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All about the department that champions the historic heritage of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
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Italy |
11-15 June 2024
1000 Miglia
Where passion meets legend
Como (IT) |
25 - 26 may 2024
Fuoriconcorso 2024
Stellantis Heritage takes center stage at prestigious “FuoriConcorso” event
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Some connections lead to great stories.
Lancia D24 Spider Sport
The successes of Scuderia Lancia
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
Italy’s sweetheart.
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Last News:
Turin, 12 April 2024
Heritage pays tribute to the history of Abarth with two special projects
A temporary exhibition and the announcement of the Abarth Classiche 1300 OT project.
17th November 2023
Stellantis Heritage at Milano AutoClassica
The debut of Fiat Multipla 6x6 and tribute to Autodelta
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The history of four world-leading Italian motoring brands
From the most emblematic models to the most successful, revolutionary people, and the most significant events, this section illustrates and celebrates the cornerstones of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
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Reloaded by creators is the Heritage project involving the sale of a small number of classic cars from the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth brands: historic models, with certified authenticity, restored to their original beauty by the Constructor itself.

Lancia D24 Spider Sport

The successes of Scuderia Lancia

For founder Vincenzo Lancia, racing was the exclusive preserve of his customers, but his son Gianni had the opposite opinion: the excellent podium finishes achieved by the Aurelia B20 GT prompted him to launch the official Scuderia Lancia racing team. That led in 1953 to the creation of the most beautiful and successful open two-seater racing car of its time: the Lancia D24 Spider Sport.

From its earliest beginnings, Lancia has always designed cars with a sporty character. It’s perhaps no surprise given that founder Vincenzo Lancia had been chief test driver and works team driver for Fiat in the early years of the 20th century, winning races in Europe and also in the United States. After establishing his own brand in 1906, the brilliant entrepreneur took part in a few more competitions before leaving the option for his customers to try their hand at racing. He created sport versions of each Lancia model, but without entering them in races himself or through an official works team. This approach continued until Vincenzo Lancia’s death and even some years beyond, after his son Giovanni (better known as "Gianni") took over the company reins.

The strategy finally changed following the release of the Aurelia B20 GT Coupé in 1951. The ingenious V6 engine designed by lead engineer Francesco De Virgilio turned out to be ideally suited to sports tuning and immediately started accumulating victories. Gianni Lancia had always been fascinated by motorsport and his customers’ successes with the car prompted him to set up the Scuderia Lancia factory team, which soon began racking up excellent results in the most famous competitions. In particular, the agile Aurelia B20 GT excelled in the 1951 1OOO Miglia, where Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli piloted a virtually standard road car to a second-place finish behind a Ferrari 340 America, with its much more powerful V12 engine: Lancia’s grand tourer proved especially stable and easy to handle in the more mountainous sections, where the Ferrari struggled to bring its power to bear.

That success in the 1OOO Miglia, added to the Aurelia’s outstanding performances in the Grand Tourer Class in general, provided the impetus to create cars that were designed exclusively for races. But this transition didn’t happen overnight: it wasn't until 1953 that Lancia released its first purpose-built racing car, the Lancia D20 Coupé Sport, bodied by Pinin Farina. It was another evolution of the Aurelia B20 GT, sporting aluminium bodywork and with the V6 engine enlarged to higher displacements of 3 and 2.7 litres, the latter version with a compressor that boosted output to 240 HP. While the D20 was showing promising results in races, Lancia technicians were using it to develop an open-topped version: the D23 Sport Spider. Four were built, powered by a 3-litre, 217 HP engine and adopting a De Dion rear axle.

1953 proved to be a breakthrough year: the D23 served as a developmental base on which to experiment with different solutions, while the new Lancia D24 Sport Spider was created in record time. Its trellis frame in chrome-molybdenum steel tubing had a shorter wheelbase than the D23, while its V6 engine was enlarged to 3.3 litres and developed 245 HP.

