Inspired by the casting of Nikki Lauda’s road car in the forthcoming movie Rush. We are calling it: the coolest car that was ever made is the Lancia Flavia and later 2000 Berlinas.
“Why” I hope I hear you ask. Let me explain.
Lancia was the coolest car company in the world. That’s a given right? I mean everything about them was so right – check out this list:
- Vincenzo Lancia was a pilot, engineer, race car driver, a hero
- Lancia built a sensational, race winning Grand Prix car, the D50
- Lancia is the most successful rally marque in the world
- World’s first V6 engine
- The best model names: Fulvia, Integrale, Aurelia etc
- World’s first 5 speed box
- 0 to the 3 to the 7!
Ok so can we move on? Lancia is the coolest marque. But what makes the Flavia/2000 Berlina the coolest model. There are so many that have a stake to that claim, the cute Fulvia, the rakish Aurelia or any of the ultra-eccentric Zagato bodied models. Well to be cool you can’t be conventionally good looking (see Steve McQueen) and no one could claim that the Berlina is pretty, but boy is it handsome and the detailing is exquisite. You also need a level of understated modesty and Berlina has that in spades.
Exclusivity also helps in the coolness stakes and thanks to a ridiculously high price tag when new Flavias were never built in large numbers. Add to this Lancia’s propensity to tin-worm and you have the classic ingredients for a rare old car.
Finally we have the Berlina’s mechanical attributes, and this is where the deal is clinched. The jewel like aluminium flat four engine, disk brakes on all four wheels, front wheel drive, five speed gearbox all add up to a delicious package.
So there you have it: Lancia Flavia Berlina uber-cool.
Image source: movitcars.com
I concur with those Lancia’s and black steelies, but I’ve just found another example of fine Italian design today that couldn’t be missed here : http://www.mctar.com/fjc_images/originals/fiat_2300_s.jpg
A Fiat 2300 S Coupé, seldom have I seen something so clean and purposefully elegant.
Keep up the black steelies 🙂
Thank you Gert.
Love the Fiat 2300 coupe – we might hijack that for a blog post if you don’t mind.
No problem, loved the post and it was actually the film of Petrolicious too that inspired me to try to find some beautiful pictures of the Fiat 🙂
Hello. Just dropping by to congratulate you on this post! It’s a case of ‘great minds think alike’, because I posted something remarkably similar at the weekend. And like you, I was inspired by the Rush movie trailer.
Anyway – I love your short and concise summary of the Lancia 2000 and wholeheartedly agree with your ‘coolest car in the world’ tag. Genius.
I won’t spam your site by posting a link to my article, but feel free to wander over to PB at some point.
Bookmarked your site for future enjoyment. It’s an inspired blog title!
Thank you very much Gavin. Seems great minds do think alike!
Love your article on the Lancia 2000 (http://petrolblog.com/2013/08/ich-bin-ein-berlina-lancia-2000-sedan/) and you’re entire site – definitely adding it to our blog roll.
That’s awfully kind, Pete. Thank you!
And cheers for the direct link. Here’s to a continued love of old Lancias.
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Thank you very much for the article.
I’m sure you all noticed by now, there’s a Fulvia GT for sale that used to be Lancia guru Jaan at Eddin’s Moto daily driver:
I wish I wasn’t on the wrong coast in the wrong country…
Thanks Alekan. Yes we saw that Fulvia GT and we want it! I love the description of the smell on the Eddins Moto website – I think the smell of classics is a very underrated feature of old car ownership.
Have just purchased a sound 2000 Berlina, the fuel injection one, as a possible spares car
for my 2000 HF Coupe. The sedan has an engine problem but the more I look at it, the more
I am inclined to fix and use it. Lancia and Alfa people do say, that if you can get past the looks
of the Berlinas, as opposed to the Coupes, the driving experience is better. Will make a firm
decision after seeing the Rush film next week.
Just watched Rush last night and the lancia 2000 puts in a fine performance! It’ll make you want to fix the sedan and use it for sure.
Had these obscure and end of the line Lancias on my radar for a while. Actually any good, boxy Italian sedan, i.e. Alfa Berlina, Fulvia, 124 Special etc. However these Flavias are the grown up, dignified ones and I was pretty taken when one was used in Rush.
Yes JD, we’re pretty partial to boxy Italian cars here – our own Giulia Ti is testament to that. But I do think the Flavia is the pick of them all.
Thanks for the comment
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The Flavia Berlina is indeed a jewel. It looks uninspiring at first sight, but it really grows on you. I had 2 Flavia Zagato’s and a Flavia Berlina (s1) for spares…
I restored the sedan because of all the little details that make it so classy. It is indeed best compared to a beautiful watch as you feel and see the engineering excellence in so many parts. It all ended in the early 70’s when all the Italian car market went into oblivion compared to the amazing 60’s!