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1956 Lancia Aurelia Spyder America Project

This 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spyder America may be old, but it is far from primitive. Lancia built some of the most mechanically advanced cars after the war and we love them. After looking a little closer at this rare beauty, we think you will agree. Offered as a project out of Portland, this Spyder is listed here on eBay with bidding starting at $50k.

The Spyder was built to capitalize off the success of the Aurelia B20. The B20 did well at many events in Europe including the Mille Miglia and Monte Carlo rally, so Lancia decided it might be a good idea to build an open top model which would appeal to new customers in, you guessed it, America!

There were two series of B24s built. The early roadsters featured a unique wrap-around windshield and split bumpers. The later cars gained a convertible top, more conventional windshield, and one piece bumpers. Luckily, this is one of the last roadsters built, so it still has that great curved windshield and stunning good looks.

We mentioned that these cars were very advanced in their time. Well, here is one of their innovations. A 2.5 liter V6 that put out 118 silky smooth horses. This particular one suffered a broken piston back in the seventies, but has since been repaired. The seller does not give many details, but it looks ready to drop back in.

The transmission may just be a four speed, but its mounting location was far from conventional. Mounted out back to create a transaxle, it provided independent rear suspension and a better weight distribution. Note the inboard drum brakes and unibody construction. Upfront the wheels are attached to a sliding pillar suspension and the whole combination provided for great handling.

This car has been in the same family for over 40 years, but a death has caused the restoration to be stalled. We doubt they are going to let it go cheap and it is not going to be cheap to restore, but these are very sought after today. Production was limited and they are eligible for many events. A restored example went for $550k a few years back in Monterey, so it will be interesting to see what this one goes for…

Source: eBay


  1. gm barnett

    Typical gold digger pricing. You will never get out of that car what it would take to get back on the road. Wow!

    Like 0
    • Barn Finds

      I have to disagree with you there gm. These have sky rocketed in value recently and I don’t think it is unrealistic to say that with a proper restoration this car could bring half a million. It all depends on what that reserve is set at.

      Like 0
  2. scot c

    ~ good thing dreams are still free !

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  3. Ron Erikson

    This car in this condition is worth $250k. The asking price in Hemmings last month was $395k, which is maybe a bit too high. For $300k this should definitely sell.

    Like 0
  4. mikey

    I don’t like red or black colors on a car……..but holy smokes……it’s an Aurelia for corns sakes. Guess I could make the case for a mind change.

    Alas I am done with the higher priced cars, so….I’m out. Like I was ever in.

    Like 1
  5. Dolphin Member

    These Aurelias are expensive, even disassembled, but that’s the way of vintage cars these days. I can’t afford it, but the real problem I have when I see cars like this come on the market now is that, way back when, I *could* afford it because they were unappreciated and cheap. But I didn’t buy one, so I have only myself to blame.

    The Aurelia introduced the first production V6 engine, and it was a hemispheric design, unlike most other engines back in the 1950s. The crankshaft has 6 throws, one for each cylinder, unlike most V6s in cheaper cars, which made for smoother running. As Jesse said, the car has a transaxle and independant rear suspension with inboard rear brakes for better weight distribution and less unsprung weight. All of which helps to explain why the early Aurelia B20s, with not much more than 100 HP, did so well in European road races back then—they handled the bad roads well, and so were ‘momentum’ cars that could put up relatively high average speeds over race distances.

    Depending on what’s missing on this car, some of the prices mentioned above could be very realistic. There were no more than 240 of these Spyder Americas made during 1954-55, and everything about them ensures that the will forever be collectible. The price range earlier this year for these cars was from a low of $385K to a high of $587K, and this range is probably higher now. If the car is as good as it looks in the photos, and if not too many unobtainium parts are missing, then a price in the $300K range is realistic—at least as realistic as crazy vintage car pices go these days. It will be best bought by someone who knows and understands these cars and can do the assembly himself. Then the major expense will be a perfect paint job,and the owner will have a half-million or more car which, barring another world financial meltdown, will just keep climbing in value. But what you get for that money is a rare, beaurtful Italian sports car with advanced high performance engineering (for the day) and hand-made build quality.

    So: this car, finished, at half a million or a bit more, or an early Ferrari 250 GT PF Cabriolet for 4 to 6 times as much. As much as I admire Ferraris, this Spyder America is a no-brainer answer to that question.

    Like 1
  6. Ron Erikson

    Dolphin — I just did a restoration on our car — all of the parts missing here can be obtained. These are not such complicated cars, at least cosmetically, and all of the mechanical parts are shared with other Aurelias of the period, except for example, the front axle, but that will not require changing in most cases. I would want to see the engine number, verify that it is original with the Registro Aurelia. From the look of it, this is a straightforward project, if the metalwork has been done correctly, you could get this to show quality for $100k.

    Like 0
  7. Peter Cella

    I would love to find out what happened with this car. I was the third owner of it and when I sold the car in 1978, it wasn’t missing any parts.

    Like 0
    • scot carr

      ~ Must be interesting to see the car after this period of time. Hoping it’s been brought back to its glory!

      Like 0

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