Lancia Aurelia B24 S

Spider America 1956

  • During the fifties, the renaissance of automobile style and class came from Italy. The talent of the Turin based coach-builder Pinin Farina shone forth in this master piece of classicism.
  • Following the lines of the Aurelia B20, Lancia produced a spider version with a 118 hp, 2.5 liter V6 engine that could take its passengers to speeds of up to 115 mph.
  • This authentic spider was unveiled at the 1955 Bruxelles Motor Show. In spite of its qualities, its high price would make its distribution very exclusive, and remaining examples are rare.

The classical beauty of the initial Italian versions was transcended by its adaptation for the American market, as requested by Max Hoffman, importer of the finest European automobiles. However, Luxury had its price and this version did not find an economic balance; production costs were so high that the constructor barely succeeded in making a profit.

Unveiled on May 4 1950 at the Turin Motor Show as a Pinin Farina-designed sedan without uprights, the Aurelia was the first production automobile to have a V6 engine with its gearbox-clutch attached to the differential along with rear brakes - in turn fitted to the rear axle as a combination transaxle.

The development of this technical marvel, codenamed B10, was overseen by the great engineer Vittorio Jano, while the innovative 6 cylinder engine (arranged in a 60° V) was the work of Francesco De Virgilio, head of special research, who had been working on it since its first experimental incarnation in 1943. This automobile was produced right up to 1955 in B21, B22 then B12 versions, in accordance to the alterations of wheel base and the increase in cylinder capacity, which grew from 1754 cc to 2266 cc.

In 1951 a coupé version was released. Named the GT B20, this coupé, designed by Mario Boano for the Ghia coach work company, was first built by Viotti, before Pinin Farina took over the whole production to give it a complete face-lift. This model was also to achieve considerable sporting success, obtaining victory in several illustrious races.

To be continued...