The Lancia Flavia variants were introduced in 1962, and the Appia production soon ceased. Vignale stopped the production of the Appia convertible, and by the end of 1962, its successor, the Flavia, the convertible was introduced. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti, the Flavia is the last model originating from the cooperation between the two Turinese firms.
Launched in 1961, the Flavia saloon maintained Lancia's enviable reputation for advanced and innovative automotive engineering. Designed by Antonio Fessia and inspired by his Cemsa prototype of 1947, the Flavia was Italy's first series-production car to employ front-wheel drive. Carried well forward of the front wheels, the engine was a 1,488cc, overhead-valve, horizontally-opposed four; the suspension was independent at the front and by beam axle at the rear, and there were dual-circuit, servo-assisted disc brakes all round. The shorter-wheelbase Pininfarina-styled Coupé joined the saloon in 1962, the latter providing the basis for a convertible version by Vignale, while Zagato designed an outlandish-looking lightweight two-door sport version.
An attractive four-seater sports car, the Convertible enjoyed the stability, comfort, and handling virtues familiar to the rest of the range. In 1963 the range was updated with a 1,800cc engine, which, when installed in the Coupé and Convertible, produced 92bhp, good enough for a top speed of 173km/h. Only 835 Flavia Convertibles were built with the 1.8-liter between 1963 and 1965, plus a further 43 fitted with fuel injection up to the end of 1966.
Source: www.vignale.org; www.bonhams.com