The 1961 introduction of Lancia’s new front-wheel-drive Flavia range continued the next year with the development of the Zagato-built Sport. The Ercole Spada-designed Sport was significantly lighter than other Flavia models by virtue of its alloy body, and it also featured panoramic rear quarter windows that wrapped into the roof, giving the model a distinctive, idiosyncratic look. The concave rear window was hinged at the top and actuated by an electric motor, which opened a few centimetres for improved ventilation, and the sloping rear deck ended in a raked tail.
In 1963, the Sport’s 1,500-cubic centimetre, dual-carburettor flat-four was enlarged to 1,800 cubic centimetres. Unlike the other models in the Flavia line, whose single-carburettor arrangement produced 92 brake horsepower, the Sport’s engine retained dual carburettors, which saw its power increase to 100 brake horsepower and then 105 brake horsepower, with competition-tuned units making 130 brake horsepower.
In the decade following the 1955 reorganisation, Lancia’s competition efforts consisted of factory support for the “gentlemen drivers” of the HF Squadra Corse. Organised by Cesare Fiorio, son of Lancia’s PR director, the privateer Squadra and the tuning firms that supported its efforts would become the core of Lancia’s competition department when the factory returned to racing in 1965. Whilst the more-numerous Pininfarina-built Flavia Coupé saw competition using engines similar to the Sport, the lighter weight of the Sport made it well suited for hill climbs and rallies, as well as circuit racing.
This could be one of the finest Flavia Zagatos you are likely to see. Only one owner from new until 2014. It’s in lovely original condition and has been subject to a restoration. A beautiful car designed by one of the greatest ever coachbuilders and an opportunity not to be missed.