Last revised: 26-1-2009

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Lancia Coupés & Convertibles: the Flaminia Super Sport

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After the disappointing demise of the Flaminia 3C 2,8 Sport coachbuilder Zagato seemed to be freed from any demands from Lancia concerning the styling of the Sport model. Zagato set about a redesign, both esthetically and mechanically, to create the ultimate Flaminia Sport. It was to become one of the highlights in Zagato's history and also the pinnacle of the Flaminia range: the Flaminia Super Sport.

1964_Lancia_Flaminia_Super_Sport_ZagatoPresented at the 1964 Turin Motor Show the Super Sport looked remarkably different from the car it succeeded. Major changes had been carried out to the front and the rear of the car, which gave the car a different, more aggressive presence altogether.
The front section saw a slight return to the original nose of the Sport with inset headlights. This time there were no streamlined covers over the headlights however (though there had been on the first prototype of the Super Sport). Instead there was elaborate chrome trim around the headlights, like reflectors, which rendered a modern appearance. Also the front overhang was reduced considerably; the nose section before the front wheels had become much shorter.
Even more surprising was the rear: the traditional rounded end of the car was truncated in the style of a so-called "Kamm tail". Mr. Kamm was a German scientist specialized in aerodynamics who had discovered that the airflow over a tearshaped object followed this optimal streamlined shape even if it had been cut off at the end. This meant that the streamlining of cars could be optimized without adding a long pointy tail. It was an innovation already adopted by racing cars and now Zagato was one of the first to introduce it on a production road car. In addition the rear overhang was also reduced, overall length was now 7.5 cm down with the Super Sport measuring 442 x 165 x 128 cm (length x width x height).

1964_Lancia_Flaminia_Super_Sport_ZagatoZagato had compensated for the decreased length of the body by lowering the roofline a few centimeters which balanced the proportions. The roof kept the characteristic double-bubble profile, while the air-intake on the hood became less dominant. It all made the Super Sport look distinctively stylish, even a bit avant-garde. By-product of this was that it polarized opinions: people either loved it or hated it.
Changes were also made under the skin. The engine of the 3C 2,8 received a boost in performance by fitting more potent Weber carburettors and fine-tuning until it produced 152 hp @ 5600 rpm. Torque went up a bit as well while maximum torque was reached at 3000 rpm instead of 3500 rpm. Vehicle weight remained the same at 1330 kg and this resulted in the Super Sport being the fastest of all production Flaminias: it easily hit 210 kph. Still it drove comfortably with perfect manners, excellent roadholding and ample stopping power.
The Super Sport was the ultimate coachbuilt Flaminia. It was made up to 1968 and about 150 have been produced. At a total of 525 the Zagato built Flaminia was the least sold but thanks to its exotic looks, its success in racing and impressive performance it was also the most glamorous model. This model may not have earned Lancia a lot of money (probably none at all), yet its contribution to the lustre and image of the Lancia name was priceless and lasts to the current day. A fact which cemented the relationship between Zagato and Lancia for decades.

Valuating a Flaminia (Super) Sport at the present day is tricky business. Not only are there plenty variations but also it isn't equally appreciated by everyone. It's certainly the most valuable Flaminia model, at about twice (or more) the value of the Flaminia GT by Touring. Generally speaking the cars from the first series with the lightweight and performance options fitted by Zagato are the most valuable (the special competition versions by Zagato are priceless). Then follow the 3C models with the more conservative nose. Models with the single Solex carburettor fitted are less valued. Remarkably the Super Sport appears to be the least valued of the Zagato built Flaminias, mostly because of its more unusual looks. But this is relative, the Super Sport still is an expensive and exotic classic. Despite the low production count there is still a good number of Flaminias Sport and Super Sport around since hardly any ended up on the scrap heap. Note that this represents the situation in Europe; in the USA for instance the Flaminia models are little known and not much sought after.

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