Benchmark or swansong? A short film from the very pinnacle of the automotive ziggurat
If we collectively believe the current Ypsilon represents Lancia’s nadir – (although I would beg to differ) – I think we can agree this car represents the marque’s apogee.
The 1967 Flaminia Super Sport was the pinnacle of Lancia’s Faminia family and the entire Lancia range. Hand built in tiny numbers by carrozzeira Zagato for Lancia’s most discerning customers, the Super Sport was crafted in aluminium and fitted with the most powerful triple carburettor version of Lancia’s patrician 2.8-litre V6 engine. Drive went to a rear-mounted transaxle fitted with De-Dion rear suspension. Hefty double wishbones were fitted up front. Disc brakes were standard. Contemporary Ferraris or Maseratis would have been desperately crude and unruly pieces of chassis engineering by comparison. The urbane and rather dashing Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni owned one of the 150 (or so) Super Sports built. He probably had matching luggage. It was that kind of car. Elegant, discreet, beautifully balanced; equally refined and surefooted on languid drives along the Costiera Amalfitana as it was crossing the Passo di Gavia.
How easy it is to forget what Lancia represented in their heyday – especially so in the wake of nearly 50 years of Fiat’s mangled stewardship. In that time, we’ve gone from sublimity to ridicule via too many false dawns and desperately mediocre cars to mention.
This is how I choose to remember Lancia. Aloof, special, confident in its un-ostentatious superiority. In my putative lottery-win garage, a Flaminia Super Sport would be the very first occupant, bar none. I adore this car. And I loathe Fiat’s management with every fibre of my being for what they have done to this proud marque.
Film clip via Petrolicious.com