DiecastXchange Forum banner

The X-Clinic: Ménage à trois - Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America FINISHED!

4036 Views 30 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  X-meno
I've always heard that what's good always comes in pairs... so what if it's in threes? Well, what I now have on the table is nothing more than a trio of Italian ladies, namely 3 beautiful Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider Americas, reproduced by Bburago, respectively mine (metallic blue), my friend's Joel (light-blue) and my friend's Carlos (white). The miniature, by the brand's standards, isn't all bad but it's really a very simple model and I think the car itself deserves a bit better.

So, what I intend is to reproduce at least 2 original chassis as best as possible. Joel's will be approximated as closely as possible to reproduce chassis #B24S-1706:

The one from my friend Carlos will gain some new shoes (more on this later) and is intended to reproduce the specifications of chassis #B24-1034 (which is in fact a right-hand drive model but that is precisely what Carlos wants:

Finally, mine... is anyone's guess. I bought mine about 15 years ago and at the time I loved the metal-flake paintwork and the cream seats but the truth is that of the 240 Spider America, 181 B24S (with left-hand drive) were produced but of all the images I found, weather period or current ones, I have never seen any with a similar paintjob or color so I'm simply going to detail it as faithfully as possible without having a specific objective. More details:

So, this is the "to do" list for the 3 ladies:

- Paint the interior, upholstery and door panels in the correct colours;
- Paint steering wheel to simulate metallic arms and wooden handle;
- Paint the dashboard in body color, improve the dials, gauges and controls and add the dashboard trim in the color of the upholstery;
- Detail the engine (including ignition cables and distributor, fuel lines, detail air filters, carburetor, exhausts, dynamo, oil filter, etc.)
- Paint the interior of the bonnet, the trunk and wheel wella matte black;
- Change number plates according to each chassis;
- Detail fuel tank and fabricate the bottom (the mould is hollow where the tank sits);
- Paint the chassis in black, detail the transaxle and engine crankcase, add lines for the braking system, fuel, suspensions, etc;
- Paint exhaust pipes black and add metal tips (chassis #B24S-1706);
- Replace the original wheels with 3D-printed ones (chassis #B24-1034);
- Sand all tire treads for added realism;
- Include chrome frames on the tail lights;
- Add windshield wiper blades;
- Paint the chassi s#B24-1034 roof (if the paint I have at home is the right tone, otherwise it stays as it is);
- And everything else that comes up!!

This is the original state of the model:

All 3 ladies together:

Fully disassembled so all the parts get cleaned up and ready for the tedious job of eliminating mould lines:

More news to come!
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 4 of 31 Posts
I have just joined as I see what you are working on. Very nice work. I built one about 35 years ago, after finding a kit. I built it to be a friends' car. He'd bought it new in 1956. A few years after I took this picture he was in hospital, terminally ill. He sold me the car before he passed away, and it took me five years to get it running again. That was thirty years ago, and we still have the car.

I went to great trouble to get the color right, but his first comment on seeing it was "I thought it was green..." As you can see, the walls of his barn were blue, and that's what it looked like.

I never finished every detail of the model, but it's mostly done. I scratch built the carbs, manifolds, reservoirs, wiring looms, etc. The glovebox (on US bound cars) opens, the seat belts open, the gauges have individual bezels, made a soft top, etc. I like that you blacked out the backing of the grill, I think I forgot that, or maybe was still learning. My biggest problem was the wheels. They didn't come standard with wires, and I don't like them on the design. But 3D printing was not available for most of us, only machining. And no printing of labels, had to be microphotography if you wanted. I scratched the label in the engine compartment under magnification. I will take some exterior pictures.

So may I ask if it's possible to get a set of the wheels you made? Even better if the lettering was on them.

We were asked to bring it to Pebble Beach twice, the first time, 2008, receiving 2nd in class, post-war preservation. It has never been restored, but looks much better after a bit of cleaning.

Vehicle Car Vehicle registration plate Automotive lighting Grille

Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Wheel Car

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive exterior Engineering

Hood Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Electric blue Auto part

Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Trunk Automotive design

Car Vehicle Steering part Motor vehicle Steering wheel

Vehicle Gear shift Car Motor vehicle Steering part

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Motor vehicle

Hood Car Automotive exterior Motor vehicle Vehicle

Electrical wiring Auto part Electric blue Gas Electronic engineering

Hood Motor vehicle Auto part Electric blue Automotive exterior
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 4
Thank you, everyone, for the compliments. I've been working on these cars since the early 80s, and unfortunately at this point I have no more time for working on miniatures, and have a few unbuilt models I won't get to. I need to clarify that I did not use micro-photography for any labels, merely that it was the only technical option before computer aided printing, etc. All I had was my hands. The license plate, though, was decals.

A little more back story about the car, B24S-1117. A friend who worked at the Berkeley Cyclotron machine shop and I were having a dream session, and mine was a Lancia Fulvia Sport. My friend mentioned a retired machinist who always talked about his old Lancia. After a year or two I went to the library (this was before the interwebs) and spent some hours searching for a name and number. With that in hand I wrote a letter that was never answered. I finally told my friend what I was up to, and he said why not call, worst he can do is hang up. So I did, and we talked for a few more years until he allowed me to visit. But all he could remember is that it was an open car (so not a Sport).

