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 #1004This 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
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
Auction Source: 2014 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
Auction Source: 2014 Monaco by RM Auctions
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
Auction Source: 2013 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
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
Auction Source: Monaco 2012 by RM Auctions
Auction Source: 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile
Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM
Auction Source: 2008 RM Automobiles of London