1955 Lancia Aurelia

The Lancia Aurelia B24 was the replacement for the B20 Berlinetta, an automobile that had a very distinguished career including many race wins and being considered by many as the first true Grand Tourer after World Word II. It's racing class victories include the Mille Miglia and the grueling 24 Hours of LeMans.

The B24 was available as a Spyder and later followed by a Convertible version. In 1954 the B24 was introduced powered by a V-6 engine capable of producing 112 horsepower. Depending on the configuration, the horsepower rating increased. The exquisitely modern styling was performed by Pininfarina and intended for the United States market. The design featured wrap-around windshield and low-cut doors that required Plexiglas side curtains. It had a rear transaxle, shortened chassis, and soft suspension, when compared with its predecessor. Many other mechanical components were similar. The rear mounted four-speed manual transaxle featured an updated floor-mounted gearshift rather than on the column.

During its production lifespan, lasting one year, only 521 examples of the B42 were produced with only 200 examples being the B24 Spider America. When the Andrea Doria sank, seven examples went down with the ship. Twenty were created with a Carrozzeria Fontana removable aluminum hardtop.

The Pinin Farina designed vehicle is considered one of the most beautiful bodies created by the famous coachbuilder.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2008

Vehicle Profiles

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Lancia introduced the Aurelia B20 range in 1951 with the B20 GT Coupe. In 1954 the lucrative American market was the target for what is agreed by most collectors as one of the most beautiful sports cars ever designed, the Lancia Aurelia Spyder. Wit....[continue reading]

GT Coupe (Series 4)
Coachwork: Boano

Lancia has been in the business of building cars since 1906. The B20 was designed by Felice Mario Boano and was put into production only a year after the B10 sedan. Production of the B20 Series would last for seven years and they were very popular;....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S-1180
Engine Num: B241242

Prior to 1955, all Lancias were given right-hand-drive steering. 1955 marked the first year Lancia offered their vehicles with an optional left-hand drive. The vehicles given left-hand drive were designated with an 'S', for Sinistra, meaning left i....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S1166

In 1950, Lancia introduced their first post-war car, the Aurelia. It came with the first production V-6 engine and inboard rear brakes. The Aurelia had semi-unitary bodies, which provided to be a suitable platform for coachbuilders (the B50) to work ....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S-1072
Engine Num: B24-1184

In the 1950s, Lancia was famous for its superb engineering, and the Lancia Aurelia performed well on both the road and the track. The American market needed a convertible though, and the Spider America was the answer. The car was styled by Pinin Fari....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S-1131

The Aurelia B24S America Spider, with 'S' signifying sinistra or 'left,' was in reference to the left-hand-drive chassis. The design was created by Pinin Farina and had aggressive hood scoop, flowing front fenders, and gently curving rear fenders wit....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S 1144
Engine Num: B24 1213

Lancia built just 181 left-hand-drive examples of the B24S. The 'S' stood for sinistra, Italian for 'left.' Work on this car began on September 9th of 1955 and was completed just under a month later on October 5th. Originally finished in grey ....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S/1009
Engine Num: 1065

A new variant of the Lancia Aurelia platform was introduced in January of 1955 at the Brussels Motor Show. Many of the mechanical components of the B24 Spider were borrowed from the fourth-series Aurelia B24 GT. The chassis was more than 200mm shorte....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Pinin Farina built the B24 Spyder, dubbed the Spyder America, as a development of the very successful B20 Aurelia. Aimed at the US market, 240 were made, and each came equipped with a 2.5-liter V6 engine and DeDion rear suspension. An interesting fea....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

This B24 Spyder was designed and built by Pinin Farina for the American market, so it was soon dubbed the 'Spyder America.' It was a development of the hugely successful B20 Aurelia coupe that established the Lancia name at the forefront of racing i....[continue reading]

GT Coupe (Series 4)
Coachwork: Boano

Chassis Num: B20-3618
Engine Num: B20-4372

The Lancia Aurelia, the first car ever to employ a V6 engine, was introduced at the 1950 Turin Motor Show. The 1,754cc 60-degree V6 was designed in wartime by Francesco de Virgilio. The engine was constructed from aluminum and used overhead values op....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

At the 1955 Brussels Motor Show, Lancia introduced a new variant of the Aurelia platform that eventually became one of the most acclaimed models in the company's history. The new 24 Spider featured the advanced mechanicals of the four-series Aurelia ....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S-1138
Engine Num: B24 1198

In the years preceding the Second World War, Vittorio Jano and Alfa Romeo virtually dominated the small sports car market. Following the war, when Lancia was struggling just to recover from the effects of the war, Jano would be sought after to overco....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S 1077
Engine Num: B24 1098

This Lancia Spider America was originally sold to Luigi Bosisio of Milan, who kept it briefly before selling it to Roberto Longhi, followed by a succession of Italian owners that culminated with Gianni Savoia of Verona, who retained the Lancia for 20....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S-1094
Engine Num: 1116

This Lancia B24S has had just five overs since new, and has 63,000 miles on its odometer. The car was originally finished in pale green pastel paint and upholstered in dark green vinyl. The original owner was a physician in Duchess County, New York. ....[continue reading]

