Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America
As Lancia’s notoriety spread stateside following World War II, the time came for the company to offer an open sports car to the boom market in the United States. This model would have to have more power, as well as open coachwork better-suited to the warm climates of Florida, Texas, and, most of all, California.
The result was the Aurelia B24S Spider America, “S” signifying sinistra or “left,” referring to the left-hand-drive chassis. Built to a design by Pinin Farina, it ranks among the most striking open automobiles of the period, boldly challenging Ferrari with its aggressive hood scoop, flowing front fenders, and softly curving rear fenders with mild wheel flares. The windshield wrapped around to removable side windows and under a well-fitted convertible top. It was muscular yet restrained, sporting yet elegant – everything an aristocrat’s high-speed summer transportation should be.
The Spider’s advanced specification, semi-custom bodywork, and superb build quality made it expensive to build. It is believed that only 181 left-hand-drive Spider Americas were built by the factory, of which approximately 150 survive today and even fewer are in excellent restored condition.
During the restoration, the original Weber carburetor was replaced by a period correct Nardi twin-carburetor conversion set-up – which, along with the Borrani center lock wire wheels and the signature Nardi steering wheel, completes the highly desirable Nardi package.
Part of the RM Auctions event in Arizona in January, 2013.
118 bhp, 2,451 cc overhead-valve 60-degree V-6 engine, four-speed manual transmission, sliding pillar independent front suspension, trailing arm and swing axle rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 96.5 in.
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Pawel Litwinski