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Author Topic: Flavia Vignale convertible: A viable tourer?  (Read 370 times)
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motoloco
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« on: 13 October, 2021, 06:04:41 PM »

Hi
Much as I love my Fulvia 1.3S Rallye, it is rather lacking as relaxing tourer. Therefore, Iím considering what would be a good accompaniment for it. It must be a convertible and capable of covering reasonable distances in comfort. I live in france and want to explore the country more, as well as forays into Italy and Spain.
As a Lancista I would like to know more about the Flavia Convertible and whether it would fit the bill? I am also interested in the Peugeot 504 Cabrio and the Fiat 1500/1600S convertible, but Iím open to other suggestions.
Iím in no rush to buy, so want to canvass as much experience as possible.
Thanks
« Last Edit: 14 October, 2021, 07:40:32 PM by motoloco » Logged
markinnes
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« Reply #1 on: 04 November, 2021, 08:14:03 PM »

I've not got, never had, a Flavia Convertible. Sadly. But since you've had no replies yet... And opinionated posts tend to spark debate... here goes:

I ran an S2 Fulvia Coupe as my only car for a few years. but with a young family, it just didn't work, and yes it was tiring over longer runs. So Jan 2019 I got a 1970 Flavia 2000, my first ever drive was through the Jan snowstorms Berkshire to Cornwall, and although it needed lots of fettling, it made it through with ease, passing quite a lot of stranded cars and jack-knifed lorries. Once fettled, I drove from Cornwall back to Berkshire in an evening, the next morning from Berkshire to Milton Keynes, and that afternoon from Milton Keynes back to Cornwall. In the rain. When I got back to Cornwall I couldn't believe how fine I felt, less tired than shorter journeys in our modern Saab. So Grand Tourer, the Flavia Coupe 2000, definitely.

I prefer its handling to the Fulvia, smoother, more predictable, surprisingly nimble, great fun on twisty A-roads [assuming all the bushes / silent-blocks are in good condition].

Two issues spring to mind - 1. Power. Depending on your driving style, this may not matter. Warning - all figures my calculations from hurried on-line research - so expect others to follow with corrections. Mine is a standard carb 2000 [just with a 123 electronic distributor] @ 112 bhp, so a little more powerful than an injection 1800 @ 102 bhp [Wikipedia, could be wrong]. I calculated my Flavia to be near-identical power-to-weight to my S2 Fulvia Coupe: 94 bhp/tonne v 97 bhp/tonne. The Vignale is apparently the tiniest bit lighter than my later Coupe. 1800 injection @ 102 bhp = 87 bhp/tonne. 1800 carb @ 91 bhp = 79 bhp/tonne. I've not driven an 1500, and they have lots of ardent fans, but if you get a 1500 carb version, you might find them noticeably slower to accelerate compared to your Fulvia. When I looked up comparative acceleration times they didn't seem as varied as I'd expected, I'm not sure what figures to trust, so have deleted them from this post!

Also 2: Convertible. I owned a convertible as my only car for many years, but I was younger then. More tiring to drive long distances, more noise, and often small leaks. And more body twist if driving hard. But for gentle cruising through Southern Europe, I imagine the joy outweighs the hardship.

now over to the real experts....
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GG
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B20 s.2, Appia C10 unrestored


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« Reply #2 on: 04 November, 2021, 09:03:42 PM »

Agree fully with the above. This past year, added a Flavia 2000 coupe to the stable, for all the above reasons. Its much more relaxed than either the early s.2 B20 or the Appia in the stable (although the Appia is pretty good if not driving so fast, and the B20 is a treat). It needed a fair amount of fettling - in all sorts of places - but is a good running original car. We've changed/flushed all the lines, brake pads, shocks, tires, tie rod joints, alternator, starter, etc., but its really coming into order. It has the Kugelfischer injection, and I've found a good late pump to rebuild and will fit it when done.

The test of driving distance: one summer day, between 90-95ļ, drove it out of Chicago (traffic), for 3 Ĺ hrs to Wisconsin. Got there, parked in the room, unpacked, went back out and for a 1 hr hike in a nearby park. No way in the B20, would have been too tired. Its a joy to drive, easy and full of character.

