- The 423rd of 521 examples produced between 1956 and 1958
- Powered by its numbers-matching engine
- Finished in Ferrari Blu Sera over a cognac interior; matching blue convertible top
- Successfully completed multiple runnings of the California Mille and Colorado Grand rallies
- Benefits from an award-winning, concours-grade restoration completed by RM Auto Restoration in 2018
As the first Lancia to be completely developed after World War II, the Aurelia needed to be something brand-new—and brand-new it certainly was. Beginning with the gorgeously engineered B10 in 1950 and ending with the stylishly sophisticated B24 convertible in 1958, the most stunning aspect of the new Aurelia was the inclusion of the first production V-6 engine. Lancia engineers were constantly improving upon the formula, with a new Aurelia iteration released nearly every year and constant improvements appearing on each subsequent model.
The fourth-series Aurelia, introduced in 1954, saw a more thorough restyling than years previous while also introducing left-hand drive production; from 1954 through 1958, all left-hand examples would be dubbed “S” (for sinistra), an effort to clearly denote their export-market specification. The 1955 B24 Spider America was a U.S.-market exclusive which was, in turn, succeeded by the B24S convertible in 1956. Only 521 B24S convertibles were made, and they remain highly desirable today.
Chassis 1606, offered here, is the 423rd B24S Convertible produced overall, and the 98th produced during the last year of the model’s run. Lancia records on file show that 1606 was released by the factory on 22 May 1958 for distribution to the United States, and originally clad in a Grigio Selleria exterior over a red leather interior. At some point during the 1980s, this B24S was acquired by the singer Sergio Franchi, who is reported to have used the car sparingly until commissioning a restoration in the later part of that decade. Unfortunately, Franchi did not live to see the outcome of this expense; 1606 was retained by the Franchi estate from Sergio’s passing in May 1990 until acquisition by the previous owner, eminent Lancia specialist Jan Voboril. Voboril provided much-needed mechanical care to 1606 while under his ownership, and this B24S was thusly acquired by the California-based consignor in April 2012.
Thanks to Voboril’s previous work, 1606 and the consignor completed three tours of the California Mille and two tours of the Colorado Grand in trouble-free fashion between 2012 and 2016. After several thousand miles of touring, and over 20 years since the last professional restoration commissioned by Franchi, 1606 was laid up in the summer of 2016.
The car’s present mechanical and cosmetic condition is thanks to a complete restoration provided by RM Auto Restoration which was begun in November 2016 and finished in December 2018, at the reported cost of $440,000 USD. A compendium of invoices on file illustrates every effort expended in returning this Aurelia to the perfect synthesis of midcentury Italian design and continental, open-air performance. Quite simply, no component escaped redress or replacement with readily available correct parts, or custom-fabricated facsimiles.
This peerless, late-production B24S Aurelia Convertible is powered a numbers-matching 2.5-liter V-6 engine surmounted by a single Weber carburetor and paired to a floor-mounted, four-speed manual transmission. It is presented today wearing a stunning Ferrari Blue Sera livery and matching blue convertible canvas top over a cognac leather interior. An attractive and correct set of 12-hole wheels are wrapped in fresh, period-style Michelin radial tires.
Through the summer of 2018, this Lancia was exhibited at several notable concours. Though not entirely complete at the time, RM’s ongoing restoration of 1606 still proved an award-winning effort, with the car winning Best in Class at the Concours d’Elegance of America in Plymouth, Michigan. It also earned Best in Class and Outstanding Post War awards at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Kemble, Ontario.
This exemplary, award-winning Aurelia B24S Convertible would surely be at home on the roster of the finest historic tours, road rallies, and concours events.