This extremely rare vehicle made its way to the drawing board here at Classic Investments around August of 2013. After going through a “dry fit” of parts, it was stripped of paint, had the body meticulously worked over and received a fresh coat of original Grigio.
It was crucial that we began with a complete inventory of the parts we had on hand and determine what would be required for this sensitive restoration project. Most of the parts that came with this car from the factory are still with it today! Every single one was carefully prepared to return to factory original finishes.
Stephen Bell originally got word of this car back in early March of 2013. He quickly got the trailer ready and set off to a remote location in the midwest where he then bought, loaded and returned with this incredible car. Once home, the massive number of loose parts was quickly sorted and stored while Steve carefully considered the options for this rare vehicle. With only 181 of the spider America cars ever made, parts were expensive and difficult to source. Luckily, the inventory revealed that the parts Steve had returned with made up the bulk of all the parts needed for the restoration! Some parts still needed to be refinished, repaired or even fabricated from diagrams or templates of the originals. Nevertheless, this was excellent news and the project progressed rapidly with the entire team working tirelessly to have the project completed on time, under budget and to the highest standards in the world.
This particular example was the 9th of its kind ever built and has been confirmed as the 2nd oldest remaining in the world! The following 17 cars manufactured are now unaccounted for and the next to pick up the lineage is #36. Lancia was known for being extremely innovative and creating some of the most fascinating and beautiful cars of the time. The 2.5Litre, V-6 engine was the first production V-6 ever manufactured and was used in one form or another from its development in 1950 through to 1970, first in the Aurelia and later in the Flaminia. With an undersquare design and 60 degree bank angle this engine was very compact. And with the use of lightweight alloys and clever design techniques (such as the rear mounted transaxle with inboard drum brakes) weight distribution was very good which improved on performance and handling–a major concern in the early 1950’s when tire technology was poor and Lancias own engine was struggling to develop much more than 100BHP.
On June 8th, 2014, the B24s #1009 drove down the highway to its first show since restoration was completed only 2 days before! It was a gorgeous day and the car performed flawlessly – impressing spectators and judges alike. Due to the unpredictable Colorado weather, the 31st annual Colorado Concours D’Elegance was all but abandoned not an hour after the judging had been completed. Still, we were able to spend around 6 hours in the beautiful morning sun talking to hundreds of interested folks who had come to support the annual tradition. Somehow, we managed to retreat to the shop just before hail began to fall on the show field. The judges results were postponed for over a week, but, on June 18th the announcement came through on the Ability Connection Colorado website–2014 Colorado Concours “Best In Show” was awarded to none other than a particular 1955 Lancia Aurelia Spider… #1009! We couldn’t be more excited to have attended and were again thrilled to see her go through the 2014 Gooding and CO Monterey auction!