1957 Lancia Aurelia B24S ConvertibleSOLD
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Engine Type: 2.5L V6
Color:Red / Black Leather

Reference Number 49726

as of 8/27/2009

Overview
Car 1957 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible
VIN B24S 1577 
Mileage 58,706 miles 
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Known History

 

1957 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible

s/n B24S 1577

Red with Black Leather Interior

 

Famous for their incredible craftsmanship, innovative engineering solutions, and complete disregard for cost accounting with respect to those engineering solutions, pre-Fiat Lancias are, in many ways, in a class of their own. Few cars are as thoughtfully engineered or built, which helps to explain why Lancia encountered a great deal of financial troubles. The Aurelia was first conceived during World War II, and was powered by what is considered to be the world’s first production V6, which included hemispherical combustion chambers. To improve weight distribution, the car included a rear-mounted transaxle unit including clutch, inboard rear brakes, and independent rear suspension (which would later be supplanted by a de Dion rear end). Contemporary road testers marveled at the car’s refinement, exceptional build quality, and roadholding. They found the car to be highly capable and a joy to use, with the magazine The Autocar going as far as to claim that the Aurelia was “one of the most desirable sporting cars of the decade”.

 

The cars proved to be highly successful in competition, with perhaps the Aurelia’s most shocking achievement occurring at the 1951 Mille Miglia. The factory entered four Aurelias, and the car of Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli soon left the 2-liter competitors behind and began closing on the overall leaders, who were piloting cars with 50% to 100% more displacement. In the torrential rain, the 2.0 liter 80hp Aurelia closed five minutes on the leading 4.1 liter Ferrari 340 in the second to last leg alone, and was still closing at the end of the event, placing second overall! The Aurelia lost by 20 minutes in a 13 hour race, amply demonstrating the capability of both drivers and car. The Aurelia met with countless other competition successes, including another class win on the Mille Miglia plus further class victories at the Le Mans 24-hours, Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti, Pescara 6-hours, Carrera Panamericana and Targa Florio, among others.

 

The most sought after and beautiful variant of the Aurelia is the B24, an open car with a shorter wheelbase when compared to the closed variant, the B20. Fitted with a significantly more powerful 2.5 liter engine and styled by Pininfarina, the cars were very striking, and were produced in essentially two forms. The Spider was less sophisticated, with side curtains, no exterior door handles and an American style wraparound panoramic windscreen, while the Convertible had wind up windows, larger doors, and the mechanical refinements associated with the fifth and sixth series B20’s.

 

This particular car was built in 1957, but is titled as a 1958, and has had three owners, including the same owner in France from 1982 to 2005. Under his care, the car was comprehensively restored over a several year period, including the renewal of the body, paint, chrome, interior, and most major mechanical systems. There are invoices included back to 1982, as well as photographic documentation of the body restoration and some mechanical work as well. The engine and ancillaries were completely rebuilt in 1990, including rods, crankshaft, carburetor, oil pump, water pump, generator, ignition system, and fuel system. The master cylinder, brakes, and clutch were also renewed. The car received a full body restoration in 1992-1994, and was featured as a cover car and feature car in the May of 1988 issue of the French magazine Auto Retro. The car had a full stainless exhaust system fitted in 2004.

 

The car remains in lovely cosmetic condition, with a nicely mellowed restoration completed to high standards. The paint and body are very nice overall, with high quality paintwork on nicely fitting panels. The panels are solid and straight, and there is detailed photographic documentation of the body restoration included with the car. Close inspection reveals a few small blemishes and one dent in the trunk lid, but the overall impression is of a well-cared for restoration completed 15 years ago. The chrome is very nice as well, with light scratching and pitting only, save for on the trunk lid handle, which has pitting. The lights and glass are very nice overall, though the windscreen has light pitting, a small area of delamination, and some wiper marks. The headlamps are SEV Marchal items in excellent shape. The car sits on lovely wire wheels shod with Michelin X tires.

 

The interior has a similar feel to the exterior, with a pleasant patina on the leather seats. The door panels are very nice, and the carpets are excellent. The trim is very good overall, as is the lovely wood-rimmed steering wheel. There is some cracking to the horn button however. The instruments are beautiful items and have minimal yellowing, and the car is equipped with a charming vintage radio.

 

The trunk and engine compartment are also in excellent order. The engine compartment is nicely detailed and extremely tidy. It is quite correct in terms of equipment and finishes, and the trunk is nicely restored with tools, jack, and carpets in excellent shape. The car also has a matching fifth spare wire wheel. The underside is structurally sound and very tidy, being representative of an older, well-cared for restoration. The floors appear to be structurally sound, and the driveline is tidy and dry.

 

The car drives and operates well. The engine starts immediately and idles properly, and the clutch operates smoothly. The transaxle is excellent, and the brakes are very capable and pull the car up straight. There is no untoward vibration from the driveshaft or axles, and the engine displays excellent oil pressure.

 

This is a superb opportunity to acquire one of these lovely automobiles. Beautifully styled and engineered, the Aurelia B24 is a car with tremendous depth. Where other cars are crude and show signs of cutting costs and corners, the Aurelia impresses with its unfailing commitment to excellence in all respects. Consequently, they are particularly appealing to seasoned and sophisticated collectors seeking an uncompromising car that is at once sophisticated, sporting, and beautiful. This example is a three owner car that has been lovingly restored and is in perfect shape to use and enjoy. It is very complete with records, photos, tools, and jack.