It still ran a four-speed transaxle and leaf-sprung de Dion tube, but with unequal-length wishbones at the front replacing the earlier cars’ shimmy-prone sliding pillars. The early Flaminia Sedans had Aurelia B20-type drum brakes discs all round were standardised after the first 500 had been built plus a bizarre inner and outer wiper set on the rear window, working off the same vacuum system that opened and closed the rear quarter windows. The invention of the heated element for the craftsman garage door opener 093d0168 glass banished the quad wipers at about the same time that Lancia boosted the power of the all-alloy, wet-liner V6 to 110bhp in 1 It quickly followed this in ’62 with a 129bhp 8-litre version. Amazingly, the last Flaminia saloons were sold in 1970, although when they were actually built is anyone’s guess.
The flagship Lancia was, in effect, usurped in the hierarchy of Italian saloons by the Fiat 130 V Although it still commanded respect, the Flaminia had always suffered from a desperate lack of development, never getting the power steering, automatic transmission and effortlessly powerful engine that the market demanded. Sales figures neatly tell the story. The Sedan sold briskly in its first year of production 2600 cars but nose-dived at the beginning of the ’60s, probably as a result of the introduction of the faster, more compact and prettier craftsman garage door opener 093d0168 Almost unfeasibly chic Flaminia epitomises La Dolce Vita, while the stylish but ferociously efficient Mercedes also came as a long-wheelbase version, the 300SEL, with complex air suspension. Coupe, which outsold it handsomely.
Total saloon production was just over 4000 examples, including 75 with the oddball Saxomat semiautomatic gearbox and a handful of 140bhp Speciale police cars with twin Webers. For the purposes of this comparison, perhaps only Mercedes-Benz could furnish a continental six-cylinder saloon of equivalent finish, dignity and technical excellence. In Germany, the 300 badge which went back to the early 1950s see craftsman garage door opener 093d0168 certainly had a similar resonance and commanded similar respect among buyers. Introduced in ’65, Paul Bracq’s masterful Wl08 is reminiscent of his Will coupe, with deep windows, slim, sloping roof pillars and a flatter roof. Half an inch lower and wider than the ‘Fintail’, with a larger glass area and curved side windows to increase space inside , for me it is the best-looking Mercedes saloon of them all.