1960 Lancia Flaminia GT by Touring
Vincenzo Lancia and Claudio Fogolin founded Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili on the 29th November 1906 in Turin, Italy. The first car produced by the company was the Tipo 51 otherwise known as the 12 HP, which was in production from 1907 until 1908.
The company quickly became renowned for innovation and is noted for naming many of its cars using letters of the Greek alphabet. The Theta, introduced in 1913, was the first European production car to feature a complete electrical system as standard. The Lambda, produced from 1922 until 1931 was the first car to adapt a monocoque chassis. The Ardea (Series 3), introduced in 1948, was the first car to use a five-speed gearbox. The first full production V6 engine was fitted to the Lancia Aurelia in 1950 and Lancia was also the first manufacturer to produce a V4 engine. The Aurelia and Flaminia range were the first production cars to be fitted with independent suspension. The constant drive for innovation and excellence came at a cost. All Lancia’s essentially were handmade and the production process was complicated. This led to rising costs at a time where demand flattened.
In 1957 the very successful Lancia Aurelia was succeeded by the Flaminia (Tipo 813/823/824/826). The Flaminia was produced from 1957 until 1970 and was Lancia’s flagship model. The Flaminia was available as a saloon, coupe and cabriolet. The saloon was designed and built by Pininfarina, however, many Flaminias were bodied by specialist coachbuilders in the day including Carrozzeria Touring of Milan and Zagato. In total 12,555 Flaminias were built, comprising 3,915 saloons (including the 4 stretched limousines), 5,188 coupes by Pininfarina, 2,006 coupes by Touring, 847 convertibles by Touring and 599 sport models by Zagato.
The Touring bodied cars were all ‘Superleggera’ construction with hand crafted aluminium bodies and beautifully trimmed interiors. This formula complimented Lancia’s fabulous chassis & engine and these cars were built in limited quantities to compete with period GT cars from Maserati, Aston Martin and the like.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1960 Flaminia GT by CarrozzeriaTouring.
The ‘Certificato Di Origine’ on file confirms this car was delivered to Carrozzeria Touring on 29th January 1960. The certificate confirms the exterior colour was ‘Bianco Le Tourquet’ (Lancia white) and the interior colour was ‘Pelle Marrone’ (brown leather), a colour scheme the car still wears today.
It is understood that this early Series 1 Flaminia (Tipo 824.00) was a US market car. Its early history is unknown and the story starts when the car was found in a poor state in California by an Australian Lancia enthusiast. He imported the car into Australia in 1996. There is an import approval on file dated 19th November 1996. He imported the car with the intention of restoring it, however, time got away from him and the car sat in its unrestored state for many years before it got sold to another Lancia enthusiast on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He stripped the car in preparation for a total restoration, but ill health stalled the project.
The current owner acquired the car in 2014. At that time, the car was totally disassembled and in boxes. The aluminium body (which was still attached to the tubular frame) had been removed from the chassis (which had been sandblasted and powder coated).
In 2015 Automotive Craftsman in Sumner (Brisbane), Queensland were engaged to restore the car. The owner’s brief was simple. He wanted to restore the car to the highest possible standard and to use as many original parts as possible.
The chassis, whilst generally in good condition, still had some areas which needed to be repaired. New sections were fabricated and welded into place. Subsequently, the chassis was sent to Sydney where it was chemically stripped using a dipping process.
The subframe on the car was severely corroded, to the point where it was no longer repairable. A new sub frame was fabricated, though the four engine mounting points and four suspension mount crush tubes were salvaged and reused.
The body was going to be the greatest challenge. Part of the Superleggera design philosophy is to fold or wrap the aluminium skin over the chassis edges and tubes to minimise weight. There are no bolt on panels on these cars as nuts and bolts add unnecessary weight! The body on this Flaminia had suffered from substandard repairs over the years. When these cars were built new there was essentially nothing separating the aluminium body from the steel frame. As a result, electrolytic corrosion was a problem and it was prevalent on this car. In some areas felt and/or hessian was used to prevent squeaking, however, that allowed water to get trapped which also led to corrosion. This car required substantial body repairs, which created the next challenge. 60 year old aluminium is not the easiest material to work with. Some panels were so badly damaged they could not be repaired. New sections had to be fabricated, most notably the tail light sections and the edges of the front & rear guards. The bonnet (including the inner skin) and door skins were also in poor condition and had to be remade. The steel inner door frames were also badly corroded. Apart from being able to reuse the upper section of the frames and the hinges everything had to be made. The body and frame repairs were complicated and very time consuming, but the end result is a credit to all involved. The workmanship is exceptional.