Its a gentleman's express (a personal upgrade there!), not quite the same caliber as the B20, or perhaps the Appia. They were just made more carefully, or more old fashioned. The older cars are in a different category. But the Flavia is built well, the coach building decisions all make sense, and you can follow the PF logic all around the detailing - its just lovely.

Its a very satisfying drive.

As to convertibles - had an E type (for 30 years). Where we live, they just don't make sense. There are a couple of weeks in the spring and the fall when they are great,but the summers are too hot, the winters too cold. And if you like to go over 60-70, then too much buffeting (as we get older, these things matter) and little fun on expressways. So coupes are the flavor for today. Quieter, and cooler.

Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: 05 November, 2021, 08:22:14 AM by GG » Logged

B20 s.2, Appia C10 unrestored
JohnMillham
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« Reply #3 on: 04 November, 2021, 09:09:12 PM »

Many years ago I ran a Vignale Flavia as my everyday car and I loved it! It had Kugelfischer fuel injection and was very economical, usually returning nearly 30 mpg. It was reasonably quiet and comfortable, particularly when the hard top was in use, but the hood was waterproof and it didn't leak at all. I towed an Austin Seven on a trailer to race at the Nurburgring with two friends and it was still very economic, so I was particularly sad to see the end of it when I understeered it off the road on a bend near Hermitage one evening, knocking down a telegraph pole, causing a few sparks and ringing all the telephones in the neighbourhood. I sold it for parts with regret! Yes, I think it was a viable tourer.  


* Millhamroadandflavia.jpg (1779.24 KB, 3970x2097 - viewed 11 times.)
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motoloco
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« Reply #4 on: 04 November, 2021, 10:06:20 PM »

Thanks for your replies, I was starting to give up hopeÖ.

I've long admired Flavia Coupes, going back to the time in the late 70s when a friend had a 1500, so itís great to read the positives about them.  However, while taking on board the comments about convertibles, itís a soft top Iím after. Iíve had them for much of the last forty years, so know their limitations. Maybe itís because Iím also a motorcyclist?

Therefore, it was particularly good to read Johnís experiences with his Vignale and wince about its demise. There are a couple currently for sale in france and one advertised in Italy, so my search may well be about to get more serious.

Thanks again.



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Sliding Pillar
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« Reply #5 on: 05 November, 2021, 03:14:42 PM »

How's this for an alternative?
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1396062
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1955 Aurelia
1961 Lamborghini
lancialulu
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« Reply #6 on: 05 November, 2021, 03:26:43 PM »

How's this for an alternative?
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1396062
I had one of these back in the day. I would not recommend it as a tourer at all! Especially if you want to carry 4 people. I had an injection Vignale until recently and I enjoyed long trips in it but never took it abroad. It has a really big boot. The injection (Iniezione) version was much faster and longer legged (different gearbox final ration) than the carb 1800 (I had one of those previously....), and quite economic. The iniezione versions are rare though nowadays.
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Its not the winning but taking part! or is it taking apart?
1955 Aurelia B12
1967 Fulvia 1.3HFR
1972 Fulvia 1600HF
1972 Fulvia 1600HF
1972 1600 Fulvia Sport
1988 Delta 1.6GTi
1998 Zeta
motoloco
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« Reply #7 on: 05 November, 2021, 03:57:34 PM »

How's this for an alternative?
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1396062
Interesting, but I scratched that particular itch some years agoÖ.
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motoloco
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« Reply #8 on: 05 November, 2021, 04:01:16 PM »

How's this for an alternative?
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1396062
I had one of these back in the day. I would not recommend it as a tourer at all! Especially if you want to carry 4 people. I had an injection Vignale until recently and I enjoyed long trips in it but never took it abroad. It has a really big boot. The injection (Iniezione) version was much faster and longer legged (different gearbox final ration) than the carb 1800 (I had one of those previously....), and quite economic. The iniezione versions are rare though nowadays.

Thanks for the feedback Tim. Iím bouncing all over the place with possibilities, but I enjoy the process.
A Pagoda Mercedes has long been a wish, but not at todayís prices, hence the Flavia info request. One of the Vignale Flavias for sale in France is an iniezione model, so I may follow it up.
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