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Lancia Fulvia: Buying guide and review (1963-1976)

Lancia Fulvia: Buying guide and review (1963-1976) Classic and Performance Car
Lancia Fulvia Safari Lancia Fulvia Safari Lancia Fulvia Saloon Lancia Fulvia Zagato
While the Lancia Fulvia seems to be forgotten by many, the stylish saloon and more sought after coupe were extremely advanced cars for their time. Front-wheel drive performance cars might have been none existent when the Fulvia was launched, but it’s excellent weight distribution and sophisticated front suspension set-up endowed the coupe – and to largely the same extent the saloon – with fantastic handling. 
 
The rally cars won rallies and championships across Europe, concluding the run of FWD prowess that began with the Saab 96 and continued with the Mini, and this rallying glory helped to sell cars. The rasp of that narrow-angle V4 is characterful, while the advanced suspension layout meant that this comparatively nose-heavy car could flick through corners with impressive zeal. 
 
While the Fulvia enjoyed many competition wins, and is still a relatively popular choice in historic rallying, prices are still reasonable – although they have been firming up over the last few years. As with any car of this era, especially Italian ones, there are a few serious issues you need to look out for, so it’s key to do your research, and seek specialist help where necessary. 
 

Which Fulvia to buy? 

 
There’s pretty much a different Fulvia to suit most tastes. Saloons are quite difficult to find in the UK, although there’s still a ready supply of cars in Italy. Coupe models are easier to find, but obviously carry a price premium, as do the more unusual Zagato models (see prices section). 
 
Don’t discount the smaller-engined models either, as they are an absolute joy to drive. The suspension set-up is brilliant in standard form, so modified cars are not always an improvement, unless you are going to use your car on track or rally stage. Engine upgrades are popular though, with twin Webers or Dell’Ortos a great option. Tubular exhaust manifolds will free up some extra power, while hotter cams are often fitted. 
 
In Fulvia-lore the Holy Grail is the Series One 1.6HF, the car known as the Fanalone on account of its ample inner headlights. It was a homologation special, like all the Series One HFs, and was the first Fulvia with the 1584cc version of the V4. It was quite a re-engineering feat, with a new block, a new head, a new crankshaft and special 42mm sidedraught Solexes. It also had the first Fulvia five-speed gearbox, with fifth added on at the back in its own casing and a new remote lever.
 
This was the base for the most successful Fulvia rally cars. Given the work that went into preparing the team machines, it’s no surprise that Lancia continued to use them right up to 1974 and the arrival of the Stratos. And look at the roll call of Fulvia drivers: Ove Andersson, Sandro Munari, Vic Elford, Pauli Toivonen, Pat Moss, Réné Trautmann, Harry Källström, Leo Cella, Rauno Aaltonen and Simo Lampinen are the highlights of one of the most illustrious lists in rallying history.
 
Replica rally cars, are also very popular. Given the Fulvias natural sporting ability, they are still extremely capable as historic rally machines. It's still possible to build a competitive car on a reasonable budget, but finding one that is ready built could be a lot more cost effective.
 

Performance and specs

 
Fulvia Coupe 1.6 HF
Engine 1584cc, four-cylinder
Power 115bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 113lb ft @ 4500rpm
Top speed 103mph
0-60mph 9.4sec
Fuel consumption 28mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2330mm
Length 3975mm
Width 1626mm
Height 1295mm
Kerb weight 900kg
 

Common problems

 
• All Fulvias rust. This is a simple fact you will have to consider when buying and owning one. Take a look at the front subframe, in particular the rear mounts. Rust can take hold anywhere, but obvious checks include the bootlid, doors and rear quarter panels. 
 
• A lot of the most important areas to check are inaccessible, so getting the car up on a ramp to poke around the rear subframe and chassis legs can be a huge advantage. If you don’t have access to a ramp, it could be worth getting a specialist to inspect any potential purchase. It’s much cheaper than sorting out unexpected rust in the future!
 
• The V4 engine is generally very reliable, apart from weak water pumps. As alwys, check for good oil pressure, and signs of oil smoke from the exhaust. Any signs of head gasket trouble should be the treated with caution. 
 
• The original carbs suffer from age-related issued, but they can be rebuilt, swapped or even upgraded easily. 
 
• Gearboxes are rugged, and all but the early S1 cars came with a five-speed manual. Synchros can wear, so check for any crunches going up and down through the gears. 
 
• Expensive Dunlop brakes featured on the early Fulvias, switching to Girling items from the Series II. Most issues stem from the car sitting around unused, so be aware that they will probably need a rebuild if the car has been laid up. 
 
• The Series II brakes pose their own issues too, thanks to a separate handbrake mechanism. While any specialist can adjust and maintain this, it often goes unchecked for years leading to a big repair bill. 
 
• Interior switchgear rarely gives trouble, while the electrical system is largely trouble-free of maintained correctly. 
 
• The front suspension is rarely fails, but components do wear out regularly. Tired components will spoil the car’s handling, so it’s worth finding out when everything was last replaced. The much less sophisticated rear-end suffers from sagging leaf springs. 
 
