1956 Lancia Aurelia B24 SpiderSOLD

COYS - Legende et Passion - Monaco - 21st May 2007

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Estimate: €130,000-150,000

Sold €170,930

Since it first began producing motor cars, Lancia wasted no time in earning a reputation for original and innovative designs. The Aprilia of the 1930s was a perfect example and when it was finally replaced after the war, its successor the Aurelia continued the trend. Designed by Vittorio Jano, the legendary engineer responsible for a string of highly successful Alfa Romeo Grand Prix cars, it bristled with innovation. Beneath a four door, pillarless saloon body, the Aurelia sported an all-alloy V6 engine while the four-speed transaxle, complete with in-board brakes and using a column change, ensured good weight distribution. Add to that all independent suspension, via sliding pillars/coil springs at the front and semi-trailing arms at the rear, together with then revolutionary Michelin radial tyres, and fine roadholding and handling were assured.

When launched in B10 guise at the 1950 Turin Show, the Aurelia produced 56 bhp from 1,756cc. With the B12 of 1951 capacity increased to 1,991cc and power to 70bhp; there was also the B20GT, an attractive 2+2 Pininfarina coupé with shorter wheelbase and 80bhp Ð arguably the first true GT. The Aurelia then began an illustrious competition career, including Giovanni Bracco's 2nd place in the 1951 Mille Miglia, class wins in the 1951 and '52 Le Mans 24 Hours and a 1-2-3 in the 1952 Targa Florio.

For 1952 came the B15 with long wheelbase, wider track and 64bhp. At the same time a convertible option was introduced. It was the following year that the B20 GT 2500 was launched, an example of which Louis Chiron used to win the 1954 Monte Carlo Rally. Capable of 115mph and 0-60mph in 14 seconds, its 2,451cc engine produced 118bhp and 126lb.ft, whilst rear leaf springs, a de Dion rear axle and floor change also became standard. In 1955 it was joined by the B24 Spyder, again styled by Pininfarina but with an eight inch shorter wheelbase and pretty open coachwork. Weighing 25 kilos less than the GT 2500, but with the same specification, the rapid and rare Spyder is now the most sought after of all Aurelias.

Chassis records confirm that construction of this fine B24 Spyder, B24S 1211, started on 4th July 1956. It was subsequently road tested and declared fit for sale on 4th September the same year, its original owner, the wealthy proprietor of a pharmacy in Rome, having specified "azzuro cielo con interni in pelle nociola": sky blue paintwork with a contrasting nut leather interior. Its current custodian is only the second owner and it still carries its attractive Roma registration plates. Perhaps no other car epitomises the era of La Dolce Vita' Uite as much as the Aurelia which was the star in Dino Risi's epic film Il Sorpasso, quite literally 'the underpass', the story of a middle aged playboy, played by Vittorio Gassman, and his short lived would be apprentice, a shy Jean Louis Trintignant, who appear with a B24 S Spyder identical in colour and specification to this car.

In, fact this excellent example is also well known, having starred in a number of Italian television documentaries. Coming from long term ownership, this Lancia is notable, too, as the jewel in the crown of a collection of eight cars and three motorbikes which we are proud to offer for sale today. The car comes with Italian Registration Papers, (libretto) and ASI homologation number.


Reference Number 9267

as of 5/7/2007

Overview
Car 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider
VIN B24S1211 
Exterior / Interior Color      Light Blue /      Tan 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift