This 1971 Lancia Flavia 2000 Coupe by Pininfarina was restored in 2012 in the UK and imported to the US in 2016. A four-owner example and fully fettled by Santo’s Italian Car Service in Northridge, CA, this wonderful Italian grand tourer continues its legacy as the last of the pre-Fiat Lancias and as a “Baby Ferrari” of sorts. Never sold in the US, the Flavia 2000 Coupe is a rare sight on these shores, and rewards Lancia devotees with Pininfarina style packaged around a punchy boxer flat-four. Restrained yet purposeful, practical yet sporting, these late Flavias are mid-century Italian motoring incarnate.
CODITION | EXTERIOR
Body – In general this generation of Flavia benefits from better rust-proofing than other contemporary Italian cars, so it comes as no surprise that this Flavia appears solid and original throughout. Some minor paint bubbling is mentioned on the trunk lid, specifically two spots, each smaller than a penny. New trunk seals have caused some slight variations in panel gaps around the rear end, though these should improve over time.
Paint – A comprehensive respray in its original dark blue hue was the right choice for this Flavia, and the work impresses with its deep gloss and even shine.
Trim & Glass – The car’s stainless brightwork has been polished back to a stunning finish, while the glass is original and very well-preserved barring a few small scratches on the rear pane. A small scuff and ding near the center of the front bumper is noted, though the rear bumper presents perfectly.
Wheels – Flawless Cromodora wheels feature correct Lancia center caps and period Pirelli Cinturato tires.
CONDITION | INTERIOR
Steering Wheel – An aftermarket Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel is a welcome upgrade, lending a perfect dash of period style to the cabin of this coupe gran turismo.
Dashboard & Instrumentation – Anyone familiar with an S1 Fulvia will immediately recognize the handsome instrument binnacle in the Flavia, housing crisp Veglia gauges and framed with an elegant gray veneer. A broad center console features the prominent chrome gear lever and an orderly array of ash trays, knobs, and switchgear. Everything appears factory and it all functions well.
Seats, Trim & Carpet – Buttery tan leather seats with generous padding, beautiful matching carpets, and the crisp contrast of black vinyl and chrome: the Flavia’s interior represents top Italian luxury of the era.
Engine – Nestled deep in the engine bay, Lancia’s four-cylinder boxer engine is built to the company’s typically exacting standard, and features 115 horsepower in carbureted form.This engine is believed original and was rebuilt during the restoration in 2012.
Original Motor: Believed original.
Engine Number: Available upon request.
The Drive: Smooth, refined, impressively engineered, the Flavia delights in much the same way as any pre-Fiat Lancia. With its rebuild only a few years ago, the boxer four starts easily and pulls with an enthusiastic thrum, a perfect companion to the sleek touring nature of the car.
Transmission – The four-speed ZF box is a wonderful unit and best described as effortless, a perfect companion to the flat-four. While the later fuel-injected cars received an extra gear, the earlier option benefits from a conventional “H” gate layout as opposed to a dogleg first gear design.
Original Transmission: Believed original.
Gearbox Number: Available upon request.
The Drive: Smooth synchros, perfectly-weighted throws, and a solid reverse gear: everything the gentleman driver needs to go touring.
Handling – Front-wheel drive, a low center of gravity, and Girling disc brakes ensure sharp and predictable driving dynamics from the Flavia. As with other Lancia models from this era the car focuses more on smoothness and poise instead of outright sportiness, and thanks to its unique (for the segment) FWD layout, it offers excellent grip and road manners.
ORIGINALITY + DOCUMENTATION
While restored, the car has been painstakingly built to its original spec, and looks factory throughout. The paint color is spot on for a Lancia of this period, while the intricate textures and details of the interior are also correctly presented.
Since the Flavia is somewhat uncommon here in the US, good, recent comps can be hard to come by. Here is a recent sale that sheds some light on this strengthening market:
– Bring-a-Trailer | October, 2014 – $19,500 – White/Blue with 92k kilometers, presentable driver quality car
Scaled-Down 250 GTE – The Flavia is a unique opportunity to own a classic Italian grand tourer from a pedigree Italian manufacturer without a hugely high price tag or imposing maintenance. It also helps that from some angles the car hints at various Ferraris and Dinos, blame Pininfarina!
Practical Cruiser – Four usable seats, no driveshaft under the floor, a huge glovebox and excellent trunk. The Flavia is built to travel, and does so in comfort and style.
Rolling Sculpture – Widely considered the end of the pre-Fiat era, these cars benefit from Lancia’s legendary attention to detail and engineering prowess. All it takes is a shut of the door or a glance at some of the fittings in the engine bay and it will become clear: this car is truly a marriage of art and science.
As Lancia’s executive-level product, the Flavia arrived in the ‘60s boasting supreme refinement and a very smooth (if not particularly sporting) driving experience. By the end of the decade the company was under pressure to modernize, and so the 2000 Coupe and Sedan were designed as a facelift. Other upgrades like Girling brakes, stainless bumpers, and, in some cases, fuel injection, brought the car comfortably into the ‘70s.
While the earlier Flavia enjoyed special editions from Vignale, Zagato, etc, the 2000 Coupe was penned by Pininfarina and sold alongside the sedan designed in-house. Most notably, the front end now had integrated headlights and a more muscular look, while larger flat four engines gave a bit of extra muscle to back up the improved stance. In comparison to the smaller and more agile Fulvia, the Flavia’s focus was squarely on grand touring and luxury, as evidenced by its well-appointed cabin and heavier (2700 lb) curb weight. As it turned out, the car was the final product from an independent Lancia, as shortly thereafter Fiat took control and began to erode the company’s obsession over quality and design in pursuit of greater profit.