31 October 2012

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Lot 136

1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. B24S - 1185
  • Engine no. B24 - 1503

Sold for £173,600

118 bhp, 2,451 cc overhead cam V-6 engine, dual twin-choke Weber 40 DCL5 carburettors, four-speed manual rear-mounted transaxle, front independent sliding-pillar suspension, rear de Dion axle with leaf springs and shock absorbers, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 96.5 in.

• The fourth B24S convertible example built; one of 521 examples produced

• Beautiful Pinin Farina coachwork; one-of-a-kind colour livery

• FIVA passport and ASI Gold certification

• Rare original hardtop option

Lancia’s development of the Aurelia GT, itself a derivation of the B10 Aurelia saloon that débuted in 1950, continued at the Brussels Motor Show of January 1955. The official début was of an arresting wraparound-windscreen spider, designated the B24. The competition successes of the Aurelia GT in the early-1950s had encouraged Lancia to offer increasingly sporting body styles for customers, and renowned U.S. importer Max Hoffman pitched numerous European manufacturers on embracing the potential of the American marketplace for dual-purpose open-top sports cars. Accordingly, between December 1954 and October 1955, Pinin Farina bodied 240 examples of the dynamic B24 spider on the fourth-series Aurelia GT chassis, the latter 181 of which were classified as B24S.

In July 1956, Lancia began offering a revised version of the B24S built on the fifth-series Aurelia GT platform, which featured modified camshafts, non-detachable cylinder liners, a new clutch, and direct drive top gear. The new car also featured revised bodywork and a true convertible top and roll-up windows for proper weather sealing, as well as redesigned seats for improved overall driver comfort. Officially dubbed the Aurelia GT 2500 America Convertible, only 150 examples of the new B24S were produced before a final revision was enacted in 1957 on the sixth-series Aurelia GT chassis. Following this final iteration, the model line was discontinued entirely, at which point just 521 examples of the B24S convertible had been produced.

An extremely early example of the new convertible body constructed on the fifth-series Aurelia GT chassis, 1185 is just the fourth car produced. It is, furthermore, highly unique in its livery of champagne with green leather interior and champagne carpets, believed to be the only example finished in this handsome colour combination. Optioned with a rare hardtop, this B24S convertible spent the majority of its life in northern Italy, principally Tuscany and Sienna. More recently, the car was acquired by an executive of Riso Scotti, the renowned Lombardy-based rice producer. Approximately 10 years ago, this owner commissioned a sympathetic repaint and cosmetic restoration in the rare original colours.

Just over two years ago, the engine was treated to a comprehensive overhaul, after which the odometer accrued approximately 3,500 kilometres. Chassis 1185 is assured by the consignor to perform faultlessly, with good oil pressure and no smoking upon ignition. Consistent with common upgrades undertaken by many Lancia owners, this B24S has been mechanically updated with a modern auxiliary fan and an electric fuel pump, ensuring more reliable performance during touring excursions.

Accompanied by a full FIVA passport and ASI Gold documentation, this beautifully presented and rare B24S convertible invites its next caretaker to participate in numerous vintage tours for which it is eligible, including the famed Mille Miglia. The convertible body style is particularly appropriate for such enthusiast applications, with it being better equipped for inclement weather and having an overall more comfortable grand touring experience than its celebrated spider forebear. With its rare colour livery and particularly early position in the B24S convertible production sequence, this handsomely restored Aurelia will surely dazzle onlookers at the finest concours d’elegance, a fitting testament to the sporting elegance that characterized Lancia in the 1950s.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more