>Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato TIPPED BY EMANUELE COLLO
‘It’s as good-looking as a Ferrari 250SWB,’ says Emanuele Collo. ‘It’s fast, capable and exciting. It has the engineering heritage of Lancia, the extraordinary style of Zagato, and an engine with plenty of torque that is tuned to give real performance, So it has every important ingredient, perhaps with the exception of much racing history – but it’s not £5m, it’s less than a tenth of that.’
Lancia launched the Flaminia in 1956, with three separate coupé versions popping up at once in 1959 – a sensible, elegant Farina four-seater, a lower, quad-headlamp Touring GT and Zagato’s Sport. With its double-bubble roof, large bonnet bulge and nearfastback side profile, it always looked special. Some of the earliest cars had fared-in headlamps under Perspex covers, but this look soon changed to the uncovered lamps of the car in our pictures. In 1964, the engine grew from 2.5 to 2.8 litres as the Sport became the Super Sport, and the looks changed again, with fared-in lamps within a teardrop-shaped cowl. The tail was altered from the Sport’s slippery taper to a more chopped off Kamm-style shape.
‘The Super Sport may have the larger engine, but it’s not as valuable as the Sport,’ says Collo. ‘It’s very Italian playboy-esque; more showy than the Sport with a different interior including wood veneer on the dashboard.’
But are any Flaminias getting close to our £500k mark? Collo says all are motoring in the right direction. ‘The early covered-light cars are the least common with just 99 made and they’re probably the most valuable – the best would be more than £400k now. The other Sports – about 350 made – can get to £350k, with the 150 Super Sports perhaps £50k-£100k less in equivalent condition.’
‘Park this car next to any Ferrari 250 or Aston Martin and it will hold its own’
The production totals may sound dauntingly small, but there always seems to be a choice of cars for sale; indeed the 1963 car pictured is offered now by Greenside Cars in Norfolk.
One reason may be the spate of recent Flaminia Zagato restorations – at long last, patient owners have felt able to invest in the specialist rebuild the cars deserve in the knowledge that the finished value will not be dwarfed by the cost of the work. That expenditure, in turn, can drive up what sellers are willing to accept before they part with the car. There’s a flip side – buyers can be more demanding too, as Collo points out.
‘With cars that have risen to these prices, buyers will care a lot more about details than they once did. Is everything absolutely correct – the right engine, the right seats and so on? What is the quality of the restoration? It’s where an expert inspection pays off.’
If the Alfa Junior GT owner need have no shame parking his pretty coupé next to a Flaminia Zagato, the Flaminia Zagato owner can look higher still.
‘You could park this car next to any Ferrari 250 or Aston Martin and it would hold its own,’ says Collo. ‘They’ll always be appreciated by those in the know.’
>Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona TIPPED BY MAARTEN TEN HOLDER
Here’s another recent market correction, rather like the DB5. The Daytona looked a perfect target for speculators five years ago, on an apparently unstoppable mission to surpass £1m. But the picture has changed a lot since the summer of 2015 when they peaked at £800k-900k. By last summer they looked tempting at £600k-700k but prices have continued to soften, at least temporarily.
‘The market is ready for a slower, longer, steadier rise,’ says Maarten ten Holder. ‘Cars such as the Daytona have been part of a correction at the top but after this pause I think they’re ready to grow in value again. You might not get the best of the best for our £500k budget, but within that figure there will be vendors out there willing to part with good cars with the right history.’
Aim for cars with matching numbers and lengthy trails of bills for upkeep from Ferrari specialists. That’s more to ensure the car’s appeal to its next buyer than it is to avoid bad examples – there are increasingly few of those – and there might be relative bargains among cars in colours other than Rosso.
‘It takes a little nerve to buy a car whose value has been softening,’ says ten Holder, ‘so buy one for that fabulous driving experience and the thrill of seeing it in your garage. It will go up in value, but whether that’s in six months or 18 months is hard to say.’
