1966 LANCIA Fulvia '1.3 HF'View vehicle description
First shown in saloon form at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, the Lancia Fulvia isn’t just a pretty face; with a front-wheel-drive layout and V4 engine it is an interesting vehicle from an engineering perspective too - and that’s without considering its considerable motorsport pedigree.
The coupé joined the saloon in 1965, and the Fulvia remained in production for 13 years, slowly gaining capacity and weight as the demands of its customer base changed.
It started life with a 58bhp 1100cc engine, evolving over the years into a 1600cc unit boasting up to 132bhp, which meant the delightful little Fulvia finally had the power to back up its achingly gorgeous looks.
The 1.3-litre engine you are looking at here produced a respectable 79bhp from the factory, which saw the lithe Italian lightweight – it weighs under a tonne - top 100mph after passing 60mph in just under 12 seconds. It thrives on revs and sends its power to the front wheels via a four-speed gearbox.
The suspension might sound crude, with leaf springs and a beam axle on the rear and wishbones and a single leaf spring on the front, but don’t be misled because a well-sorted Fulvia is an absolute joy to drive. Dunlop disc brakes on all four corners help bring it to a rapid stop, and they’re easy to modulate to avoid locking a wheel when conditions get slippery.
Works Fulvias competed for a decade between 1965 and 1974, racking up wins in events as diverse as the Daytona 24 Hours, the Safari Rally and the Targa Florio.
The American motoring magazine Road & Track described the Fulvia as "a precision motorcar, an engineering tour de force", a description that few would quibble with, even today.
Production ended in 1976.
First registered in the United Kingdom in August 1966, this wonderful series one Lancia Fulvia 1.3 has been reinstated as an historic rally car as a pandemic project by a British enthusiast living in Spain.
Nicely finished and much quicker than normal thanks to a 1298cc HF-spec engine, this delightful slice of period elegance features the earlier twin headlamps, which give the car its much sought-after looks.
Now back in the UK, this right-hand drive example is ready to fulfill all your historic motorsports dreams at a price point that’s considerably less than it would cost to do the job yourself.
On the Outside
The Lancia has been recently treated to extensive bodywork. Carried out at ‘mate’s rates’ in Spain by a chap they dragged out of retirement especially for this job, he was chosen for his lifetime of experience (“he’s phenomenal” said the owner). He set to and fabricated new sills on all four corners, complex and involved work that left the Fulvia “totally solid”.
The thickness of the paint was then checked and instead of the multiple layers of old resprays they expected to find, they were able to conclude that the majority of it was probably still the original. This was carefully flatted back and only taken back to the bare metal where absolutely necessary. The glass was also removed and the whole car repainted including the door shuts, engine bay, and boot.
Some of the Lancia’s chrome trim and rubber seals were replaced at the same time (slide #352 details the parts that were used) and a new windscreen was fitted.
As you can see, the work has left the Fulvia looking wonderful; opinion might be divided on the lime green bonnet and boot - for what it’s worth we love it – but painting ‘em red to match the rest of the coachwork wouldn’t be unduly onerous.
More importantly, the panels are in great shape and free of ripples and other age-related wear. They all align well too, and we can see why the owner insisted on entrusting his beloved Lancia to the man he did. The paintwork is very good. Not concours, as the owner was keen to point out, but very good nonetheless.
The painted steel wheels are in a decent condition but then if you’re going to use it competitively you’re going to have a few sets on the go anyway, aren’t you? (One wheelnut is missing, too.). On the subject of panels, this car is also fitted with an aluminium bonnet, doors & bootlid, which really helps the power to weight ratio. It also has Lexan polycarbonate windows, which again help to bring the (already low) weight down further still.
Extras include a huge reversing light, a rear fog lamp, a yellow towing eye on the rear, and bonnet pins.
Work to do depends on your attitude towards originality and whether you’re going to be using it on the track or rally stage. There’s nothing there that needs doing as far as we can see, which means you’ll be free to use it as it is for a while until you’ve got a clearer idea of which direction you want to take it in; if you’re going to rag it around a forest then it’s just perfect as it is but if you want to treat the old girl to a more sedentary life on the road then fettling bits like the odd bit of pitted chrome would be straightforward and very satisfying.
