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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Another Zagato-made odd cars of 1960s

Among the many Zagato-badged cars, maybe this car can be called the most singular entity with a piece of standalone oddness. Besides being one of the lesser-known Lancia cars, this Lancia Flavia Sport car has always been a hot topic of conversation among automotive enthusiasts to date.
The Lancia Flavia Sports using the 1800cc engine with the chassis number 15, and completed by Zagato in November, 1963. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/34ZHBui)
This original Flavia sedan was first presented in 1960 at the Turin Motor Show, and it was the first Italian mass-producted car to adopt a front wheel drive system. The first model was equipped with a 1499cc four cylinder boxer engine with a power of around 78 horsepower (also known as the 1500 model).

Because it feels less powerful for a sedan car like that, the manufacturer immediately added the choice of an 1800cc engine with a power of about 92 horsepower besides the 1500 model. The engine was then upgraded by the Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection system which significantly increased the engine's power output to 102 horsepower. All those engine options are combined with a four-speed manual gearbox and powered an aluminum body, guaranteeing the total weight of just 1060kg.
The Lancia Flavia Sports using the 1800cc engine with the chassis number 15, and completed by Zagato in November, 1963. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/34ZHBui)
This uniquely shaped car is the designing result of one of the Zagato's designers named Ercole Sparda with such unique lines that it defied comparisons. The shape of the car like this looks very strange on the streets at that time, so that not a few who say ugly on the car's appearance.

But there are also some people think the car has a beautiful shape, due to its totally nonconformist and revolutionary lines (as well as the location of its drive wheels), but whatever oddness exists in this shape should be celebrated.
The Lancia Flavia Sports using the 1800cc engine with the chassis number 15, and completed by Zagato in November, 1963. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/34ZHBui)
This can be seen in thevisual language starts from the grille, which becomes an integral part of the front end, “breaking” transversely between the nose and the bonnet and generating a very particular geometric shape in the process. The double headlight casings, especially on the sides of the grille, take the basic shape of the grille out to the perimeter lines, but with much neater and rounded forms. The choice of style like this was then seen again being used several times by Zagato for future car models.

Other peculiarities of the Flavia Sport is the curved windshield that reaches higher than the side windows, as well as the rear glazing, which cannot be opened despite appearances, that takes a curved shape and continues for about ten centimeters on the roofline (a solution already adopted on the various Fiat panoramas realized by the Milanese body shop a few years before).
The Lancia Flavia Sports using the 1800cc engine with the chassis number 15, and completed by Zagato in November, 1963. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/34ZHBui)
The rear half of the Sport Zagato totally distorts the look of the car, and this is where most of the criticisms that are lobbed against it will land. The C-pillar appears as an antonym to grace at first sight, and only barely holds up the glazed surfaces up top. The rear window is concave, while the tail lights, borrowed from the Flavia sedan, are perfectly aligned with the body, as per Zagato’s tradition.

A total of 629 cars were built later, with details of 98 units using the1500cc engines, 512 units with 1800cc, three prototypes, and four models plucked for competition, set up directly from the Scuderia HF, recognizable by the red paint and the 'fins' on the bonnet.
These race cars were further lightened and their engines were tuned up to produce over 140hp. In 1966 two Flavia Sports, with Marco Crosina and Claudio Maglioli behind the wheel, dominated the Turismo 2000 class of the Italian championship. Also noteworthy is the victory earned by René Trautmann at the Coupe des Alpes in 1965 behind the wheel of an unofficial specimen.

Last year (2019) Zagato celebrated its centenary as you know, and while the Flavia Sport Zagato may not be considered one of the top models in the Milanese coachbuilder’s portfolio, and certainly it still manages to find love from certain enthusiasts and then put it as the best. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | PETROLICIOUS]
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