GT Coupe (Series 4)
Coachwork: Boano

Chassis Num: B24S-1177
Engine Num: B24 1239

The Lancia Company was founded in November of 1906 by Italian racer Vincenzo Lancia. The heritage of Lancia S.p.A. is built upon advanced engineering, industry-leading styling, sophistication, excellent, and race-winning performance. The Aurelia was ....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5)
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: B24S-1110
Engine Num: B24-1119

Prior to production of the Spider Americas ending in 1955, a total of 240 examples were built. Of those, 181 were left-hand drive. The following year, the more comfortable B24 convertible replaced the Spider, and rested on the Fifth Series platform. ....[continue reading]

Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
 
GT Coupe (Series 4) by Boano
 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S-1180 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S1166 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S-1072 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S-1131 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S 1144 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S/1009 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
 
GT Coupe (Series 4) by Boano
Chassis #: B20-3618 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S-1138 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S 1077 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S-1094 
GT Coupe (Series 4) by Boano
Chassis #: B24S-1177 
Spider America Roadster (Series 5) by Pininfarina
Chassis #: B24S-1110 

History

Only 330 examples of the striking B24 were ever produced. This very special automobile, produced for a scant 3 years, offered a host of bristling features in typical Lancia fashion. From the lovely Pininfarina lines down to the remarkably modern mechanicals, the Aurelia B24 Spider was a guaranteed classic.

The Aurelia series was comprised of a full lineup of first-rate cars, with the B20 GT coupe and B24 Spider stationed at its top. The B20 GT was an influential car in its own right. Automotive author Quentin Wilson recognizes that the car is 'often credited as the first of the new breed of modern postwar GT's.' The model that history has looked upon with the most favor, though, has been the B24 Spider.

The B24 offered all the mechanical prowess of other Aurelias, and combined it with the best styling of the series. One of Pininfarina's masterpieces, the B24 is today one of the most highly regarded Lancias. It was a true roadster with a very basic top and simple side curtains as the only degrees of separation between the driver and the outside world. Yet its ample luggage space and pleasant interior begged for an alfresco getaway into the rich scenery of its Italian homeland.

Featuring monocoque construction, already a Lancia hallmark for decades, the B24 was built by Pininfarina. That famed carrozzerie of Italy also, of course, penned the elegant lines.

With its tight, lean curves, the Lancia escaped the bulbous trends of the 1950's. At the car's front, the wheels rested beneath sleek pontoon fenders with subtle flares. Those fenders swept back to form a seamless downward curve that ran nearly to the rear edge of the doors before quickly ramping back up to a peak just beyond the cockpit. The rear fenders, bulging slightly from the rest of the car, formed tight muscles in a predatory haunch. The B24's graceful, athletic stance belied its superb poise.

There was a terrific attention to detail in the Lancia's design. The way the split front bumpers led to the proud grille. The way the unfettered rear could have been grown from the soil. The way the delicate curved windshield rested lightly atop the body, an airy marvel of metal and glass placed as if only to frame for driver and passenger the gorgeous view out over the long hood. The Aurelia was fine sculpture at its fastest.

All that elegance translated perfectly into the interior. Free of fussy details, its painted metal dash housed a simple array of instruments and a thin wood-rim steering wheel. The seats took up the width of the interior and, with tops flush with the car's body, blended seamlessly with the B24's outside.

The Aurelia's mechanical sophistication was every bit as impressive as the design. At the heart of the B24 was a 2451cc V6 cast entirely of aluminum alloy. The Aurelia series brought to market the first ever mass-produced V6, and it was a gem. With its 60-degree V and light construction, the engine would not be out of place in a new car. The phenomenal sound may be unheard of today, but the basic design surely is not.

Vittorio Jano was the man responsible for the development of the Lancia V6, which began life as a 1754cc unit. Jano, an invaluable engineer with Alfa Romeo during the company's all-conquering racing career of the 1920's and 1930's, knew more about building fine engines than perhaps anyone else at the time. His metallic marvel produced 118hp in the B24.

The engine was not the only impressive collection of moving parts on the Lancia. The car's other famous feature was its transaxle. Incorporating the transmission, differential, and even brakes all into one compact unit had several benefits on the car. Most notably, it perfected weight distribution and reduced unsprung weight at the rear axle. The result was a great-handling automobile with ballet dancer balance and razor-sharp reflexes.

Suspending the Lancia was a relatively simple system with a sliding pillar up front. The rear of the car used leaf springs, but a De Dion rear axle ensured the excellent road manners already made possible by the car's light engine and use of a transaxle.

Market values of the Aurelia B24 Spider have reached stratospheric heights, and the cars routinely sell for well over $200,000. These vehicles have become established classics with unrivaled Italian pedigree and prestige. They have rightly become known as one of the best Lancias ever made.

Sources Used:

Wilson, Quentin. The Ultimate Classic Car Book. First. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1995.

