The Private Collection

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1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider

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Part of our private collection

Vincenzo Lancia was born on August 24, 1881. After graduating from technical school, he got a job as an accountant at an auto factory in Turn, Italy; shortly thereafter becoming a test driver and successful racer for Fiat in the early part of the 20th century. He began building his own cars in 1908. The Lancia was immediately successful and the company developed a successful export business with an active representative in New York during its early years.

After World War I, the company continued to produce high-priced cars making its first real breakthrough with the Lambda starting in 1922. Powered by an overhead cam V-4 engine whose cylinders were mounted at an angle of just 13 degrees, it included a monocoque body patented by Lancia as well as an independent front suspension with telescopic springs. Other models followed, most with chassis available for Italian and other European coachbuilders. The company remained under family ownership until 1955 when it was sold to an Italian industrialist who 14 years later sold it to Fiat, a subsidiary of which it remains today. 

1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, Pinin Farina

Hailed by many as the first to produce a grand touring automobile, Lancia introduced the B20 Aurelia GT designed by Jano in 1950; a sporting version of the Aurelia saloon. Styled by Pinin Farina, it was a motorcar suitable for both daily use and competitive motorsports. A near-stock model finished second to Ferrari in the 1951 Mille Miglia and full factory-prepped race cars scored 1-2 in class and 6th and 8th overall at LeMans in 1952. That same year, a B20 Aurelia won the Targa Florio, and came in 3rd and 5th at the Mille Miglia.  A stellar rally car, it went on to win the Liege-Rome-Liege in 1953 and the famed Monte Carlo in 1954. 

World War II devastation bred postwar determination, and Lancia returned to the U.S. market in 1954 seeking valuable U.S. dollars and an opportunity at the burgeoning American economy. As its intended market and name clearly suggests, the handsome Aurelia Spider America – upgraded to B24 specs – reached the U.S., albeit in limited numbers. Just 240, including 181 with lefthand drive or Sinestra configuration, were built over two years.


The Spider is notable not only for its pioneering OHV 60-degree 118hp V-6 engine with 4-speed rear-mounted transaxle (for optimal weight distribution); but also, for its costly yet effective, fully independent sliding pillar front suspension and DeDion rear end. Behind the distinctive Lancia grille was a roadster body masterfully styled by Italian coachbuilder Pinin Farina while offering performance that challenged the Maseratis and Ferraris of the era in an innovative, practical, and attractive package. 

Build information on this car indicates that it was completed in October 1955 and finished in Grigio over Arancione leather. Little is known of the early history of the car, though the Spider retains its original numbers-matching engine. Over the decades, it is believed to have been part of two large American collections before becoming part of the well-known Oscar Davis Collection in Elizabeth, New Jersey. When purchased by Davis it was finished in silver over blue leather. Davis personalized the car painting it in white with red wheels and an interior trimmed in red leather. You might ask why? Davis wanted the car to match that of his first B24S Spider America which he had sold many years earlier. Upon Davis’ passing, the car was offered for sale and became part of the Hayim Collection in 2022.


For those unfamiliar, Davis collected only the best and most noteworthy examples of important cars while routinely maintaining his collection to the highest standards. While shown infrequently by Davis, under Hayim’s ownership, the Spider was the recipient of an Award of Merit in the Post War Touring Class at the 2023 Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance.



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Vehicle Highlights

  • Formerly part of the well-known Oscar Davis Collection.
  • One of just 240 produced, including 181 with lefthand drive.
  • Retains its numbers-matching 118hp OHV V-6 engine.
  • Novel sliding pillar independent front suspension.

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