I thought he'd be a neatly dressed old-time machinist, and he thought I was a sharkskin-suited "player". Instead he was an old cowboy and I a younger freak; we got along great. And then he took me to the barn, and peeled back the doors. There, in the back, with a shaft of sunlight lighting up the dust floating in the air, was an Aurelia Spider, the ne plus ultra of Lancias. He let me take pictures, but he was going to leave the Spider to his nephews. But when he was in hospital, years later, they stripped his house for copper wire. When he found out he sold me the car for a relative pittance, and after he passed I wasted no time in removing it from his barn.

I will take more pictures soon. There are a few details I didn't mention, such as the turn signal switch was made from a scrap of clear plastic, and, as you noticed yourself, moving the PF badge from in front of the doors to behind. At that point PF only put the badge in front of the door if it was a special. The ignition wire tubes I made of brass tube. There were a few things I didn't do that I might have, such as making the hi-lo switch out of a piece of wire with a bit of glue for the knob, to replace the overly thick plastic, or the small caps to fill the shock adjusting rod removal holes. On the real car I thought the mirrors were no help, and spoiled the lines, so I pulled them off right away. I've left open the holes for now, The front plate mounting is US only, and even more ugly. It didn't occur to me to blacken the filter "mesh", I just made an impression with a file. As I was making it to be Henrys' car, I made sure to get right the Motorola AM radio he was so proud of installing, as well as it's antenna. The carb linkage was custom made at the request of the dealer, by a local racer, who also started the west-coast SCCA. I know his son, who is one of the first mountain bike builders.

I appreciate your underside detail, it's more than I made. BaT can be good for getting a view of the undersides. The model makes it difficult to get everything in the correct place, I had to make a few compromises, such as the ID badge placing, due to the handbrake pivot not placed correctly. I like the mesh in the air scoop (I have a spare that came out of a Spider consumed in a fire), and the sanding of the tires. The fuel "pump" is actually a selector valve (and, I'm afraid, is mounted just in front of the RH seat). BTW, the twin carb set up only improves things at full throttle. But they sound good, and look better! These are like small block Chevys, torque rather than horsepower. The side lights and under-bumper lights were post manufacture additions after Italian law changed.

As for the wheels, is there a way to email him? I don't do Zuckbook. I also have a set of Borrani Bimetal wheels, steel disc and alloy rims. They're a bit different too, of course.

I need to stop here for now. Again, my thanks.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Sorry all, it's been a very busy month for us.

spikeyone has it right, BaT = Bring a Trailer. It is a good source for detail images. That said, many cars have been modified, and if you don't already know what's correct, BaT can send you the wrong direction. Case in point is the silver B24 Convertible recently listed. Quite a few detail issues, but also major sheetmetal issues; from the doors back it has been replaced, and is quite wrong. So bad I said nothing, and it was RNM, reserve not met, for good reason.

When I started on the Spider model in '88/'89, all I had were the few photos I'd taken, and any I could find in books, magazines, and brochures. So there was a certain amount of (somewhat educated) guessing involved, but I got most of it right. And while there are a few things I'd do differently, I am still happy with the model overall, and the wrong color is a story in its' own right. I'm not going to redo it/build another, at least not now (mesh in the air scoop, blacked out inner grill sections, sanded tire tread, and wheels will probably get done at some point).

Regarding the top, I took the "hardtop" and cut away everything but the frame. Except I didn't yet realize there was an extra bow, so it's missing one. I never made the plastic window as I hadn't figured out how to cut the hole in the fabric without the edges unraveling.

I did take more pictures, but they mostly show I'm not a photographer.

I used to make display cases when I worked in a museum.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Hood Car

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive parking light

I used mylar tape for some of the chrome trim. The painted spot should be holding the cloth top, but, hey?
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Hood Wheel

I would now make a better mirror. And shift knob. And steering wheel and Hi-Lo switch (mostly hidden behind the wheel in this shot).
Car Steering part Steering wheel Automotive design Motor vehicle

Vehicle Wheel Tire Car Hood

I made a (paper) cover for the tank, and painted it to match. Not quite correct, it has it's own fabric. Note the rub strips on the back of the seats. Note the trunk latch to the side. And the tank has no rivets on the side, or buckles on the straps. But I didn't know then.
Hood Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive lighting

As viewed from the front, on the left, the front shock oil reservoir, on the right the brake fluid reservoir and the voltage regulator. I removed the "Lancia" script, added the fins and central valve cover nut and oil filler caps.
Hood Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design

Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Bumper Car

Hood Car Vehicle Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

Camera accessory Camera lens Automotive tire Cameras & optics Film camera

My friend worked at the UC Berkeley Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. This is the (front) parking sticker. Didn't make the rear one.
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Vehicle Motor vehicle

Notice the aluminum steering wheel rim also shows at the outer edge between the wood.
Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Hood

Tire Car Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle

As it sits...
Tire Vehicle Wheel Car Hood
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Those wire wheels are great! They look so much more to scale. I'm not a fan of wires on Aurelias to begin with (especially as the knock-offs need to be so big because the axle passes through the wheel bearing to reduce angular contact), and the Burago ones are not very good-looking.

Regarding the "steel" rims and hubcaps: I still prefer them, I think they match the design of the car better. If I get that far, i'll be considering turning hubcaps from aluminum on a lathe. I'd like to have the "Lancia" lettering on them as well. But it's a ways off at the moment.

But both rims make a big difference. Much improved. Next would come Michelin tires. Lancia never mounted Engleberts, especially as I don't think they ever made a 165x400...
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 4 of 31 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.