If one were to ask a casual car enthusiast to name the greatest marques of Italy, the list may struggle to reach past Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and perhaps Maserati. But pose that same question to a full-blooded Petrol Head, and the list would most likely be topped by Lancia. Founded in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia, the company that bore his name went on to produce some of the most thoughtfully engineered and stylish automobiles the world has seen. More conservative than the typical Italian car, Lancia cars are often compared with Mercedes-Benz for their level of build quality. In practice, Lancia combined the best of both worlds – building automobiles that combined sophisticated engineering and outstanding performance wrapped in gorgeous, and unmistakably Italian bodywork. Their engineering prowess was reflected in competition success , particularly in rallying where Lancia holds a record ten World Constructor’s Championships. Lancia was a great innovator, responsible for many important firsts such as independent front suspension, the now ubiquitous V6 engine, and radial tires on a production car.
Lancia’s flagship through the 1950s was the Aurelia, the first production car to feature said V6 engine and standard fitment radial tires. It also had a sophisticated transaxle and trailing arm rear suspension. The Aurelia sold well in all forms, and in 1957, the firm introduced its equally brilliant replacement, the Flaminia. Offered as a four-door Berlina as well as short-wheelbase Coupe and Cabriolet, the Flaminia featured a sophisticated chassis with four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes mounted inboard at the rear, rear-mounted transaxle, and that gorgeous all-alloy V6 up front. A variety of coachbuilders lent their hand to the Flaminia, namely Pininfarina, Carrozzeria Touring and Zagato, all of which are unique and attractive in their own ways.
This 1966 Flaminia GT coupe is a highly desirable 2.5 model with triple Weber carburetors and attractive coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, distinguished by its quad headlamps and crisp, elegant lines. The white main body is contrasted with a silver-painted roof with matching silver wheels. In the 1980's, this example was purchased by a well-known Lancia enthusiast and unofficial marque ambassador, Tom Sheehan. Mr. Sheehan held a large inventory of parts and was an excellent resource for fellow Lancia owners in the USA. He kept this Flaminia GT until his death, when the car passed through the hands of several other enthusiasts before it found its way to Walt Spak, a longtime friend of Mr. Sheehan’s who remembered the car fondly. Spak embarked on a comprehensive and meticulous rebuilt of all mechanical systems (including the engine from the crankshaft up), which he estimated at 950 man-hours and over $40,000 in parts and machine work. Following Mr. Spak’s time, it then made its way to a dealer who promptly found it a home in prominent collection of Italian cars, but very quickly bought it back for his own use, as he was so very fond of this elegant Lancia.
Today, it is presented in very attractive condition; the white paint is in very good condition overall, showing few signs of its age. The exterior has recently been refreshed with new rubber around the glass. Panel fit is excellent, a clear sign of proper care and sound history for a Superleggera Touring bodied car. The elegant interior has been recently restored with new leather and correct vinyl trim, correct gray fluted rubber floor mats and proper gray carpeting. The tan leather complements the white and silver exterior for a very handsome effect.
The 2.5 liter, triple-carb V6 produces a healthy 150 horsepower and puts the power through a sweet-shifting four-speed manual transaxle. The engine compartment is pleasingly well-detailed and in keeping with the usable nature of the car. Included in the sale is a binder that supports the history and documents the extensive past restoration work.
This rare, extremely well-engineered sports car, with elegant Touring Superleggera Coupe coachwork, offers exquisite driving characteristics as well as eligibility to many exclusive tours and concours events. Experienced enthusiasts believe these are better built than their contemporary counterparts from Maranello – the Lancia Flaminia is quite simply a wonderful classic to own and enjoy.
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