8 September 2014

Previous Next

Lot 121

1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. B24-1049
  • Engine no. B24-1135

Sold for £560,000

118 bhp, 2,451 cc V-6 engine with dual Weber carburettors, four-speed manual transmission, independent sliding pillar front and semi-trailing arm and coil-spring rear suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,450 mm

  • Restored by renowned Lancia specialist Giancarlo Kappa for his personal use
  • Numerous unique, racing-inspired features
  • Desirable Nardi kit with dual carburettors

Lancia’s first post-war car, the revolutionary Aurelia, appeared in 1950. Its combination of the first production V-6 engine with a balanced transaxle gearbox and inboard rear brakes were revelations in post-war Europe. The initial B10 saloon was quickly followed by a coupé, the B20, which was built on a shortened platform. Although the Aurelia was built with a semi-unitary body, a platform for coachbuilders (the B50) was also offered, on which Pinin Farina built a four-seat cabriolet. However, it was felt that a proper open two-seater sport model was required, especially for the U.S. market.

The answer was the B24 Spider America, which was launched in 1954. Pinin Farina’s shapely roadster was built on a wheelbase that had been shortened a further 210 millimetres from the coupé, and it featured a dogleg wraparound windshield and side curtains, with no external handles for doors or the boot to interrupt the almost liquid lines. As Lancia had established itself in the early 1950s as a force in international competition, it is not surprising that hints of the marque’s D24 racing car could be seen in the look of the new sport car. After only 240 of the Spider Americas were built, a heavily revised model, the B24 convertible, was introduced in 1956. With an eye towards creature comforts rather than sportiness, the convertible added weight with roll-up windows, higher doors, more interior furnishings, and a more upright windshield. At once, the Spider America was destined to be set apart.

The Spider America offered here is recorded by historian Francesco Gandolfi as having been originally delivered in red with a tan interior and right-hand drive. It was formerly owned by Carla Liverani, who had inherited it from her brother. Ms Liverani eventually sold the Lancia to Fabrizio Verzaro, who passed it to well-known Spider America restorer Giancarlo Kappa.

Mr Kappa proceeded to restore the car in the mould of B24-1021, the right-hand-drive special that Lancia and Pinin Farina built for Guido Maria Terzi, the brother-in-law of famous Lancia privateer driver Ingegner “Ippocampo” Castiglioni. The car was equipped with dual driving lights, which were useful for the Mille Miglia, and a 1955 B20-style dashboard with easy-to-view Jaeger instruments, including a tachometer. Mr Kappa intended to restore the car, enjoy it, and then return it to original specifications before it was sold, but he eventually wound up selling the car as-completed to its current owner.

The car remains in excellent overall condition and includes fine paintwork, upholstery, and chrome trim throughout. As presented, it is equipped with Tour de France-style seats, with the original seats being supplied loose with the car. It is fitted with the desirable Nardi kit, which includes the dual Weber carburettors, and it rides on polished chrome wheels with special hubcaps, like the ones fitted to the car that was presented at the Brussels Motor Show in 1955. All of the numbers on the car are noted to correspond with the original data card. Information provided has been supplied from an official appraisal. This car is also finished in its original colour combination.

Whilst several Aurelia Spider Americas have been brought to market in recent years, they are almost always the U.S.-delivery, left-hand-drive cars. Offered here is an original right-hand-drive car in the market for which it is most well suited. It is equipped with the desirable Nardi kit and has numerous features that are reminiscent of those on one of the most famous racing Lancias of its time. The car has ASI and FIVA passports, making it Mille Miglia eligible, and it would be a thrilling drive on a twisting Italian road or a straight British motorway.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

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

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

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

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

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

+1 617 513 0388
United States

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

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

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

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

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

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

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

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

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