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1956 LANCIA AURELIA B24S CONVERTIBLE For Sale by Auction

Bonhams are delighted to offer at our forthcoming Monaco Collectors' Motor Car Auction on Friday 11th May at Villa La Vigie, Monte-Carlo, 55 collectors motor cars plus select automobilia and models. The full online catalogue can be viewed at - details above. For further images and information on this lot, please follow the link.

1956 LANCIA AURELIA B24S CONVERTIBLE
CHASSIS NO. B24S-1187
•Ultimate incarnation of the classic Lancia Aurelia
•2½-litre V6 engine
•History documented back to 1961
•Attractive colour scheme
•Registered in Italy

€280, 000 - 320, 000

The B24S Convertible represents the ultimate development of one of the most influential designs to emerge from Italy post-WW2: Lancia's classic Aurelia. First car ever to employ a V6 engine, the Aurelia was launched at the 1950 Turin Motor Show, and the following year the original saloon was joined by the Pinin Farina-styled B20 Coupé, a fastback 2+2 GT. B24 Spider and Convertible models were launched in 1955, both powered by a 2½-litre, 118bhp version of the 60-degree V6, by which time the Aurelia had gained a leaf-sprung De Dion rear axle.

The Aurelia Spider was clearly inspired by the Pinin Farina's open Ferraris. Intended for sale mainly in the USA, and with its wraparound windscreen of American inspiration, the Spider was quickly dubbed 'America'. Built on a 2, 450mm wheelbase, the B24S Spider was mechanically similar to the 4th Series Aurelia B20, except for different air filters. All models had a floor-mounted gearchange and it was the first Lancia with left-hand drive as standard (the 'S' in the type number meaning 'Sinistra' - left - in Italian).

From 1956, the Spider America was succeeded by the more conventional B24S Convertible, mechanically based on the 5th series Aurelia B20. Again the work of Pinin Farina, the B24S Convertible looked superficially very similar but in fact was a total redesign that shared no panels with its predecessor. Easily recognisable differences were many: deeper doors with external handles and wind-up windows, flatter windscreen with quarter-lights, and one-piece bumpers, to name but three. There was also, of course, a proper convertible hood providing decent weather protection. The B24S Convertible was built on the same wheelbase as the Spider and used a slightly less powerful (110bhp) version of the 2½-litre V6 engine. More civilised than the uncompromising Spider, the Convertible was also more successful, 521 being sold between 1956 and 1958 as opposed to 240 Spiders.

This beautifully presented Lancia B24S Convertible's history is documented from 1961 when the car was registered in Bologna, Italy. It changed hands again in 1968, passing to a gentleman in the nearby town of Ferrara where it has remained ever since: with one owner until 1984 and then with the current vendor. The latter purchased the Lancia in the early 1990s but only registered it in his name in 2016.

According to the vendor, the car has been subjected to a thorough restoration. It presents beautifully in its period light blue colour, which is complemented by a beige leather interior and black hood. Accompanying documentation consist of Italian registration documents and an ASI certificate.

Few cars are more redolent of the 'Dolce Vita' era of Italian motoring as the Lancia B24S Convertible, one of which famously starred in the 1962 film 'Il Sorpasso' alongside Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

Lancia Aurelia B24 S Convertible 1956
Châssis n° B24S-1187

•Ultime incarnation de la classique Lancia Aurelia
•Moteur V6 de 2, 5 litres
•Historique remontant à 1961
•Belle combinaison de teintes
•Immatriculée en Italie

La B24 S Convertible représente l'ultime développement de l'un des concepts les plus influents apparus en Italie après la Seconde Guerre mondiale : la classique Aurelia de Lancia. Première voiture dotée d'un moteur V6, l'Aurelia fut lancée au Salon de Turin 1950 et, l'année suivante, la berline originale fut rejointe par la B20 Coupé dessinée par Pinin farina, un modèle 2+2 fast back. Les modèles B24 Spider et Convertible apparurent en 1955, tous deux propulsés par une version 2, 5 litres de 118 ch du V6 à 60 degrés, à une époque où l'Aurelia avait reçu un essieu arrière De Dion suspendu par des ressorts à lames. L'Aurelia Spider était clairement inspirée par les Ferrari découvertes de Pinin Farina. Destinée au marché nord-américain et dotée d'un pare-brise enveloppant d'inspiration américaine, la Spider fut très vite surnommée « American ». Construite sur un empattement de
2 450 mm, la B24 Spider était semblable mécaniquement à l'Aurelia B20 4e Série à l'exception des filtres à air. Tous les modèles avaient un sélecteur au plancher et ce fut la première Lancia équipée d'origine de la conduite à gauche (la lettre « S » de la désignation du type signifie sinistra, gauche en italien).

À partir de 1956, la Spider America fit place à la plus conventionnelle B24 Convertible, sur base mécanique d'Aurelia B20 5e Série. Dessinée également par Pinin Farina, la B24 S Convertible présentait beaucoup de ressemblance avec sa devancière, mais en réalité, c'était un modèle totalement redessiné qui ne partageait aucun panneau de carrosserie avec la Spider. Les différences sont facilement repérables : portes plus hautes avec poignées extérieures et glaces montantes, pare-brise plus plat avec déflecteurs et pare-chocs en une seule pièce, pour n'en citer que quelques-unes. Une vraie capote repliable offrait une véritable protection contre la pluie. La B24 S Convertible construite sur le même empattement que celui de la Spider recevait une version un peu moins puissante (110 ch) du moteur V6 de 2, 5 litres. Plus civilisée que la très sportive Spider, la Convertible trouva davantage de clients avec 521 ventes entre 1956 et 1958 contre 240 Spider.

L'histoire de cette superbe Lancia B24 S Convertible est documentée depuis 1961 lorsque la voiture fut immatriculée à Bologne (Italie). Elle changea de main en 1968, vendue à un habitant de la région de Ferrare où elle est restée chez un même propriétaire jusqu'à 1984 puis chez le vendeur actuel. Ce dernier acheta la Lancia au début des années 1990, mais ne l'immatricula à son nom qu'en 2016.

D'après le vendeur, la voiture a fait l'objet d'une restauration totale. Ella se présente sous une teinte bleu pâle d'époque avec intérieur beige et capote noire. La documentation jointe comprend les documents d'immatriculation italiens et un certificat de l'ASI.

Peu de voitures sont aussi évocatrices de la période « dolce vita » de l'automobile italienne que la Lancia B24 S Convertible, modèle rendu célèbre par le film « Le Fanfaron » de 1962 avec Vittorio Gassman et Jean-Louis Trintignant.

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