1955 Lincoln Indianapolis by Boano

Felice Mario Boano and his coachworks may be little known but the influence that he, his son Gian Paolo and their companies had on the evolution of modern automotive design is vastly out of proportion to their size.

Felice Mario Boano and his coachworks may be little known but the influence that he, his son Gian Paolo and their companies had on the evolution of modern automotive design is vastly out of proportion to their size.

In the post-war Italian economy, which was struggling to rebuild from the devastation of World War II, coachbuilders recognized that an alliance with the intact, powerful, and rich American automotive industry was the key to survival. Boano, through a well-placed friend who worked at Ford, arranged to build a futuristic design on a Ford chassis. Ford supplied a Lincoln chassis and Boano embarked upon a fast-track project to complete the car in time for presentation at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, the coachbuilders’ preeminent showcase.

After its appearance at the 1955 Turin Motor Show the Lincoln Indianapolis was shipped to the United States, consigned not to Ford but to Henry Ford II. It is believed that he gave the car to Errol Flynn. The subsequent history has the car passing through a number of hands and being involved in a fire before being acquired by the present owner over 20 years ago.

Two years were spent restoring the 1955 Boano Lincoln and the result is breathtaking. The extended nose, with vertical-quad headlights and no visible cooling air intake, only starts the extravagant Indianapolis design. Displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and other top- ranked concours, the Indianapolis is a stunning exercise in creativity and imagination rendered to contemporary standards by an owner and restorer determined to do it right regardless of cost.

Carl Bomstead

Carl Bomstead - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Carl has been writing for SCM for 19 years. His first article appeared in the February 1997 issue, and at least one of his articles has appeared in every issue since. When he’s not writing, he serves as a National Director for the Classic Car Club of America and tends to his extensive collection of automobilia. He has been a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the past 20 years, and he also judges at Amelia Island and other major concours. An extensive number of collector cars have passed through his garage, and a 1947 Cadillac 62 Series convertible and a 1968 Intermeccanica Italia are current residents.

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