1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America
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).
|submitted by||Richard Owen|
|type||Series Production Car|
|block material||Aluminum Alloy|
|displacement||2541 cc / 155.1 in³|
|power||88.0 kw / 118 bhp @ 5300 rpm|
|specific output||46.44 bhp per litre|
|body / frame||Unit Steel|
|f suspension||Sliding Pillars|
|r suspension||Semi-Trailing Links|
|top speed||~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
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America – sold for $1,347,500 One of 181 Left-Hand-Drive Examples of a Total 240 Built. Authentic Restoration Completed in 2014. Single Ownership for Three Decades. Believed to be the Second-Oldest Remaining Example. Documented by Factory Chassis Logs. Auction Source: 2014 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America B24S-1177 – sold for $1,100,000 Offered with rare hardtop. One of 181 left-hand drive B24 Spider Americas built. Previously in two long term Italian collections. Fitted with desirable options including wire wheels. La Dolce Vita encapsulated in a motorcar. Auction Source: 2014 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America B24S-1110 – sold for €784,000 Superbly restored by marque experts. Presented in elegant original colours. Equipped with the desirable Nardi kit. Auction Source: 2014 Monaco by RM Auctions
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 America B24S 1144 – sold for $935,000 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 motorcar. Auction Source: 2013 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
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
1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America B24S1123 – sold for $803,000 One Owner for over 56 Years. Never Driven Outside California. A 28,000-Mile Car Not Used Since 1963. Presented with Original Tools and Accessories. Spectacular 1950s Design Details Throughout. One of the Most Significant Garage Finds in Years. Auction Source: The 2013 Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible B24S-1297 – sold for $242,000 Owned by Famed Collector and Sportsman Otis Chandler. Equipped with Original Nardi Speed Equipment. One of the Most Beautiful Sports Car Designs of All Time. One California Owner for Over 50 Years. Auction Source: 2012 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
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
1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S America Spyder – sold for $550,000. The example offered here is one of these rare survivors, having lived all its life in the forgiving California climate.
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