Italian Blonde: 1961 Lancia Flavia 815 Sedan

The word “Flavia” dates back to ancient Roman times, and translates to “blonde” or “golden”. In this case, the “Italian Blonde” is, in fact, a first-production-year 1961 Lancia Flavia 815 sedan, up for sale here on eBay in Flanders, New Jersey, with no bids at the time of this article.

I’ll be the first to admit that normal Italian cars non il mio cavallo di battaglia but I learn what I can, to present things to you with at least some semblance of correct information. I discovered that the Flavia line was produced from 1961 to 1975, totaling 105,000 units. For that debut year of 1961, one could initially only get sedans, and they came equipped with a 1.5-liter flat-four aluminum boxer engine and manual transmission, with disc brakes and front-wheel-drive configuration.

I don’t know how an old Lancia got from Italy to New Jersey, but I bet there’s an interesting story behind it. The seller, unfortunately, doesn’t give us a whole lot of information to work with, but claims the car is mostly complete, but that the engine is in pieces and that there is rust in the floors. We, therefore, have to let the pictures speak their “thousand words”, and those words say to me that this is one heck of a project, no matter which way you cut the cannoli.

Like I said above, normal pedestrian cars in Europe are not my strong suit, but I try to learn as much as I can. From my personal perspective, this car would be quite a challenge, but very satisfying upon completion. It’s not my cup of cappuccino, but I hope it goes to someone who appreciates it and gives it the attention that an old Italian car deserves. Buona Fortuna, signore o signora.

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Comments

  1. Will Fox

    The underhood shot looks like your typical Italian nightmare, and no telling what it might be missing. The dash? Yikes! Looks like something got ripped out of the center portion, and the ‘radio’ now resides under the dash in a make-shift wooden box of some sort. Overall the car is kind of interesting, but parts procurement would be a headache and a half, let alone the cost of the parts & expense to get them here from Genoa, or wherever they originate. I would say let a very experienced Lancia collector deal with this one.

  2. MFerrell

    I would think, at this point, some modern drivetrain from a donor car would be in order. Make the rest pretty and easy to live with.

    • blyndgesser

      This looks like a job for Subaru…

  3. TimM

    Good luck with parts!! Unless your traveling to Europe to get a doner car!!!

  4. PatrickM

    This looks like a hurricane Sandy survivor.

  5. JohnH

    But the grille!

    She’s a-so happy!!

    Toot-toot……

  6. ccrvtt

    Flavia is also the feminine equivalent of Flavius, a not uncommon name in ancient Rome. Flavius Josephus was the contemporary Romanized Hebrew historian who vaguely documented the historical Jesus. Not a popular guy in some circles, but we don’t discuss religion here.

    The more interesting Flavius – Flavius Scorpus – is of far more interest to gearheads. He was born a slave in the more remote provinces and began racing chariots as a teenager. He eventually made his way to the Circus Maximus which was the Daytona of his day. It’s thought that he must have raced in about 5-6,000 races, winning more than 2,000 times in a ten-year career.

    Roman chariots were built for speed and spectacle with little thought for safety, thus they had no seat belts or fuel cells or roll cages. Sort of like the early days of Indianapolis and NASCAR. Unfortunately Flav died at the tender age of 27.

    He’d be thrilled to know that his namesake vehicle ended up in New Jersey, a place he undoubtedly would have loved as it reminded him of his humble beginnings.

    This is all true. You can look it up.

  7. Ralph

    Looks like an Italian Checker Cab…..fugly.

    I’ve never understood the appeal of Lancias, most of them are pretty ugly and terrible cars.

  8. Stephen Sharp

    What’s interesting is the right hand drive, nice would look good brought back

  9. pwtiger

    Right hand drive? Looks like it is on the left side to me. I like the idea of a resto mod, maybe swap in a Honda with a turbo…

  10. Martin Horrocks

    @ TimM I´d assumed that this was the donor.

    Something like this in EU is $500-1000. Nice CA-registered car failed to sell on BaT at $7900 yesterday. Which says it all.

    BTW, if you want to get into restoring this car,a wheel bearing costs $200 and is a pig to fit. Either buy a good one or get an Alfa.

  11. Alexander

    That has to be the ugliest Italian rear end I’ve seen in a long time. Even if the paint and chrome were bright and shiny the shot of the back looks like a throwaway Rambler design from the same decade.

  12. Johnmloghry

    Looks like a good candidate for the electric conversion people instead of making a Bronco.

  13. bog

    Interesting, like most Lancias I’ve seen. Apparently for US market with all gauges in English and left-hand drive. Perhaps a serviceman bought it over there and brought it back, as Bayonne NJ is a big port of entry for guys (like me) that returned from Europe. Looks like the seller has about 6 other cars out in the orchard that are covered….possibly for sale too ?? Anyway, not my cuppa…being a four door.

  14. charlie

    I was in Italy in the summer of ’62, hitchhiking some of the time, and got picked up by an Italian executive in one of these. It was the equivalent of a Cadillac, in Italy, at the time, and a very fine car compared to the Fiats, the most luxurious of them being an 1100 if I remember correctly. We went very fast on the Autostrada. The worst ride was a DAF, 3 cylinder, two cycle driven by an Italian engineer, who had just learned how to drive.

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