Leif Finds Unique Flavia in England updated

After attending the West coast reunion we started to talk about the nice looking models we ran across and as a result started to look into finding a Flaminia Touring at a fair price. As soon as we found a fitting car, regardless if in the US or Europe we got a note back saying “sorry it is sold” Not giving up we kept looking. One second reason to wanting a Flaminia was that my wife’s maiden name was Flaming and her cousin and best friends name is Sminia. It was a perfect name of a car!

After getting the same response over and over again we started to widen our search.

As the Flaminia convertible was out of reach we looked at the Flavia Vignale convertible. I liked the Vignale as it is so similar to the Vignale Sebring we own. After a couple of responses exactly the same as before we suddenly had luck. Found a restored car in Italy and agreed on the price but the next morning when requesting the information to send a deposit we were told that someone else had called before our agreement and was coming to inspect the car. The next was by now routine! “Sorry the car is sold” but if we get another we will let you know. A call to a relative in Germany we got another lead and the same answer. When we started looking for an alternative to the Flaminia I ran across an interesting car that was advertised as a Lancia Flavia Vignale by Hooper. The asking price was way over what we had in mind to spend but I kept coming back to the ad and finally decided to contact the seller just to find out A. if the car still was available and B. if the price was negotiable. The car was still available and instead of a yes or no he asked what we were thinking we could consider offering.

We told him what we had in mind but he was not interested in going that low. I told him we would think it over and if we came closer to his price let him know. About a week later we were fed up with all cars we were looking at being sold so we threw him a better offer and after thinking about it over night he reluctantly agreed on the price and we finally dealt with someone not backing out after the agreement.

The car comes with a great story.

The car was ordered by a very rich Englishman. He wanted a convertible sports car to use for his annual tour with his wife to the Riviera. The story goes that he had several very large, comfortable and expensive cars but hankered after a sports car. The wife was not keen because she wanted luggage space. They struck a deal that he could have the car if he got it modified to take more luggage. He ordered the car and sent it straight on to Hoopers to have various modifications done to it. The most obvious is the "trunk" type boot lid. They also made luggage to fit which is sadly no longer with the car. He also had a mohair lined hood(top) made with the trademark Hooper glass window then added plush carpets, electric windows, sun visors and a few other details. It is believed to be the only Lancia to go through the Hooper works. It is known in classic Lancia circles as the "Hooper Vignale". It is definitely unique.

The car is one of the very early Series 1 convertibles which have the 1,500 cc engine bored out to 1,721cc by the factory to give it more punch.

A friend of the seller is in the restauration business and is familiar with shipping so he helped us finding a good option for the shipping to the US.

I will let you know how that works and what we find out when the car arrives in the U.S.

Leif Neuman

Another from Leif of a battered Fulvia...."Press On Regardless SCCA Rally, 1972 Preparing for final stage in Alma, Michigan, home of the sponsoring TOTAL refinery. I believe that this was the year the rally was trying for FIA sanction, so a number of European teams showed up, including this Lancia and a Polish FIAT team.

2021 West coast reunion.jpg