Rare Rides: An Incredibly Rare 1965 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Zagato
By my count, Rare Rides has featured exactly four Lancias in the past. Ranging in scope from two-doors to four-doors, they all contained Italian passion and were designed with a ruler. Today’s coupe bucks the trend: It’s an elegant and curvaceous Flaminia, and more specifically, a very desirable Super Sport Zagato.
Remember when Lancia was a full-line automaker; an independent brand which competed with the likes of Alfa Romeo and Fiat for European (and some North American) car customers? Nor do I, but today’s Flaminia hails from just such an era. During its production, Lancia had eight models on offer, as well as a rally car toward the end of the model’s run.
Speaking of model runs, the Flaminia was a long-lived model. Introduced in 1957 to take over for the very dated looking Aurelia, the Flaminia was offered through 1970. Flaminia ushered in modern styling and new levels of luxury for Lancia customers (and some visitors to Italy, like Queen Elizabeth). But upon its cancellation there would never be another large luxury car from the Lancia brand. The furthest upmarket Lancia reached after 1970 were executive-class cars like the 2000 and Gamma. The latter of those two found the brand already under the control of Fiat, which is where it resides today.
Underneath, the Flaminia was a rework of the old Aurelia chassis with an entirely new body. The front suspension was updated to a double wishbone setup, with an anti-roll bar added for good measure. At the rear, the De Dion tube suspension was kept in place. Only the base sedan version had drum brakes and offered discs optionally, while all other versions used discs at all corners.
Pulling out all the stops for its flagship car, Lancia offered the Flaminia in five body styles. The most basic and affordable version was the sedan (Berlina), which was designed by Pininfarina. There were three different coupes on offer, designed and built by Pininfarina, Zagato, and Carrozzeria Touring. Touring was also drafted to build the convertible. The most exclusive and sixth body style was the presidential landaulet sedan, another Pininfarina creation. But those were not available to consumers.
Powering all Flaminias were two Lancia V6 engines, in either 2.5-liter or 2.8-liter displacement. After 1963 the 2.5 was phased out in favor of the larger engine. While the 2.5 managed 140 horses in its final (triple carb) form, the 2.8 upped that figure to 152. Transmissions on offer included a four-speed manual or semi-automatic manual with automatic clutch called Saxomat. The Saxomat transmission had an interesting history through the Fifties and Sixties, and was implemented by many European manufacturers. Each company branded it with their own name to distance it from its use at other brands. The last cars to use the system appeared in the Nineties. Remember Saab Sensonic?
Zagato’s Flaminia offerings included the Sport and Super Sport. Unlike some of the other coupes, their version had only two seats. Utilizing a shorter wheelbase (14 inches shorter than the sedan), it had an aluminum body and was more curvaceous than other Flaminia coupes. The Sport existed until 1964, when the Super Sport took over. The name change signified usage of the larger 2.8-liter engine. The Super Sport was discontinued after 1967 as the Flaminia neared end of production. In total, 150 of 593 Zagato coupes were Super Sport versions.
Today’s 1965 Super Sport is in beautiful condition, residing in Switzerland. In silver over tan hides, it’s priced upon request.
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- Jeff S Some of us don't care either way we are not into this type of car. Most of these will be stored in garages waiting for their value to go up. As someone above noted this is an old body style which is retro 70s Challenger which after researching it came out in the 2008 MY which means a long run for a model that is in its 16th year. I have always liked these but if I bought one I would not spend this kind of money on one probably get the V-6 version and use it as a family car but then I am not into drag racing or muscle cars. For the type of car it is it has a decent rear seat and not too bad of a trunk. Most of us are not going to spend 100k for any vehicle at least currently so its not something most of us will buy and stick in a garage waiting for its value to increase. I am glad that these editions came out for those who can afford them and it keeps a little more color into what has become a very dull vehicle market but then with age I pick the dull appliance like reliable vehicle because that's what I need. Impressive car but not for me.
- Jonathan The Germans. So organized they can appear disorganized. I agree with some others, classic names like Thunderbird, Imperial, Grand Prix, Ambassador etc. just have more appeal.
- Bobbysirhan A friend had one when they first came out. He was CFO of some green California company and could charge the Volt at work. At home, the PHEV gave him an excuse to make his wife park her nicer car outdoors while the Volt get their condo's one-car garage. He liked the Volt, and he spent very little on energy during the 'first one's free!' era of EV ownership. Of course, the green company went bust soon after, and he wound up with a job that involved far more driving and ultimately the need for a more substantial car. I drove the Volt once after his wife had made a return trip to Los Angeles, depleting the battery. I don't know what a first gen Volt drives like with a charged battery, but it was really gutless with two adults, a yellow lab, and a dead battery. My other memory of it was that it had a really cramped back seat for a car that was about as large as a Civic. My friend who bought it liked it though, and that's not always been the case for GM vehicles.
- MrIcky I think the Shakedown is more my speed of the last call editions- but this is impressive.
- Dukeisduke I tried watching the live reveal last night, but after 15 minutes of jawing by MT+ personalities (and yes, I like Chris Jacobs and Alex Taylor), I turned it off.
The sequel to this car is already available to all of us. The new Toyota Supra.
Have to agree with the criticism of the squared-off wheel arches. Now I can't unsee them. I love the rear "not pretending to be a seat" inside cargo shelf. Just the place to lay down your cashmere overcoat and fine Italian leather briefcase.