Theme : Benchmarks – Lancia Flaminia Super Sport

Benchmark or swansong? A short film from the very pinnacle of the automotive ziggurat

Just beautiful - Image via tuningpp
Lancia’s finest hour? – Image via tuningpp

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

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. Content Provider.

9 thoughts on “Theme : Benchmarks – Lancia Flaminia Super Sport”

  1. That appeals to me in a way no Ferrari does. And those fat tyres are luscious. Has anyone any road tests of this car? I may very well have to see if there´s a Brooklands compendium available. This is another example of why Fiat need to be indicted for crimes against automotive engineering. To imagine a similar fall, imagine if Ferarri only existed now as a Fiat 500 based city hatchback. That´s how ghastly the current Ypsilon really is. While the Beta was in isolation a cracking modern saloon, it was merely a good, ordinary car from its Fiat twin-cam engine to its front drive chassis and mundane interior. Its immediate fore-runners were dignified vehicles which had as enduring a feel as contemporary Mercedes. The Beta, as Fiat intended, just served as a step up for buyers who wanted Fiatness in a plusher package. Dear, oh, dear.

    1. …which is/was, in a sense, completely understandable, given the extraordinary success VAG had with this kind of strategy with Audi.
      But maybe there is only so much up-marketing customers are willing to acknowledge. It could’ve worked though.

      On the other hand, it’s interesting to forecast Audi 15 or 20 years from now, if nothing substantial happens with their technology/engineering…

  2. Daniel: what would you predict could happen? For me, Audi´s change in status has been upward. Before VW bought them they were a marginal player with an invisble USP. Somehow VAG saw in them a chance for an upmarket brand, in the same way that a biscuit firm makes the same biscuits for a supermarket own-brand and also with a household name attached. Lancia, on the other hand, was a distinctly aristocratic marque with a pedigree utterly unlike Fiat. FIat bought them and crushed them. It took less than three years and then they mismanaged the remains quite consistently. If they had had the intellligene of VAG, Lancia would be still selling a lot of cars even if they were merely nicer Fiats.

    1. Unfortunally I was too hurried to proofread my post. Aplogies are in order.

  3. Thanks for that. Whenever I read German articles I get the impression they are written at a much higher level than anything I´d read in an equivalent English-language periodical.

    1. That’s up to debate, but the Süddeutsche certainly is one of the more exigent German broadsheets. Georg Kacher is among their automotive staff, too, for better or worse.

  4. Georg Kacher is a very professional chap. He is also very, very boring. I mean, really, really dull. His prose is leaden and without reference beyond the world of cars. Now I think about it, he is the template for all those dull anoraks now writing automotive journalism.

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