B24’s - Spiders and Convertibles
The B24 stands for the open two seater Aurelia. These cars came in two types – the earlier dramatic B24 Spider of 1954-55 and the later more sophisticated B24 Convertible(1956-1958), both designed by Pininfarina. The stunning Spider features a wrap-around windshield, split bumpers, side curtains and a difficult to use top. Lighter than the convertible, it was the more sporty of the two. However, it had a more awkward seating position, one befitting a prototype and not a series car. Both these cars were fully designed by Pininfarina and assembled in their factory on chassis provided by Lancia.
The Convertible was a more conventional car, less of a prototype. It was easily differentiated from the spider with its vent windows, roll up side windows, and a more conventional, less striking look, but with a more relaxed driving position, being somewhat more considered than the Spider.
With regard to series, the open cars followed the mechanics of the B20’s almost exactly, although on a shorter wheelbase: the B24 Spider was based on a 4th series B20, the B24S Convertible on the 5th and 6th series B20’s. A few other details then:
- the Spider was also available with a detuned “America” engine, unique to this car only, provided with a special camshaft.
- seats - there were differences between the 5th and 6th series Convertibles, with the 5th series seats similar to the Spiders’, fairly large and flat, with a small covered panel between them. 6th series seats were more bucketed, with nothing separating them.
- gas tank - in the Spiders and early convertibles (5th and first 150 of the 6th), it was located behind the seats. In the later convertibles, it was in the trunk.
- Convertibles came only as LHD cars (S = sinistra), the Spiders came both right and left hand drive.