The Quirinal Palace is the proud setting for Lancia’s double celebration: 115 years of glorious history, a paradigm of Italian elegance and style, ingenious innovation and timeless design, but also 60 years of the famed Lancia Flaminia Presidenziale, Italy’s four-wheeled ambassador to the world.
This year Lancia celebrates its115th birthday: it was founded in 1906, in Turin, when Vincenzo Lancia and Claudio Fogolin – Fiat employees and passionate car enthusiasts – launched their own brand.
Their first car was the Lancia 12 HP, dated 1908: an extremely unconventional car for its time, which conquered an astonishing success with over 100 cars sold.
A parade of genuine masterpieces followed, including the Lambda, the Augusta and the Aprilia. In 1950 Lancia presented the Aurelia, the first car in the world powered by a V6 engine: this model won various competitions, convincing Gianni Lancia, Vincenzo's son, to set up a racing department dedicated to road races, the Scuderia Lancia.
In 1956 the brand focused on top-of-the-range cars: this led to iconic models such as the Flaminia and the Flavia, which was the first Italian car with front-wheel engine and drive. At the beginning of the 1970s, the sports department resumed, a winning strategy thanks to the Stratos, the 037 and then the Delta: for over 20 years Lancia dominated Rally Racing and took its place in the Olympus of Motorsport.
The second birthday celebration concerns the Lancia Flaminia Presidenziale: Italy’s motor-powered ambassador to the world turns 60.
In 1957 a high-class flagship made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, equipped with a 2.5-liter V6 engine, plus luxurious interiors and finishes: the Flaminia. In 1961, Pinin Farina created a long-wheelbase presidential convertible, named the "335", an abbreviation of its wheelbase measured in centimetres.
Four models were produced, painted in a striking midnight blue and equipped with black Connolly leather upholstery, named after four thoroughbred horses in the Quirinale stables: Belfiore, Belmonte, Belvedere and Belsito.
Having been used for numerous visits by important heads of state, the cars were fully restored in 2001. To this day, Belfiore and Belvedere appear in all their glory for the "great occasions" of Italy’s Head of State and the country’s highest officials.