• Like many more modern cars, changing the heater on Series 2 cars means removing the dashboard, so check that it blows hot and isn’t leaking. 
 
• Parts availability is generally very good thanks to Lancia specialists, although many routine parts can be very expensive – especially if you’re used to the well catered for British classics. 
 

Model history 

 
1963: The Fulvia is launched as a saloon. Small but well-tuned 1.1-litre V4 engine pushes 59bhp to the road through a four-speed transmission. 
1964: Power is increased thanks to a new twin-carb model, producing 71bhp. 
1965: The Fulvia Coupé arrives, powered by an 80bhp 1216cc version of the V4 engine. In an effort to save weight, aluminium was used to build the doors, bonnet and bootlid. 
1966: The 1.6HF appears. It’s soon nicknamed ‘Fanalone’, meaning big eyes 
1968: 1.3 Rallye model and 101bhp 1.3 HF go into production. 
1969: Fiat buys Lancia. 
1971: The Series II Fulvia is introduced. Fiat’s tightened purse strings see the alloy panels phased out. The 1600HF and Zagaro Sport 1600 is launched. 
1972: The Fulvia saloon is phased out. 
1973: The Fulvia 1600 is canned, with the left over wide-arch bodyshells built into the limited edition 1.3 Monte Carlo. 
1974: The Fulvia Safari appears, with standard Series III getting white gauges. 
1976: Fulvia production is stopped. 
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites 

 
• www.lanciamc.co.uk – Lancia Motor Club
• www.viva-lancia.com – Lancia forum
• www.lanciafulviaclub.it – Italian Lancia Fulvia Club
 

Summary and prices

 
Buying a Fulvia isn’t always an expensive business. The saloon models are still especially affordable. Coupes have been going up in value for a while now, with Zagatos increasingly more sought after. £10,000 is entry level for a good Coupe today, rising to £15,000 for something in great cosmetic and mechanical condition. Zagato models are closer to £25,000 today, although rougher examples can be found for less. 
 
The 1.6-litre cars are worth a substantial premium and they’re the ones to go for if you can, but the Series 1 HF Fanalone models are now moving into collectors’ territory, getting seriously valuable at £50,000-£75,000 for the best. 
Lancia Fulvia Safari Lancia Fulvia Safari Lancia Fulvia Saloon Lancia Fulvia Zagato
Last updated: 14th Feb 2017
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Lancia Fulvia
6500 120000 GBP
  • Lancia - Fulvia Coupe 1.3 S - 1971

    €9,200 - €11,960 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €9,200 - €11,960 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Online Auction
    €9,200 - €11,960 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €9,200 - €11,960 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Catawiki Auctions
  • Lancia Fulvia

    €16,000(£0) €16,000(£0)

    This original and immaculate red Fulvia 1,3S Coupe 3 was ASI registered. It spent most of its life down in Southern Italy where you have almost zero rain and desert like conditions hence why this is one of the sharpest bodies we've ever seen on a Fulvia. The interior is excellent and has worn extremely well over the years, the dashboard is in perfect condition which as we know most Fulvia's are known to have cracked dash's. The drive is something you'd need to try for yourself to fully understand how good it is, you could travel all over Europe in this comfortably! This car is simply stunning. More information on: www.kucarfa.nl

    • Year: 1974
    • Mileage: 68000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.3
    For sale
    €16,000(£0) €16,000(£0)
  • Lancia Fulvia Sport 1600 Zagato (1972).

    €49,500(£0) €49,500(£0)

    The Lancia Fulvia Sport was a sportier and more aerodynamic version of the Fulvia Coupé, designed by Ercole Spada and built by Zagato for Lancia. It was used for both road and track competitions, and was based on the mechanicals of the Coupé. The top of the range version was the Sport 1600, just like the example we have on offer. It was launched in 1971, and had the same engine as the Rally 1600 HF, producing 115 bhp. The streamlined Sport Zagato could reach 195 km/u , and was the fastest Fulvia ever produced. With only 800 examples produced, this is quite a rare car as well. This example is in great condition. It was completely restored in 2009, which is very well documented with pictures and invoices. It is a pleasure to drive, with the original 5-speed box and great Lancia 1,6 V4 engine. The optional Cromodora alloy wheels fit the car very well, and the fit and finish is really good for a handbuilt italian sportscar from the seventies. A Lancia Fulvia is a great italian classic sportscar, and a popular choice for historic rallying because it is nimble and has a good handling. The Zagato badge and elegant Ercole Spada design make the car even more desirable, and it offers similar

    • Year: 1972
    • Mileage: 70757 mi
    For sale
    €49,500(£0) €49,500(£0)
  • 1971 Lancia Fulvia Coupe

    $46,500(£0) $46,500(£0)

