History of the 1970 - 1973 Lancia Fulvia
The Lancia Fulvia (Tipo 818) was introduced at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show as replacement for the Lancia Appia. It was the final Lancia fitted with the V-4 engine mounted at a 45-degree angle in front of the transaxle, an engine that had been in use since the Lambda. The Fulvia is a front-wheel-drive car with a 4-speed gearbox and was offered in 4-door Berlina (saloon), 2-door coupe and 2-door sports coupe (a fastback, bodied by Zagato). The Lancia Fulvia is best known as a very successful rally car.
The first Fulvia introduced to the public was the 4-door Berlina saloon with a 2480mm wheelbase, independent front suspension, and disc brakes all around. The original car with its twin-cam 1,098cc, 58-hp V-4 engine was soon joined by increasingly sporty Berlina models such as the 2C, the GT and the GTE— all of which introduced bigger and more powerful versions of the narrow-angle V-4. In 1969, everything came together with the updated Berlina S2 (Series 2), that included a redesigned body to incorporate a longer wheelbase, followed by the 1970 Berlina S2’s large Girling calipers and a 5-speed gearbox.
In 1965 the Lancia Fulvia Coupe was introduced with a shorter (2330mm) wheelbase and a larger 80 horsepower version of the V-4. Later in 1965, this coupe was reintroduced in a higher-spec HF form which would propel Lancia into the forefront of FIA rallying. This attractive coupe not only won championships, but was hailed by motoring journalists as a superbly engineered and innovative car (with its front-wheel-drive layout). Higher-powered 1.3- and 1.6-litre motors followed, along with a beautiful Zagato-styled version of the coupe called the Sport— of which 7,300 were built. Designed by Ercole Spada, the Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato has elements that recall his other designs, including the Alfa Romeo 2600 Zagato and the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato.
In 1965, the decision was made for Lancia to go back into racing, and it took over HF Squadra Corse, which became the works rally team. HF Rallye cars were then sold to the public for homologation purposes. With the exception of 1970, Lancia Fulvias won the Italian National Rally Championship every year between 1965 and 1973, and it won the European Rally Championship twice.
A total of over 340,000 1963-72 Berlinas and 1965-76 coupes were produced. Today they are increasing in appreciation, especially the Fulvia Sport Zagato, but values of the latter have never reached the levels demanded of other contemporary Zagato- bodied cars. With their rally pedigree, cutting edge engineering, and high build quality in stampings and castings, Lancia Fulvias offer a great deal to the collector and enthusiast alike.
Alternative cars of the same era are the Alfa Romeo 105 Series Giulia Berlina, Giulia GTV and Giulia Junior Zagato.