“It’s the sort [of car] that won’t leave you either stiff or sore at the end of a trip, or put you to sleep halfway through. You could just imagine yourself covering vast mileages in Europe in the early sixties, comfortably, swiftly, and in great style. And isn’t that what a Gran Turismo car is all about?” – Authoritative journalist Mike McCarthy considers the Flaminia Zagato in a piece for Classic & Sports Car in October 1985.
Lancias have always been cars for the serious connoisseur. From the early pre-War Lambdas, Dilambdas and Asturias, through the immortal post-War Aurelias and Flaminias, Vincenzo Lancia’s creations were well-engineered, possessed superlative handling and were powered by advanced and compact engines.
The combination of engine, handling and build quality made a Lancia almost without equal amongst its peers. Juan-Manual Fangio, winner of five World Championships and the 1953 Carrera Panamericana at the wheel of a Lancia D24, chose an Aurelia B20 GT for the long journeys from Modena or Maranello to races across the length and breadth of Europe. In Mexico 1953, Fangio’s D24 gave away some 15mph flat out to Maglioli’s big Ferrari 375 MM yet he led home a comfortable Lancia 1-2-3 – the first car from Maranello finished some 1½ hours behind.
Five years later a new sporting Lancia road car appeared, the short-chassis Flaminia GT, and Carrozzeria Zagato, the masters of weight-saving and extravagantly streamlined design, worked their magic, creating an incomparable GT in the best traditions of the marque.
This car is the one of the final series of Flaminia Zagatos with punchy 2.8-litre, c.152bhp V6 engines and more aggressive styling featuring faired-in headlamps and an abrupt ‘Kamm’ tail.
Appropriately, the 130mph model was named the ‘Super Sport’.
The Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Zagato
After introduction at the 1958 Turin Motor Show, Zagato’s handcrafted all-aluminium take on the new Flaminia GT was in limited-series production the following year. The first 99 cars bore streamlined, faired-in headlamps. In 1960, to meet new Italian regulations, the balance of the first series carried open headlamps in the style of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB. The famous ‘double bubble’ roof was a feature found on all Flaminia Zagatos.
Some were raced – of course! – but most found homes with discrete businessman and more discerning figures in public life. Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni was one. Lancia’s colour palette by Max Meyer is a sea of greys, dark blues and greens – red is hardly to be seen.
Sport Zagatos kept up with technical developments from Turin so early cars had 2.5-litre, single-carburettor 119bhp engines, replaced by triple-Weber, 140bhp units in 1961, then an increase to 2.8 litres and with it 150bhp in 1963. When the heavily restyled Super Sport made its debut a year later, the motor was retuned to give a small increase in power (to 152bhp) and more low-down torque.
Visually, the new Super Sport saw a return to the desirable faired-in headlamps of the first cars and many race-bred accents such as the cut-off tail espoused by German aerodynamicist Dr Wunibald Kamm. The Super Sport was created in Milan by the design team led by chief stylist Ercole Spada: the man behind the Alfa Romeo SZ and TZ, and immortal Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato.
In total, specialist sources suggest that, from introduction in 1958 to when production finished in 1967, some 599 Flaminia Sport Zagatos had been produced.
This Motor Car
Little is known about the early history of this car, but research by a previous owner suggests that it could have been delivered to an Italian client in silver with a black interior.
According to original documents that accompany it, chassis 002094 was registered ‘J4675’ in Jersey, ‘ex Italy’ on 17 August 1970. The registered owner was Robert Sangan of Saint Clement, a parish in the British Crown dependency.
In 1974, the car passed to John Cronin of St Peter, Jersey followed by fellow Jersey resident Peter Amy of St Lawrence in 1975, and later resided in St Ouen in 1977.
A customs form dated 16 September 1978 confirms the car’s importation to the United Kingdom. The importer’s full name is listed as Gerald David Malin of Lasswade, Midlothian, some nine miles outside Edinburgh. The car’s value was declared as £600.00, with VAT due of £91.50. The chassis number 2094 and engine number 2088 are clearly noted in these documents and believed to be ‘matching’ from new.
By September 1994 the Lancia was in Switzerland, in the hands of marque aficionado David Read of Bettingen in the canton of Basel-Stadt. Read discussed the possibility of its restoration by British expert Richard Thorne, who was “now committed to other work” and unable to assist.
Our client bought the car in January 2017 and commissioned pre-eminent UK specialist Thornley Kelham (‘TK’) to undertake a total restoration to concours standards. The complete ‘nut and bolt’ works by the concours-winning craftsmen took two years and have resulted in the exceptional car you see here. Works completed included:
• Rebuild engine with new bearings, engine mounts, fuel pump, starter motor, radiator and complete set of Weber 40MM carburettors with inlet manifold
• Blast, strip and restore all engine fittings
• Strip and repaint body
• Replace fuel tank
• Rechrome parts as necessary including grille and door handles
• Rebuild suspension with all new bushings and road springs
• Fit new wheels and new Michelin X tyres
• Fit new screen rubbers and new rear screen
• Total retrim in Connolly Vaumol VM846 Tan leather (five hides)
The process was professionally photographed throughout the course of restoration. Today, it is a superlative example of one of Lancia’s greatest designs, brought up to the highest standards by one of the world’s finest marque specialists who recently hit the headlines with its ‘Outlaw’ Aurelia B20 GT – a ‘Singer Lancia’, perhaps. TK also restored the famous ex-Bracco Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Carrera Panamericana that stunned the judges at Pebble Beach in 2014.
We cannot understate both the quality of work achieved and significant (£333,577 incl. VAT) financial investment made in this Super Sport Zagato – almost unheard of for this model.
Introduced into the world of Ferrari’s ferocious 250 GT SWB and designed by the man who styled Alfa’s TZ and Aston Martin’s DB4 GT Zagato, the Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Zagato is another exotic marriage of high-performance running gear clothed in unmistakeable Zagato coachwork. Unlike its peers, however, the cost of entry to this exclusive club is significantly more affordable and, restored to perfection, no further work is required. Just slip behind the wheel, turn the key and drive: concours, club events and – most important of all – the open road await.