>Aston Martin DB5 TIPPED BY TIM SCHOFIELD
Can you really buy a DB5 for half a million or less, without expecting a project? In a word, yes.
‘You’re not going to get a perfect Bond-lookalike car in Silver Birch for this money, but the hammer price for the four DB5S
‘It takes a little nerve to buy a car whose value has been softening’
we’ve sold in the last year has been less than £500k,’ says Tim Schofield. ‘It’s where we are now for a good if not amazing example and it will get you into a usable DB5.’
It’s undoubtedly the case that DB5S have undergone a bit of a correction in the last few years, but even that picture is more complicated than a simple drop-back in values for the less-thanconcours cars, says Schofield.
‘There’s now a premium of perhaps 40%-50% for a Vantage,’ he says. ‘That gap is much wider than it used to be but there are only 65 of them out of 1021 DB5S in total including the dropheads, and they are in a different league for value. A non-vantage DB5 saloon is still a wonderful thing – it will turn heads wherever it goes, it makes a good family classic thanks to back seats for kids and they define an era. Plus James Bond still drives one, which helps.’
Very few DB5S were sold with automatic ’boxes and many of those have since been converted to manual, which won’t hurt
values. Colour choice might, though. Says Schofield, ‘Silver Birch is the obvious respray but the market is heading back to originality. As long as the original colour isn’t too horrid!’
>Fiat 8V Supersonic TIPPED BY JUSTIN BANKS
Once again Justin Banks picks out under-appreciated exotica, only this time we’ve moved from glamorous grand tourers into something closer to fine art.
‘The Supersonic is Ghia’s rare and rather crazy coachbuilt body penned by Savonuzzi. I think it’s the most incredible, most amazing translation from a sketch to reality that’s ever happened. It’s in a different category even to coachbuilt Fifties Ferraris because we’re into the realm of the car as art.’
Only 15 of these rolling sculptures were produced on Fiat’s untypically exciting 8V (Otto Vu) model in 1953 and 1954. They’re the most startling of the 114 8Vs sold, though bodies by Vignale, Zagato, Pininfarina and Fiat’s own coachworks provide alternatives to this jet-age fantasy.
‘Values are a bit arbitrary,’ says Banks. ‘I’ll admit you wouldn’t get a Pebble Beach winner for our £500k budget but I hold out a hope that you could find one that hadn’t been through a money-no-object restoration and so might be within budget.’
Versions of Ghia’s Supersonic bodies appeared on other chassis, but none suited it quite like the 8V. Trying to visualise a future for the values of such cars is akin to predicting the art market, but Banks has one other point to make, ‘With a car like this you are buying an individual, unique object. Every one will be slightly different even from the others supposedly with the same coachwork. That’s what genuine rarity gives you – it’s a step ahead of owning just another example of a famous model.’
>Invicta 4.5 litre S-type Low Chassis Tourer TIPPED BY EDWARD BRIDGER-STILLE
‘A glorious open sports car, beautifully built and wonderfully engineered,’ says Bridger-stille. ‘It’s an often-overlooked contender for long-distance touring as well as a comfortable fourseater with power to spare from its 4.5-litre Meadows engine. They feel faster, more exciting and more planted than some of the much bigger names in Thirties touring cars.’
The S-type emerged from the Invicta works in Cobham, Surrey with little company kudos to rely on, but received a terrific boost in 1931 when Donald Healey set off from Stavanger in Norway for the Monte Carlo Rally and won the event outright.
‘With around 75 built it is a credit to the quality of workmanship that 63 of them survive,’ says Bridger-stille. ‘They come to the open market rarely because most sell within the club, so it’s hard to be sure of values. They’ve exceeded £500k at auction but if you could get one for less – possibly with a non-original body – you’ll do well. If you can get into Invicta ownership you’ll secretly be hugely proud and never lose money.’
Invicta’s 4.5-litre S-type Low Chassis Tourer offers everything you could want in a Thirties sports car and will never lose money