    Since the earliest days of Lancia, the Torino-based car builder took an innovative and ingenious approach in their quest to produce some of the finest cars available. Lancia competed for buyers with the likes of Alfa Romeo in the pre-war era, and while Alfas were fast, flamboyant and exotic, Lancias were the Thinking Man's sports car; more measured and conservatively styled, yet always exquisitely engineered, beautifully constructed and highly advanced. In the post-war years, both Alfa Romeo and Lancia drastically shifted focus from limited production luxury cars to mid-priced, mass-produced GT cars and saloons. Also like their neighbors at Alfa Romeo, most Lancia models were available in Berlina, Coupe or Cabriolet form, designed and built by a variety of preferred Italian coachbuilders. With the V6-powered, monocoque Aurelia leading the range into the 1950s, Lancia required more entry-level models to stay afloat and compete with Alfa’s new Giulietta. The Aurelia was joined by the V4-powered Appia, an entry level car in terms of price but still built with the same high standard of engineering excellence and quality ingrained into every Lancia product. Following in the footsteps of the Appia, came an all-new car for 1963: The narrow-angle V4-powered, front-drive Fulvia. Lancia’s baby Fulvia borrowed its layout from the larger executive-class Flavia, but in a tidy and compact package. Initially offered only as a four-door Berlina, the line was supplemented by the Lancia-styled Coupe and lightweight Zagato-bodied Sport in 1965. The Fulvia’s elegantly simple monocoque chassis featured independent wishbone front suspension with a single transverse leaf spring, backed by a beam rear axle located by a Panhard rod. Four-wheel disc brakes were standard from the onset, and Lancias typically precise build quality made for a car that felt far more expensive than it was. The Berlina was certainly a capable and stylish little car, but it was the crisp and elegant coupe that captured the most attention, and has since become a true icon among enthusiasts. While the Fulvia coupe’s rallying exploits have certainly cemented its legendary status among hardcore enthusiasts, the road going Fulvia is no less brilliant. The simple and elegant styling was executed in-house rather than by an outside coachbuilder. By the time the series II had arrived, the styling had been tweaked (though remaining no less beautiful) and the mechanical spec updated with a 90 hp 1.3 liter engine, larger Girling disc brakes and a 5-speed transaxle. Collectors have caught on to these brilliant little cars and as such, values have been steadily on the rise, with the rally-bred 1.6HF topping the charts. The second series 1.3S may lack the grunt of its bigger sibling, but it is no less joyful and beautifully delicate to drive. Lancia's exquisite Fulvia truly is one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time. This handsome 1971 Fulvia 1.3S presents in lovely condition, following a sympathetic restoration to original specification. A recent Italian import, this Fulvia was originally purchased as a graduation gift for a young Italian lawyer, Avocat Chimenti, by his family. Chimenti enjoyed his Fulvia for many years before handing the car over to his family mechanic for careful storage and maintenance. It remained in Chimenti's ownership until 2012.  In 2013, the Fulvia arrived in the USA where it was treated to a no-expense-spared mechanical and cosmetic refurbishment, with great care given to preserve its exceptional originality. Today, it remains a beautifully honest example finished in the original and attractive combination of dark blue over dark tan upholstery. The body is straight and tidy with very good older paint and nice, factory precise panel gaps. Some light texture is evident in the paint in places but it is overall a very presentable and imminently attractive car. The sparse and delicate brightwork presents in very good condition, a mix of carefully selected originals, restored pieces and correct replacements. The restorer resisted the urge to fit larger wheels, instead restoring the correct originals which are wrapped in proper Michelin XAS rubber. The car sits proudly, looking proper and light on its feet, the correct wheels and tires retain the Fulvia's delicacy and communicative feedback. OEM headlamps with distinctive yellow bulbs add yet another layer of appeal. The simple yet stylish cabin is trimmed in caramel tan upholstery with black carpets, trim and correct rubber mats. Front and rear, the seats are in fine order and complement the matching door cards. Rubber mats and other soft trim are in excellent condition, and the dash panel is free of cracks or fading. The original fiberboard fascia has been replaced with a gorgeous, glossy wood piece and the original Jaeger instruments have been carefully and thoroughly restored. The original shift knob remains in place and a period correct Nardi steering wheel dresses up the cabin nicely. Original touches such as Lancia dealer decals in the quarter windows and a very cool dealer-accessory service calendar add to the delightful period charm of this fine Fulvia. Lifting the bonnet reveals a very correct and well detailed engine bay. The narrow-angle 1.3 liter V4 engine is very tidy and honestly presented with correct wiring and hardware, proper finishes on the ancillaries and factory-correct decals and markings. The undercarriage is similarly tidy, with factory assembly marks present on the subframes. The chassis was refurbished with fresh and correct DeCarbon shocks and the tricky front axle CV joint boots replaced. The original jack, vinyl spare wheel cover, and Lancia tool kit remain in place. With just one owner over a span of four decades, this lovely Lancia has clearly been cherished since the day it left the dealership floor. Thanks to the careful and sympathetic work it received from its most recent keeper, it remains fresh and ready for enjoyment, certain to capture the heart of its next owner.

    For sale
    $46,500(£0) $46,500(£0)