London | Lot 179
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America by Pinin Farina
£650,000 - £750,000 GBP
| London, United Kingdom
5 September 2018
- Outfitted with a number of interesting, racing-inspired features
- Restored by Lancia Specialist Giancarlo Kappa for his personal use
- Desirable Nardi kit with dual carburettors
The Aurelia was Lancia’s first post-war car, and those who were technically minded figured out in short order that Lancia was moving in the right direction. In addition to the first production V-6 engine, the Aurelia boasted a transaxle gearbox and inboard rear brakes. Following the initial saloon and the coupé, an open two-seater, dubbed the B24 Spider America, would be the most memorable and desirable model of the series. With a 2,451-mm chassis, shortened 210 mm from the already shortened Aurelia coupé wheelbase, it was charming and quintessentially Italian.
With a wraparound windshield, side curtains in place of windows and no external door latches, Pinin Farina did an excellent job styling an automobile that was equal parts sporting and luxurious. By the time production transitioned to the more luxurious B24 convertible, only 240 Spider Americas were built. As the new B24 convertible added weight in fitting roll-up windows, higher doors, a more upright windshield and more interior furnishings, those looking to drive and enjoy their new Lancia Convertible much preferred the lithe Spider America, and it has remained a favourite of enthusiasts to this day.
Aurelia historian Francesco Gandolfi noted that this particular Spider America was originally produced sporting red paintwork with a tan interior and RHD configuration. It was formerly owned by Carla Liverani, who had inherited it from her brother. She would eventually sell chassis no. 1049 to Fabrizio Verzaro, and in turn the car was sold to Giancarlo Kappa, a well-known restorer of Spider Americas.
Looking to make this car stand out from the crowd, Kappa decided to restore the car in the image of B24-1021, another right-hand-drive Spider America that was built by Lancia and Pinin Farina for Guido Maria Terzi, brother-in-law of noted Lancia privateer racer Ingerner ‘Ippocampo’ Castiglioni. That car was driven on the Mille Miglia and was fitted with several interesting features, including dual driving lights and a 1955 B20-style dashboard with Jaeger instruments, including a tachometer.
Kappa was planning on restoring the Spider America to drive and enjoy, and then return to its original specifications when it was sold; chassis no. 1049 was instead sold as-completed to an Italian collector before being acquired by its current owner in the UK in 2014. Later that year, the Spider America was sent to specialist Thornley Kelham for some mechanical refurbishment, which included servicing the brakes, suspension, engine and a thorough detailing of the undercarriage.
Fitted with the desirable Nardi kit and equipped with Tour de France style seats, with the original seat frame accompanying the car, the car also sports chrome wheels with special hub caps, similar to those seen on the Spider America debut at the 1955 Brussels Motor Show. All of the numbers on the car are noted to correspond with the original data card released from Registro Aurelia, from the body numbers to the engine and the differential, and a copy of the card is on file, along with copies of older Italian registration documents.
This lovely Spider America would surely be a joy to drive and enjoy, boasting several welcome features and upgrades to enhance its already lovely driving experience.