Although Lancia's competition program during the early Fifties brought much fame to the company there was little fortune, and in 1955 Gianni Lancia and his mother sold out to millionaire Carlo Pesenti. A major modernization program was undertaken and the first model under Pesenti's ownership was the 1957 Flaminia. A saloon (and a coupe alternative from 1958) with styling by Pininfarina, it was powered by a 2,458 cc V6 engine allied to a de Dion transaxle for optimum weight distribution. Producing 112 bhp at 4,800 rpm and 14 lb.ft at 3,000 rpm, the luxurious Flaminia was capable of 103 mph and 0-60 mph in 15.5 seconds via a four-speed gearbox.

A handsome and more nimble coupe model by Touring, the GT made its debut at the 1959 Turin show and cost Aston Martin-type prices. Weighing 41 lb less than Pininfarina's steel coupe thanks to its Superleggera structure, whereby lightweight alloy panels were attached to a steel frame, the Touring car could top 107 mph while 0-60 mph dropped to 13.7 seconds. A rare spyder version followed in 1960 and these cars are today the most coveted of the series.

The very pretty Touring-bodied 3C convertible pictured here underwent a program of restoration a number of years ago, the work including an engine rebuild, new paint and a retrim. The coachwork is finished in red with tan leather upholstery.

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Vehicle:1961 Lancia Flaminia 3C

On December 3, 1996, this car crossed the block at the Coys of Kensington Auction in London and was sold at $17,878.

Lancias in America seem often to be owned by enthusiasts with engineering backgrounds, as they are attracted by the mechanical genius of the design. However, Lancias have never managed to attract much more than a cult following, hence their values remain depressed.

Aside from the B20 and B24 series, no Lancia has consistently attracted big money, and the Flaminia series is no exception.

The most desirable variant is the 2.8-liter three-carb version, but once again, desirability amongst the enthusiast few doesn’t translate into market value.

The price paid for this car was on the high side for the American market. Lancias, in good condition, are decent buys in terms of value per dollar spent, but they are unlikely to appreciate significantly. – ED.

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