Thornley Kelham restores three Lancia Flaminia Zagatos


May 22, 2019 By Mike
Last updated on May 22, 2019
Lancia Flaminia Zagatos
  • Thornley Kelham has recently completed the restoration of three extremely rare Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato models: 2019 is Zagato’s Centenary year
  • Only 526 Flaminia Zagato models were built in total, and among the restored trio is a one-of-33 Flaminia Sport 3C 2.8 variant
  • Thornley Kelham is also completing full restorations on two Flaminia SuperSport Zagatos, with a further example currently offered for sale

Cotswolds-based classic car restoration specialist, Thornley Kelham, have completed extensive nut-and-bolt restoration work on three ultra-rare Lancia Flaminia Zagatos. Only 526 Flaminia Zagatos were built between 1959 and 1967, and not only has Thornley Kelham restored these three, it has a further two currently being completed in its state-of-the-art workshops, and another for sale.

With in-house bodywork, paint, engine and fabrication shops, Thornley Kelham is widely regarded for the quality of its restorations of historically significant, often unique vehicles. Having restored a number of rare Lancia models in the past, including perhaps the most famous Lancia in the world, the ex-Bracco Aurelia B20GT, Thornley Kelham has over 10 years of top-end restoration expertise.

Lancia Flaminia Zagato production spanned eight years and four evolutions and – in Zagato’s Centenary Year – is still widely regarded as one of the carrozzeria’s most beautiful designs, featuring classic sporting lines and the iconic double-bubble roof. With disc brakes all-round on later models, and fully independent front suspension it was renowned for its excellent balance and superb on-road manners.

Prior to the restoration work of the three Flaminia Sport Zagatos, Thornley Kelham commissioned 3D Engineers to scan a Zagato, from which a buck was produced. This enabled the team to make new, or repair existing skins for all future Flaminia Zagatos that may arrive. The svelte aluminium body panels are enormously delicate and intricately shaped, making the creation of new panels challenging work.

There were three generations of Zagato-bodied Flaminias. The earliest cars, numbering 199, were single carburettor models, the first 99 of which had cowled headlamps. This design changed to open headlamps in 1960 due to revised Italian traffic regulations. This lead to:

The second evolution of the Flaminia, the Sport 3C, which is virtually identical to its predecessor but with three carburettors (3C) fitted to its 2.5-litre V6 engine. Power surged from 119bhp to 140bhp thanks to this change and a total of 152 models were produced. Two of the cars restored were from this period.

The final, and latest, example of the triumvirate is a one-of-33 Flaminia Sport 3C 2.8 model, produced in 1963. These latter cars were fitted with a bored-out version of the 2.5-litre engine, taking total displacement to 2.8 litres, boosting power to 150bhp. This particular car is arguably unique, being fitted with the covered headlights of the early  Series I Flaminias.

But Flaminia Zagato development didn’t stop with the 3C 2.8. In 1964, Lancia released the Super Sport variant, radically updated, featuring a new Kamm Tail design and a strengthened version of the 2.8-litre engine, complete with bigger carburettors. Only 150 examples were produced, and Thornley Kelham is currently carrying out extensive restoration work on two of them. 

A further Flaminia Super Sport Zagato is currently being offered for sale by Thornley Kelham, complete with its original 2.8-litre engine and upgrades including adjustable Zagato-style seats with lumbar support, custom stainless-steel exhaust system with stainless-steel headers, Amadori-style 15” magnesium alloy wheels, auxiliary electric fan, and a dynator. The braking system has been largely rebuilt with upgraded front calipers. For more information see the website: www.thornleykelham.com