By Evan Acuña
In 1950 the Lancia Aurelia was introduced to the public at the Turin Motorshow and had been created as a replacement for the Lancia Aprilia. Under the hood was a new six-cylinder engine in 'Vee' configuration. To reduce weight various body panels had been constructed of aluminum including the hood and doors. The clutch and four-speed gearbox was mounted in the rear using a single unit with the differential. The suspension in the rear was independent while the front was a sliding pillar type.

The first in the series was the B10 berlina. Power came from a 1574 cc engine producing nearly 60 horsepower. The four-door pillarless saloon was criticized for its performance issues so Lancia answered the complaints with the introduction of the B21 produced a year later. There was little to distinguish the B10 from the B21, the only difference lying under the hood. The 1574 cc engine had been replaced with a 1991 cc engine producing 70 horsepower. To add sporty-appeal, a B20 GT Coupe was introduced in the same year. The two-door coupe was designed by Boano from Ghia. Gianpaolo Boano was the son of Ghia owner Mario Felice Boano. Production was handled by Pininfarina. It sat atop a shortened wheelbase and used a tuned-version of the 1991 cc engine now producing 75 horsepower. Production was low with only 500 examples produced. A second coupe series was created using a tuned-version of the 1991 cc engine now producing 80 horsepower. Mechanical improvements included better brakes and a lowered suspension, both resulting in better performance. Styling changes were mostly confined to the interior, the most noticeable being done to the instrument panel.

In 1950 an extended wheelbase version of the B10 was introduced featuring different tires and gear ratios. These were dubbed the B50 and the B51. When the 2-liter engine was introduced, the name was changed to B52 and B53. Production was low with the B50 having the most examples created, 583. There were 184 B52 models, 6 B55 and only 5 B56 models. A single B60 was created. The B55 and B56 were examples with the 2-liter engine and a de Dion rear suspension. The purpose of these specialty models was to allow custom coachbuilders such as PininFarina, Bertone, Viotti, Vignale, Ghia, among others to design and build unique creations. One of the more famous designs was created by PininFarina. It was a concept car dubbed the PF2000. A few examples were created for display at motor shows, such as the Lancia Aurelia B52 B JR built by Ghia for the 1953 Turin Motor Show.

Lancia lengthened the B21 and dubbed it the B15. It received a de-tuned engine, now producing 65 horsepower. Bodied by Bertone, the B15 was produced in low quantities; just over 80 examples were created.

In 1953 Lancia introduced the B20 Coupe, the third in the series, powered by a 2451 cc engine producing nearly 120 horsepower. This marked the first time a left-hand-drive version of the Aurelia could be purchased. The independent rear suspension could not handle the extra power from the new engine so it was changed in favor of a de Dion system. 720 examples were created.

By 1952 Lancia had created a replacement for the B21 berlina, the B22. It was basically the same as its replacement except for improvements under the hood. The engine had been given double-barrel Weber carburetors among other improvements which resulted in the production of 90 horsepower. There were styling changes included, most done to the interior such as the instruments and the indicators. In 1954 Lancia ceased production of the B22 and introduced the B12. During its production lifespan, nearly 1100 examples were produced.

The B12 was one of the first drastic changes to the Aurelia, both mechanically and aesthetically, since its inception. The engine was a 2266 cc powerplant producing 87 horsepower. The rear suspension was changed in favor of a de Dion system. Wind deflectors were placed on the windows and the headlights were changed. During its production lifespan, around 2400 examples were produced.

In 1955 the audience at the Brussels Motor Show was introduced to the B24 Spider. Lancia had tasked Pininfarina to design and produce a limited number of vehicles using a shortened wheelbase from the B12. Power was supplied from a 2451 cc engine. A convertible was later introduced and quickly became the favorite, with 521 Convertibles and 240 Spiders produced.

The production of the berlina ceased in 1955. The Coupe and Convertible series continued until 1958. There were a total of six series for the coupe. The fifth series began to shy away from performance gains and focused more on luxury.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007

Recent Vehicle Additions

1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer Named Best Of Show At The 67Th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 20, 2017) — Just a week ago, Bruce R. McCaws 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer emerged from the restoration shop of Steve Babinsky in Lebanon, New Jersey. Today, having crossed...

From Russo With Love! Ferrari with 007 Pedigree to Cross the Block at Russo and Steele Monterey!

1970 Ferrari 365 22 with 007 Pedigree Set to Cross the Block at Russo and Steeles 16th Annual Monterey Collector Automobile Auction Event! Scottsdale, Arizona (June 24th, 2016) – First...

2015 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 17, 2015) -- An Italian Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Cabriolet that once turned heads and garnered top prizes in the classic era glided to victory at the 65th Pebble Beach...

Techno Classica 2014: more than 30 racing cars to celebrate 120 years of Mercedes-Benz motor racing history

Cars that were the heroes of magical moments put their stamp on this high-powered, most comprehensive show presentation With more than 30 vehicles, Mercedes-Benz Classic presents motor racing histor...

Italian Racing Classics Lead Gooding & Company's 10th Anniversary

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (June 4, 2013) – Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours dElegance acclaimed for selling the worlds most significant and valuable collector...

Lancia Models


© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook  Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2017 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.