On the Inside
A new headlining was fitted earlier in the year and the fact that the owner went to the trouble of putting one in what is ostensibly an historic motorsport car bodes well, doesn’t it?
And that promise is delivered because the underlying trim is very good; take a look at the slab of veneer across the dashboard, for example. It’s bright and clean and forms a wonderful backdrop for the beautifully of-the-period Veglia gauges and switches.
The seats are period tilting jobbies with extra, more modern, head restraints. The seats themselves are patinated but suit the ethos behind the car’s build, that of a competitive rally car albeit one that’s still presentable enough to be used as a daily driver and shown at your local classic car show without embarrassment.
Additional protection comes via a Safety Devices rear roll cage, a Life Hammer, and a fire extinguisher. Both the driver and passenger positions have mounting eyes installed for a full race harness.
An auxiliary fuse box has been fitted along with additional switches. The work looks to have been done well, and the switches are neatly labelled with Dynatape.
Oh, and a pair of cute little Sabelt straps act as door releases. Nice.
Spares include an alloy footrest for the passenger plus a stopwatch and a twin tripmeter. There’s a pair of Sabelt harnesses but they’re labelled as having been made in 2003, so are out of date.
Problems? Well, none as such but there are some marks on the fascia where additional instrumentation was fitted. Those tilting seats would probably need to be replaced if you wanted to compete in it, and you’d need to source in-date harnesses as well. But that’s all stuff that’s nice to do rather than a chore.
As you can see, there are bills for tens of thousands of pounds on file from the sort of folk you can trust like Richard Thorne. We are told that the engine has been uprated to 1.3 HF-spec, and it sits in a car with upgraded suspension and brakes, plus improved electrical and cooling systems. A sump guard protects the underside of the engine.
The vendor has had the engine tuned and set up to get it running perfectly – and given he estimates it’s only done about 300 miles in total since the engine work, it’s not yet run in and has a lifetime of reliable motoring ahead of it.
He’s driven a fair few Fulvias in his time and says he thinks this 1.3 HF-spec engine is as quick as a 1.6, especially as his car is a bit lighter than standard.
As you can see in the video, it starts well and revs beautifully – and listen to that induction rasp. Fuel injection has its place but you can’t beat the roar of twin carbs, can you?
The engine bay is workmanlike, in keeping with the car’s intended role.
The underside looks as solid as you’d expect given the attention it’s received. There is some red overspray, so a coat of underseal might be needed to tidy it up a little.
Last serviced in Spain in May 2022, there are extensive invoices from Lancia specialist Richard Thorne over the years; please see the invoices for the full details but the headline is that the Fulvia was taken out of storage in 2013 and checked over. It then had its engine rebuilt in 2017 and refitted with a new clutch.
There is other work recorded in 2015 including some welding and other mechanical bits and bobs.
The Lancia’s MOT ran out in December 2018 and while it is exempt by virtue of its age, we would strongly encourage the new owner to have it MOT’d at the earliest opportunity. The cost of an MOT is a small investment when offset against the purchase and upkeep of any classic vehicle, and it gives an independent, third-party assessment of the vehicles condition, which not only provides reassurance to the owner (and any subsequent purchasers) but might also be invaluable in the event of a bump when negotiating with the police and any interested insurance companies…
What We Think
Cars like this Lancia offer a multi-dimensional classic experience; whereas most classics sit in a garage and get trundled out occasionally for a run to the pub, this Fulvia offers a gateway to historic rallying, track days, or hillclimbing events.
It’s a helluva looker too, isn’t it? We’re huge fans of the earlier cars with their pretty quad headlamps, and this one looks terrific in its competition livery.
As to value, we think the virtual hammer will settle somewhere between £14,000 and £19,000, which isn’t only great value but it’s a fraction of what it would cost you to recreate it from scratch.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
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- Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: Private
- Odometer Reading: 13000 (indicated)
- Chassis Number: 818131008425
- Engine: 1300
- Gearbox: manual
- Steering position: RHD
- Colour: Dark red
- Interior: Black
- Estimated Price: £14,000 - £19,000