To preserve the car for future generations, a decision was made to sandblast and prime the steel frame with a high-grade epoxy primer. The edge of the steel frame was then covered with a layer of high quality anodised aluminium tape and the aluminium skin was then re-crimped over the metal frame. Once complete, fish oil was then sprayed around all the seams.
The car was painted in its original colour of ‘Bianco Le Tourquet’ by Brent Doring.
The interior was also a big job. The seat bases had to be fully rebuilt with new springs and new foam was shaped. The upholstery has been trimmed in high quality leather. This work was entrusted to Tony Cairns.
Initially the owner had planned to do all the reassembly himself. That plan changed and Automotive Craftsman also performed that task. This also proved to be a challenge as the Flaminia evolved with subtle changes throughout its 13 years of production. Only through extensive research were they able to overcome this hurdle and reassemble the car the way it left the factory all those years ago. Even during the reassembly process parts were found to be either missing, incomplete or faulty and the owner spend many hours searching the internet to find the correct parts for his car.
The restoration took 5 years to complete, but the end result was definitely worth the wait. One can only admire the commitment and dedication of the owner and the team at Automotive Craftsman to make this Flaminia the best it could be. The car is stunning!
The restoration was certainly a labour of love and it cost a small fortune. There are receipts on file for in excess of $300,000!
The feel good part of the story is that the car was taken to Wintersun, the Lancia Club in Queensland’s Annual Rally, in Toowoomba in July 2021 where it was awarded the trophy for Car of the Show and the Bob Anderson Trophy for the best Flaminia.
The restoration was only completed around 18 months ago and the car has been used sparingly since. As a result, this car still presents as a fresh restoration.
The quality of the paint work is exceptional and the colour further emphasises the exquisite finish of the body work. White easily shows imperfections in the body and on this car there are none. The panel work is arrow straight and the panel gaps are excellent. Walking around the car we really struggle to find any imperfections. If you were going to pick something you could say the windscreen rubbers are not a ‘perfect fit’. The chrome work is all in very good condition and the same can be said about the rest of the external trim, including the lights and lenses. The glass is also in good condition.
Inside, the car presents beautifully. The simplicity of the dashboard is quite frankly a work of art and ads to the attraction and elegance of the car. The instruments and controls are all in good working order, with the exception of the dashboard dimmer light switch. If we have to be critical, the horn button and a few of the knobs are most likely original and shows some signs of wear. The finish of the upholstery is excellent and the seats are very comfortable.
The thin timber steering wheel is definitely a feature and it complements the interior beautifully.
To start a Flaminia you insert the key into the ignition, turn it 90 degrees and then push it like a button. This car does need the choke when the engine is cold, but even then it starts pretty much first press of the key. On our recent test drive the car drove beautifully. The engine sings and it has plenty of power. The gearbox is smooth and it is easy to change up and down the box. The car is tight on the road with no rattles or squeaks and the steering is precise, providing positive feedback through the steering wheel. Needless to say, with all the work done on the car it feels ‘just right’ when you drive it!
The current owner of the car has had to make the difficult decision to sell his beautiful Flaminia. Unfortunately, due to ill health he is not able to renew his driver’s licence.
It is not often a Lancia Flaminia of this quality is offered for sale.
- Understood to be one of only 796 Touring bodied Flaminia GT 2.5’s built.
- Recently restored to a very high standard.
- Extensive documentation and photos of the restoration.
- Finished in its original and most stunning colour combination.
- Winner of the Car of the Show and the Bob Anderson Trophy for the best Flaminia at Wintersun 2021.
- Ready to show, use and enjoy.
- Lancia Flaminia GT
- 04366 km