Cohort Sighting: Lancia Aurelia B24 Spyder – So Beautiful, It Hurts

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If, for some reason, you’re unfamiliar with why Lancia’s post-Fiat cars are generally met with indifference or disdain, this Aurelia convertible will provide you with some perspective.  This Pininfarina-designed convertible is a completely different animal compared to the upmarket Fiats which superseded it, with style in abundance and very apparent quality to match.  Just look at that two-piece bumper, working together with history’s most elegant hood scoop to frame that expensive looking grille.  To those details, add a perfectly matched, bumper-height chrome spear (to break up the visual heft of the substantial door sills needed to maintain rigidity), impossibly delicate side marker lights and a wraparound windshield, and you’ve got a contender for the most attractive roadster in a very competitive era.  

Many thanks to Tonymcandrew for sharing this find with CC.  Its looks made it stand out among a host of interesting cars in The Cohort, and the ambiguously defined form of the fixed, forward slanting side glass in particular grabbed my attention.  You just don’t see shapes like that today and they were uncommon when this car was built between 1954 and 1955.  Its mechanicals were also quite exotic, with the world’s first production V6, a rear mounted transaxle with a DeDion axle and the first factory-fitted radial tires.  Even if it wasn’t the fastest roadster around, with 115 horsepower, it had to be one of the most stable.

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That’s certainly considerate when you consider how much it would cost to repair that beautiful bodywork if you were to skid into the bushes.  When people say “they don’t build them like they used to,” just keep this image in your mind.  Think about what was involved in forming and joining the panels which surround that narrow hood or the cost to repair them if you were to nudge a mailbox or trashcan.  Taking all that into account, it was certainly to leave the car, one of 240, so close to these plebeian hatchbacks, but then again, parking far away from others would be too crass a gesture for the driver of such a progressive machine.