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Surely one of Pininfarina’s most beautiful designs, the Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider made its début at the 1955 Brussels Motor Show. Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, who had a long and close relationship with Lancia, both designed and bodied the two-seater sportscar. In some ways a perfect example of form over function, having a poor–fitting hood and side screens and no external handles, the Spider nevertheless is today deemed much more desirable than its altogether more practical successor, the B24 Convertibile. And the detail is exquisite – the curved panoramic windscreen – which has exactly the same rake as the steering wheel, the simple painted dash with classic Veglia dials, the understated trim, combined with Lancia’s Fourth Series Aurelia B20GT shortened platform to create a simply wonderful driving car.
In engineering terms the B24 Spider is pure Lancia - sophisticated four-speed transaxle, responsive worm and sector steering, four wheel hydraulic drum brakes (mounted inboard at the rear) and all-round independent suspension. Allied to Lancia’s obsession with unsprung mass and weight distribution, the Spider gives a truly balanced, responsive drive. The Aurelia’s all-alloy engine had by now evolved to 2451 cc, utilized shell bearings and was fed by a single twin choke Weber 40DCZ5 carburettor. Developing 118 bhp and 127 lb ft of torque, in a car weighing a mere 1,050kg, it was capable of 185km/h in standard tune. A handful were competition prepared; Bernando Ferrari contesting the 1956 Mille Miglia and ‘Ermete’ the 1956 Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. All B24 cars had a floor gear change.
Built in very limited numbers, the B24 Spider was produced for just one year (1955), and a mere 240 examples rolled off the production line, of which 59 were right-hand drive (LHD counterparts were given B24S chassis numbers). The Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider has long been a motoring icon, and today is sought after by the world’s top collectors.
This car spent most of its life in Italy and is one of only 59 cars built in RHD. It was in the same Italian ownership for 25 years and all numbers and key features (colour, interior etc.) correspond to the original data card released from the Registro Aurelia. It underwent a full restoration at Kappa, well-known Lancia restorers, during which they made certain modifications to emulate a well-known rally example of the B24 Spider. These include additional front fog lamps incorporated into the bodywork, replacement Ferrari seats and a revised dash layout and instruments. Photos were taken at the end of the restoration believed to have been completed in 2005.
These changes do not affect the overall quality and driveability of the car. Indeed, they could easily be reversed; the correct original seat frames are with the car, and the current owner has sourced a set of the rare correct instruments unique to the B24 Spider.
It was purchased by the current owner in 2014 and has undergone a series of restoration works at Thornley Kelham including the bare-metalling of the underneath; new exhaust system; rebuild of the transaxle, suspension and brakes; renewed clutch; minor body work repairs and a new front windscreen, totalling over £30,000.
The car has FIVA Identity Card and Certificato di Identita from the Automotoclub Storico Italiano. The car is equipped with an original ‘Nardi’ carburettor upgrade kit, the result being the fastest Spider we have ever driven.