By this point the architecture was well and truly that of a racing engine: two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, two distributors and two spark plugs per cylinder, and most significantly, dry sump lubrication with oil tank and radiator. The V6 engine was fed by three 46mm twin-barrel Weber carburettors. Retaining the Aurelia layout, the gearbox and clutch were mounted as a single unit on the rear axle, in front of the differential. The redesigned and reinforced transmission had four gears, synchronised from the second, and no fewer than eight different axle ratios helped the car adapt to different race sections. It had independent front suspension and a solid De Dion axle at the rear, with inboard drum brakes to reduce unsprung mass.

The bodywork of this open two-seater “barchetta” racing car was low and streamlined, with sinuous curves ending in two protruding headlights at the front of the fenders. Gaping like a mouth in the centre was a forward-leaning radiator grille that followed the same curvature as the wings. The dynamic air intake on the bonnet conveyed air to the three twin-barrel carburettors. The rounded rear end was shaped almost like a teardrop, connecting the top and side curves of the wings and trunk with the lower part of the bodywork.
The D24 preserved Lancia’s reputation for making elegant cars, whilst also boasting the credentials of a racing thoroughbred: in its time it was considered the most beautiful of sports cars.

It won 11 of the 17 races it entered and enjoyed worldwide domination, from the Carrera Panamericana to the Targa Florio and other prestigious Sicilian races. It also won hillclimbs and, with two-time F1 world champion Alberto Ascari in the driving seat, also the prestigious 1OOO Miglia in 1954.


The D24 boasted a stellar competitive record, finishing first in 11 of its 17 races. With Juan Manuel Fangio it won the Carrera Panamericana-Mexico in 1953, ahead of Piero Taruffi in another D24; the following year Taruffi drove it to victory in the Targa Florio, the Giro di Sicilia and the Coppa d'Oro di Siracusa; with Gigi Villoresi behind the wheel it won the Porto Grand Prix, while Eugenio Castellotti’s D24 dominated hillclimbs from Bolzano-Mendola to Aosta-San Bernardo, Bologna-Raticosa, Treponti-Castelnuovo and Florence-Siena.

In the thrilling 38th edition of the Targa Florio, the Lancia D24 cars of Piero Taruffi and Castellotti, which were nicknamed "3.300 Carrera" after their podium placings in Mexico, vied for victory against agile Maseratis piloted by Luigi Musso, Giorgio Scarlatti and Luigi Bellucci. Castellotti clocked the fastest lap at an average speed of 93.116 km/h on the Short Madonie circuit, while Taruffi claimed overall victory ahead of Musso's Maserati and Roberto Piodi in a Lancia Aurelia B20, the first of many to cross the finish line.

However, the D24’s greatest victory came in the "most beautiful race in the world", as Enzo Ferrari called it: the 1OOO Miglia. The 1954 instalment of this gruelling road race through the stunning Italian countryside had already claimed several illustrious victims by the halfway point in Rome. Out in front were two Lancia D24s, with Piero Taruffi’s car four minutes ahead of Alberto Ascari, followed in third place by Umberto Maglioli a whole 12 minutes behind in the first Ferrari 375 Plus. But it’s a tradition that whoever is in the lead at the midpoint of the race does not win, and this also held true for the 21st edition. Taruffi damaged his car crashing off the road while overtaking two slower competitors. He made a pitstop in Florence but was subsequently forced to retire, thus paving the way for Ascari's victory.

Driving his Lancia D24 no. 602 at an average speed of 139.645 km/h, Ascari crossed the finish line in Brescia more than half an hour in front of Vittorio Marzotto's Ferrari 500 Mondial. Ascari, who was a two-time Formula 1 world champion but was considered a less experienced road racer than his Scuderia teammates (Castellotti, Taruffi and Luigi Valenzano), won the race in 11 hours 26 minutes and 10 seconds, earning Lancia its first and only victory in the 1OOO Miglia.

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