The History of the 1965 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Zagato

At the Concours of Elegance in 2020, one of the most intriguing cars I saw was this 1965 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Zagato. The Concours of Elegance is a yearly event that I always attend, it offers such delightful cars to marvel at and learn about its history.

For nearly 20 years from 1950 onwards, Lancia continued its tradition of innovation and engineering excellence, and was arguably at the height of its powers in car design. The Aurelia B20 GT, featuring the world’s first production V6 engine, was loved by both racers and wealthy industrialists.

The Flaminia that succeeded it was a further development of the front-engined V6, rear-transaxle theme. Bodied in four distinct styles, it was the Zagato variant that delivered the most powerful performance and arguably the most desirable styling. The final Zagato iteration was the Super Sport, featuring heavily revised bodywork, and boasting three 40DCN Weber carburettors mounted on a strengthened 2.8-litre version of the V6 engine, producing 152bhp. It also featured all-independent front suspension and disc brakes all round. Only 150 examples were produced.

The Flaminia’s chassis was a development of the Aurelia’s, but was significantly upgraded. Its front suspension was changed to a more conventional configuration with double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. The back suspension retained the De Dion set-up, with a transaxle mounted at the rear, like in the Aurelia. The first Berlina was available with drum brakes or discs, all other models used discs only. Being light, with aluminium panels, the car had a top speed of 210km/h, making it the fastest Flaminia.

The Sport was built by Zagato and replaced with the Super Sport in 1964 with the introduction of the 2.8-litre 152bhp engine. Until 1967, 593 Sports and Super Sports were built, of which 99 were Pre-series, 344 Sports and only 150 Super Sports, making it a very rare car.

This rare Flaminia Super Sport pictured was registered to its first owner in Jersey in the Channel Islands in 1970 and resided there until 1977. It arrived on the UK mainland in 1978 and was purchased by the current owner in 2017. At that point it was sent to renowned Lancia restorer Thornley Kelham to carry out a full nut-and-bolt restoration to bring this rare car back to its former glory.

The complete works by the concours-winning craftsmen took two years and included: fully rebuilt engine with a complete set of Weber 40MM carburettors; bodywork fully stripped and repainted; rechromed parts as necessary, including grille and door handles; rebuilt suspension with all new bushings and road springs; new fuel tank; new wheels and Michelin X tyres; new screen rubbers and new rear screen; total retrim in Connolly Vaumol VM846 Tan leather using no fewer than five hides.


2.8-litre, V6, overhead camshaft, 152bhp, triple carburettors


Front engine, four-speed manual transaxle, rear-wheel drive, unitary construction, aluminium body, coil-spring front suspension, De Dion rear axle, disc brakes.

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