- Lancia is a historic Italian brand with over 100 years of history, and tThe company’s Fulvia coupe was a frequent rally champion in its day, thanks to its nimble handling and reputation for reliability.
- This example performed faithfully on long-distance classic car tours and is a unique alternative to a contemporary Alfa Romeo.
- It’s up for auction right now on the Bring A Trailer Auction Sitethe auction due to end on Wednesday April 6th.
The modern Lancia is a shadow of its former self, having been reduced to selling only a five-door saloon that looks like a less pretty Fiat 500. Prior to this, most Chrysler products were rebadged for the Italian market, including the 300 (as Lancia Theta) and the Voyager minivan. But go back far enough in time and you’ll find cars full of elegance and sophisticated engineering. And this 1972 Lancia Fulvia HF is one of those rare machines. It is currently up for auction on the Bring a Trailer auction site, which, like Car And Driver, is part of Hearst Autos. Only five days from the end, the highest bid currently sits at $26,000.
When introduced in 1965, almost everything about the Fulvia was revolutionary. It was a front-wheel-drive car with a narrow-angle slanted V-4 under the hood, and it featured disc brakes on all four corners. The sedan was a bit of a shoebox, but the delicate coupe version was enticing enough that it ended up captured the heart from none other than Car and driverits own editor, Tony Quiroga.
This particular example is a later S2 model with the larger 1.6L V-4 and a five-speed manual transmission. The HF designation stands for “High Fidelity”, the designation attributed to the sportiest Lancias. In the same year this car was built, a Fulvia HF won the Monte-Carlo Rally. It’s a small car, but it left big shoes to fill: Lancia’s follow-up act was the mighty Stratos.
The features that have made the Fulvia a strong contender on rally special stages make it a classic car that stands up to regular use. The owner of this one notes a few recent services, including the replacement of the rear main seal, clutch, and engine and transmission mounts, but a bigger part of the story is the mileage. Far from being a garage-bound prima donna, this Fulvia has seen 12,000 miles added to its odometer over approximately five years of ownership. This is a sorted, automotive ready example with brio.
Although only slightly longer than a first-generation Mazda Miata, the little Lancia is very stable at highway speeds. Cornering handling is deft and predictable, and the brakes are excellent. The V-4 produces an unusual but satisfying soundtrack, and the upright driving position provides unobstructed sight lines. Reviewing a pair of Fulvias in 1967, Road & Track In summary, “The Rallye Coupe is a car for anyone who wants a precision automobile and engineering tour de force for less than $4,000.”
Adjusted for inflation, this figure will net you a current Volkswagen GTI today. It’s a perfectly sensible and modern choice for a front-wheel-drive machine with a touch of performance, but wouldn’t you prefer something with a touch more style? A little rally heritage? A small cup of espresso with Lancia?
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