The Lancia Flaminia was introduced in late 1956 as a 1957 model to replace the aging Lancia Aurelia line. Whereas the Aurelia carried the rounded looks of its 1950s design heritage, the Flaminia looked forward to the sharper edges of the 1960s designs.
While Lancia made the mechanical underpinnings and Pinin Farina drew the basic design, coachwork was farmed out to Italy’s finest design and bodywork houses, including Zagato, Touring, Pininfarina and Ghia. This resulted in a number of different special editions, including a special aluminum-bodied fastback by Zagato.
The Flaminia debuted with 2458 cc V-6 engine rated at 98 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque. An optional high compression version of this engine was available for sedans and was installed as standard equipment on coupes and roadsters. The optional engine was rated at 119 hp on coupes and 140 hp on GT coupes and sedans. In 1963, Lancia upgraded the engine to 2775 cc and 150 hp. That engine was used through the end of the line, though the vast majority of Flaminia production happened between 1957 and 1963.
The Flaminia carried a four-speed transmission, and all were rear-wheel drive. Where the older Aurelias used a sliding block front suspension, the Flaminia used modern control arms and coil springs at the front end, but maintained the standard semi-elliptic leaf springs supporting a solid axle at the rear. Four-wheel disc brakes were standard on all Flaminias from the beginning of the line.
From the beginning, various coachworks supplied a variety of body styles under the Flaminia name. The original 1957 design was a pillarless four-door hardtop, but starting in 1958 Farina delivered a two-door coupe while Zagato offered a two-door fastback. There was aldo a two-door Spider convertible, and Touring made a two-door GT coupe as well. Through the 1960s, a variety of bodies continued to come and go. After 1967, production was limited to the original four-door hardtop, known by Lancia as a pillarless sedan.
Throughout the entire run, just 8,745 Flaminias were made. About 6,750 were delivered with the 2.5-liter V-6 engine, while about 2,000 were made after the larger 2.8-liter engine was introduced in 1963.
The Flaminia offered excellent performance for its day. Boasting 0-60 times of about 8.5 seconds and a top speed that could reach 130 mph, Lancia’s sports car was more than respectable. Prices started high, ranging between $6,000 and $7,000 through the early 1960s, but only rose as high as $7,600 in the mid-1960s for the most expensive sport coupe models. The vast majority of Lancia Flaminias hovered around $7,000. For reference, that was about half the cost of a Ferrari 250, and twice the price of a basic Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider in 1960.