Lincoln Indianapolis by Boano

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Indianapolis by Boano





The Indianapolis was a typical Italian coachbuilder’s project of the era, as it began with little more than some large-scale sketches, a chassis, sheet metal, and tubing. Boano gave it an extended nose, which had no visible cooling air intake and was flanked by vertical quad headlights. The front fenders reached back into the doors, to end in three shrouded chromed faux exhaust pipes, which were balanced by tall air intakes in the forward edges of the rear fenders and five chromed exhaust splitters. The front wheels nearly disappeared under the orange flow of the fenders, and the wraparound windshield was complemented by a huge rear window that had streamlined C-pillars in the roof. Its body was finished in a bright shade of orange—all the better to draw eyes in a show crowded with coach built confections—and it had an interior that was patterned in checkered black and white cloth, in a nod to the famous “checkered flag.” The completed Indianapolis was every bit the showstopper that Boano had dreamed it would be, even garnering a cover feature in the November 1955 issue of Auto Age magazine, which asked, “Is This the Next Lincoln?” In what must have been a glorious moment for the Boano family, they were offered a contract by Ford, but in a rather odd move, Mario Boano let the offer be known to Fiat, becoming the lever that moved Fiat to commit to establishing their Centro Stile Department and the Boanos as its leaders. As a result, rather than taking up the Ford contract for which they had worked, the Boanos parried it into a new business, running Fiat’s first in-house styling department. 

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