• Dressed in Lancia Blue, this 1968 Fulvia coupe is a scarce and handsome small vehicle with incredibly innovative engineering.
• The small 1.3-liter narrow-angle V-4 charges out about 87 horsepower and (when new) propelled the roughly 2000-pound vehicle to 60 mph in 12.6 seconds, in accordance to a interval test in Street & Monitor.
• An appealing and extra reasonably priced substitute to an Alfa Romeo GTV of the exact vintage, the Fulvia is so uncommon that you might be virtually ensured that you can never see a different one particular outside a Lancia club meeting. It is up for auction on Bring a Trailer, with bidding ending on Tuesday, May perhaps 24.
It is more than a tiny bizarre when specific pictures of your ex look on the internet. But that’s precisely what happened this week when 150 photographs of my ex–Lancia Fulvia popped up on Deliver a Trailer—which, like Automobile and Driver, is component of Hearst Autos. It was my initial basic. I purchased the Lancia Blue on tan vinyl 1968 Collection 1 Fulvia soon after spotting it on Bring a Trailer at the end of 2008. Back again then, Provide a Trailer outlined appealing and oddball autos the addictive auction website it has now come to be was however a number of a long time absent.
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Procured on the sage information of contributor Jamie Kitman, who certain me that his Fulvia would probably be the final vehicle he’d offer out of his 30-moreover-car assortment, I drove out to Connecticut from Michigan in C/D’s long-time period Jaguar XF to see and travel the Fulvia. I enlisted the aid of Lancia mechanic Frank Spadaro of Dominick European Automobile Fix in White Plains, New York, to give me an additional set of eyes and an expert’s feeling. Despite the fact that we spotted some rusty floorboards, the vehicle arrived with a substitution set. Spadaro noted a couple of other minimal challenges, which includes a carburetor feeding a bit too a great deal fuel.
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The seller experienced imported the car from Italy, painted it, retrimmed the inside, and swapped in a more recent engine. Whilst it truly is under no circumstances a fantastic thought to glance at a motor vehicle in the rain—everything seems nicer and cozier when it truly is soaked out, and it can be challenging to properly examine the paint—the climate did not cooperate. I skipped a number of paint cracks, but total the Fulvia appeared as advertised. A couple times limited of my 35th birthday, I bought it, and the auto went immediately to White Plains for a small restoration that incorporated a couple rust repairs, fuel-technique cleaning, and tuning to deliver it up to suggestion-major mechanical form.
A solid-running Fulvia is a pleasure to command. A ridiculously prolonged change lever sprouts from the firewall, but the movement by way of the 4 ahead speeds is slick and precise. Hurrying the just one-two shift benefits in a graunch from the synchros, a thing famous in the Highway & Observe examination of the Fulvia coupe. A fragile precision is infused all through the machinery, from the way the doors click shut to the unassisted steering’s stunning opinions when bent into a corner. You can find absolutely nothing notably intriguing about the management-arm front and beam-axle rear suspension other than the transverse leaf spring that suspends the entrance. Force as tricky as you like, the Fulvia simply gobbles up abuse, a trait that aided make it a world-championship-successful rally motor vehicle.
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Credit for the mild come to feel is portion tuning, but it truly is also the 2000-pound control pounds, a variety which is only about 100 pounds heavier than the 2005 Lotus Elise that replaced the Lancia. Mounted exterior panels are steel, and mine arrived with aluminum doorways, hood, and trunklid. Opening the hood shows off the narrow-angle V-4 that sits canted at about 45 degrees, and the full powertrain and front suspension mounts to a subframe. Electric power travels to the entrance wheels, and the longitudinal four-cylinder hangs out in front of the front-axle line as in most present day Audis.
On the highway, the Fulvia cruised happily at 80 mph, and the narrow-angle 4 hummed a satisfied thrum, snarled via the ingestion, and rumbled out the exhaust. All around town the 1.3-liter engine manufactured more than enough electric power to speed up briskly when floored. R&T clocked a 12.6-2nd time to 60 mph and an 18.6-2nd quarter operate at 75 mph. The mechanical tune it sings is 1 that you want to previous, and because it truly is not rapid, you get to listen to the engine working and the transmission buzzing. Unassisted 4-wheel disc brakes stopped the minimal coupe quickly and supplied a great agency pedal with solid bite.
I might supposed on making use of it as a each day driver after transferring to Los Angeles, but a brake master-cylinder failure early on in its time in SoCal made me a little bit gun-shy about working with it to operate out to acquire kale salads and avocados and all the issues you do when you stay in California. Components are remarkably plentiful and aren’t highly-priced. Other than a generator rebuild in 2010 or so, the Fulvia by no means questioned for any interest.
The Lancia local community is small, so when I started out conversing about offering, a consumer swiftly emerged whose enthusiasm for the automobile gave me confidence that it would be seemed right after. Above the a long time the present-day operator, and now vendor, invited me to pay a visit to and generate the Fulvia. Check-ins have usually bundled a report on all of the do the job and like he’s poured into it.
Lancia produced the Fulvia coupe from 1965 to 1976. It really is a great deal more usually found in Europe than in the States, where it can be an exceedingly unusual motor vehicle. Just take 1 to a motor vehicle exhibit and be geared up to solution a whole lot of inquiries such as, “What variety of Corvair is this?” But, the upside is you are going to fulfill a ton of memorable persons for the reason that this is an intriguing car or truck that draws in interesting persons. The auction ends on Tuesday, Might 24, so at this place there are only a few times left to score just one of the most wonderful and unique very little cars and trucks I have ever owned.
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