Roman Road Car: 1963 Lancia Flavia 1800

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

The name Pininfarina has quite a mystique about it. Since 1930 they have provided design services to several vehicle companies ranging from the exotic Ferrari and Maserati, to those that you may not have guessed, like GM and Hyundai. Another client of theirs was, and is, Lancia. This 1963 Lancia Flavia is on Craigslist with an asking price of $10,400 and it’s located in Alexandria, Virginia. Thanks to George for submitting this find!

The Lancia Flavia was named after an ancient Roman road: Via Flavia. Why was there never an American car named after Route 66? Who’s with me on that?! (sound of hundreds of feet shuffling towards the door) The Flavia was produced from 1961 to 1970 and believe it or not, they were front-wheel drive. The car for sale here looks great in the photos, but upon a closer look, a lot, and I mean a lot, of rust is revealed. The seller says that the car was “painted in primer to prevent any additional rust. Some rust in rocker panels, rear quarter panel and under drivers seat/rear passenger floor. All areas where suspension and drive train are mounted to the body are solid and have no rust.”

Photos like the one above scare the living daylights out of me. I’ve seen so many jury-rigged devices on used vehicles over the last few years, and smelled enough gas and oil and had leaky, smelly, rusty vehicles that looked great in photos but then you discover something like a temporary jug holding some sort of fluid with a hose or two in it. The “mechanics have been sorted with new fuel pump, rebuilt water pump, gas tank cleaned and repaired new sender unit, new exhaust headers, rebuilt Solex carburetors, ball joints/steering link, and other steering bushings.” I’m not sure what the jug is for if things have been sorted out? Some sort of overflow, maybe?

There are no engine photos, and this one has a 90 hp, 1.8L flat-four, or a boxer, somewhat similar to what Subaru and others have used for years. Supposedly, it “runs, stops and drives well.” The interior, as you can see, looks good overall but could use some tidying up. The red duct tape is a great temporary solution until the next owner can justify the cost of new upholstery. Have any of you owned a Lancia? How about a front-wheel drive car from this era from any maker?

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  1. Aaron

    The new Wendy’s self serve drink machines also have the name Pininfarina on them… The name doesn’t mean as much to me anymore…

    • RayT Member

      PF also did (or does, not sure) manufacture components for kitchens. I recall attending a show of their designs at the time they were introduced to the U.S. Imagine a bright red and very swoopy “range hood” with the pininfarina name on it….

    • DougV

      Ferrari also has a design house for consumer products, called Ferrari Electtrodomestiche. This is not so unusual in Italy…

  2. Derek

    If it’s a Roman Road car, does that mean that the bodywork’s straight?

    Sure it’s a flat 4? Lancia built lovely narrow-angle V4s.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

      Ha. If it spent any time actually driving in Rome the body probably wouldn’t be straight..

      Yes, sir.

    • Blyndgesser

      Lancia V4s are terrific, yes, but the Flavia was always a flat-4. If it makes you feel better, think of it as a 180 degree v4.

    • Palandi

      in the 1960s, Lancia had a three-car lineup, with three different engines (V4, flat-4 and V6) and in-house development of many parts everyone else was outsourcing.

      with such a management, bankruptcy was, sadly, just around the corner.

      • Derek

        Ah, ok. I learn every day!

  3. Nova Scotian

    The is jug is worrisome yes, but more of an issue is that positive electrical red wire dangling through the gas tank area. Once that red insulation rubs through,..spark time. ⚡️💥

  4. Scott

    I had a Lancia Beta Coupe for awhile. Still have the oil stain it left in the driveway. Spent more time off the road then on. Sunroof leaked like a sieve. 🙄

    • Dave Wright

      Calling a Beta a lancia is like calling a Biturbo a Maserati……….there is no relation between the cars. This is a real lancia…..not the later Fiat influenced junk.

  5. Howard A Member

    Personally, it’s not the kind of car I would buy, but it is a sharp looking car. I bet it’s a blast to drive. Again same old thing, parts???

    • Mark S

      Hi Howard can you say restomod built with Subaru drive line and suspension?

  6. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Agree on all points. Vintage Flavias might be appreciating now, but taking this resto on would have to be a labor of love because of all the bodywork that needs to be done. And then you would have way more in it than it would be worth.

    Pininfarina also built the bodies for some Lancia Flavia models, and other firms built bodies for the low-production models built on the same platform, like the convertible that was built by Vignale and the coupe that was designed and built by Zagato, like this black car.

  7. CCFisher

    Oldsmobile built a 66 from 1941-1948. It wasn’t named for Route 66, but we can pretend.

  8. JW454

    Is it just me, or do those headlamps look like something from a Checker cab?

    Neat looking little buggy.

  9. Brakeservo

    Scotty – you ask why no American car has been named after Route 66 – it’s simple, if it’s engine were more than a four but less than a V8 it would be a 666 and that wouldn’t go over good, except .. .. .. well maybe as a Dodge Demon variant??

  10. Dan h

    The pre-Fiat owned Battista “Pinin” Farina cars are the ones to buy now, IMHO.
    Yes, it would be nicer to have a 3B or 3C Flaminia but still, vintage Lancias are wonderful cars to drive! Once you experience it, few cars will compare.
    Oh, whomever is interested in this one, check under the floor mats before you buy, it is a Lancia after all.

  11. Steve B

    Looks like an Italian Valiant.

  12. Kevin Culver

    Nothing named after Route 66? How about the ’66 Mustang? ’66 Catalina? ’66 Cadillac ….. 😀

  13. Jim

    A rusty car is like an old whore, not everybody wants one ©


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