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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 1956 the Spider was replaced by the Convertibile, which was produced until 1958. While the Spider was based technically on the fourth series Aurelia, the Convertible was based on the fifth and sixth series. The Convertibile was more comfortable and practical than the Spider. Exterior differences include one-part bumpers, a different windscreen, wind-up side windows with front vent windows and larger doors with a lower entry level. The Convertibile also had a soft-top that was easier to operate – all-in-all it was more practical to use than the Spider, although it weighed a little more.
In engineering terms the B24 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 B24 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 40DCL5 carburettor. Developing 112 bhp and over 120 lb ft of torque, in a car weighing 1,250kg, it was capable of 175km/h in standard tune. All B24 cars had a floor gear change.
In total, 521 Convertibiles were made, all of which were left-hand drive. This January 1958 Lancia Convertibile was owned from the early 1960s by the well-known Pittsburgh-based Lancista, Tom Sheehan, who used the car extensively for many years. The car was then acquired directly from his estate in 1993, with the new owner spending over $120,000 with marque specialists to complete the restoration it was undergoing at the time.
The car was then sold again in 2005, and was kept by that owner for a further 10 years. Thornley Kelham sourced the car for the current owner in September 2018, and carried out just under £30,000 of works to the car, primarily mechanically, to make it safe and roadworthy.
The car is matching numbers and, although it has had a colour change in the past in the USA, it comes with a rare, matching, original hard top. A perfect car for lazy summer days. The car is in generally good condition and drives well. La Dolce Vita awaits …