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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This Lancia Fulvia Coupe Still Has It After 45 Years



When it comes to classic Italian cars, really, how does one choose a favorite? Options abound between grand prix racers, sports coupes, and supercars; Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis…on and on it goes. 
However, with so many options, there does seem to be a common pick—the sporty Lancia Fulvia Coupe. It was overbuilt, wonderfully styled, and handled its power with incredible poise.

 No wonder they’re seen as a popular antithesis to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV. This 1971 Fulvia recently emerged on eBay, and it’s a crisp reminder of the good ‘ol days of car styling.


The Fulvia line made its grand debut at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, first as a “Berlina” sedan, ushering in a replacement for the aging rear-wheel drive Appia. However unlike the Appia, the narrow-angle V4 engine in the Fulvia drove the front wheels…and remarkably well too.
 When the short wheelbase Lancia Fulvia Coupe was spun-off in 1965, it immediately dominated in the Italian Rally Championship, and claimed all but one overall title between 1966 and 1973. Not a bad run of form.
The striking Fulvia Coupe was also lauded for its nimble independent front suspension outside of the rally stage, as well as the snarling V4 engines it packed nose-heavy under the hood. Over the years these included 1.2-, 1.3-, and 1.6-liter V4s, which culminated in some highly tuned rally versions of the latter.

 The Coupes might not have been fast—think zero to 60 mph in 10 seconds plus—but they were quite advanced for the day, and highly capable in the bends.


This being a 1971 Fulvia 1.3 S Coupe, this Lancia totes the 90 horsepower version of the 1.3-liter V4, and it pairs it with twin Solex carburetors, larger Girling brakes, and a five-speed gearbox. A rally car it is not, but a gorgeous cruiser, it most certainly is.