automobiles of London