1955 Lancia Aurelia

B24 Spider

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1955
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    121
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Red
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Italian title
Chassis n° B24 1013
Engine n° B24 1024
Shell n° 006

- Matching numbers
- High quality restoration
- Model combining rarity, elegance and exclusivity
- Coming from an important Milanese collection

This car is very much a Lancia: it was the last model designed with the collaboration of Vittorio Jano and so it was no surprise that mechanically it was very sophisticated. Its V6 2-litre engine, an unusual configuration, was derived from the earlier V4, and the engineers conceived innovative rear-mounted transmission to keep the weight balanced. Moreover the car featured inboard-mounted rear drum brakes, forming a compact unit. This set-up was initially used on the saloon but was eventually also seen on the coupé, the famous B20 GT. The car was one of the stars of the Turin Motor Show when it was launched in 1951, featuring elegant and simple styling by Felice Boano from Ghia (although the car was then built by Pininfarina). Right from the start this car displayed sporting potential and success came quickly, starting with the famous Mille Miglia in May 1951 when Bracco finished second behind Villoresi's much more powerful Ferrari. The B20 Corsa, with lighter aluminium body, took up the baton, reinforcing the sporting image of this consistent and reliable car. The Aurelia added to its trophy cabinet with, amongst others, victories at the Targa Florio, Liège-Rome-Liège and the Monte-Carlo Rally. On the technical side, the car went through several evolutions, primarily to respond to the wishes of a clientèle interested in the increasingly popular Grand Tourisme : the sport certainly, but also the comfort. The main changes were to the engine size which increased to 2.5-litre and 115 bhp, and a simplified rear suspension with a De Dion beam. At this time, a version destined for the United States, the B24 America was introduced with an attractive roadster body on a shortened coupé platform and a panoramic windscreen. Launched at the Brussels Motor Show in 1955, this B24 Spider S (for " sinistra " or left-hand drive) was the creation of Francesco Martinengo, of Pininfarina. It didn't meet with the success expected, however, being very expensive (it was double the price of a Jaguar XK 140 at the time) and lacking in comfort. Shortly afterwards, Lancia launched the B24 Convertible, with wind-up windows and a more classically-shaped windscreen. Compared to the coupé, the open versions were made in fewer numbers, with 240 Spiders and 521 Convertibles produced. They offer rarity as well as charm...

According to information gleaned from the Lancia B24 register, the construction of this car began on 9 April 1955, and was completed following testing on 12 May 1955. It was liveried in beige with red interior, and as it was destined for the British market, the speedometer was graduated in miles.
During the 1990s, the present owner acquired the car from the family of the well-known Italian collector, Bonfanti. It was in lovely, original and very sound condition. Keen to participate in the Mille Miglia, our collector, from Northern Italy, set about completely restoring the car so that he could take part without fear of breaking down or mechanical issues. He subsequently found the car so enjoyable to drive that he took part twice in the great Italian challenge, in 2006 and 2007, as well as the Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti, another classic event in the Italian Alps.

Today, the car is red with beige upholstery and black hood, and is equipped with side windows. The overall presentation is superb. The certification by the l'Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI) states that this B24 Spider conforms to the original specifications, with the exception of the Nardi twin-carburettor kit, which corresponds to a kit that could have been fitted in period, with the correct air filter for 1955 models. The car has its original engine and comes with a FIVA identity card.
The extremely well styled car, with the sophisticated engineering the marque is known for, is eligible for all major international historic events. In this Spider America version, it has an even more attractive streamlined body not troubled by the presence of door-handles. It is also one of the rarest Aurelia versions.