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Motoring: Lancia Fulvia -1963

Lancia is a once-great brand that commanded as much respect and admiration as its Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari compatriots (notwithstanding its products  reputation for rusting prematurely). The marque has a long tradition of passenger, fast touring, sports and racing cars. They have tended to emphasize quality, appearance and sophisticated design, somewhat at the expense of power and competitive pricing. Among the most beautiful, desirable and unusual models are various Lancia Zagato models.

In the 1960s, Lancia developed three model ranges - the Flaminia (large), the Flavia (medium) and the Fulvia (compact) - with multiple vehicles in each range. All were released on the Australian market, but they were expensive compared to similar sized vehicles from other manufacturers, and their innovative designs and technologies were generally not recognised or appreciated by all but the die-hard motoring enthusiast.

Lancia Fulvia Model Range

Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1963, the Lancia Fulvia model range was designed to replace the Appia. Developed from the bigger Flavia, the Fulvia used the same suspension, engine and differential layout and braking system on a shorter wheelbase, although still with the same track as the Flavia. An all new 1300 V4 engine was developed, displacing 1091cc and producing 59bhp. The engine, which used a cast iron cylinder block, was tilted at 45 degrees to aid packaging. The drivetrain was mounted on a subframe to which was also attached the front suspension and steering. Late the following year the first improvement arrived in the shape of twin carburettors and 71bhp in the Fulvia 2C.

Geneva in March 1965 saw a much more significant addition to the Fulvia range - the coupe. Designed in-house at Lancia on a wheelbase some 150mm shorter than the berlina, with a drag coefficient of 0.39, it used a 1216cc engine with 80bhp. January the following year saw the coupe HF arrive now with 88bhp and a lighter shell thanks to aluminium doors, bonnet and bootlid. 1967 saw further improvements and additions to the range. The Berlina GT arrived with the 1216cc engine and the coupe got a new engine, with a different vee angle, displacing 1298cc and generating 87bhp. The latter model was known as the Rallye 1.3, whilst the same engine went into the 1.3HF where it produced 101bhp, replacing the 1.2HF. Later that year the 1216cc engine was replaced throughout the range by a 1231cc variant of the new 1298cc engine.

Developments continued in 1968 when the berlina GTE with the 1298cc engine was introduced and produced alongside the already existing 2C and GT. The Rallye 1.3S got 93bhp, later reduced to 90bhp, whilst the most potent Fulvia ever built, the coupe Rallye 1.6HF was released with a 1584cc V4 engine producing 115bhp. An option was also available with 132bhp. Going back to 1965, Zagato introduced their version, the Sport. This used a coupe floorpan and mechanicals with an all new all aluminium body, the 1216cc engine with 80bhp and a mix of coupe (dashboard) and new (seats) interior.

The mechanicals changed in line with the coupe, 1967 saw the 1298cc (87bhp) engine arrive in the Sport 1.3, the 93bhp engine then arrived in the Sport 1.3S (and was later derated to 90bhp as in the coupe) and then the 1584cc (115bhp) engine arrived in the Sport 1600. After only a few hundred Sport 1.3's had been built the bodyshell switched to steel, only the doors and bonnet remaining in aluminium, and these later (in 1971) switched to steel as well. Production finished in 1972 after about 7,100 cars had been built.

The second series Fulvia was released in 1969 and replaced all the Berlina models. It was mechanically the same as the GTE model, but with a wheelbase 20mm longer, modified external styling and a much improved interior. It was followd in 1970 by the series II coupe which gained a five speed gearbox and a few detail design changes. The 1300 and 1600 engines continued. 1973 saw the arrival of the coupe 3, which was only available with the 1298cc engine and which continued until production ceased in 1976.

Lancia Fulvia Coupe

Absolutely beautiful to look at and as equally rewarding to drive, the standard Series I coupe was first introduced in 1965 with a 1216cc engine producing 80 bhp. In 1967, the engine was enlarged to 1298cc delivering 87 bhp. The coupes were built in two series. The Series 1 cars are considered more desirable as they preceded the takeover by Fiat, which coincided with the introduction of the Series II with its less expensive and less robust suspension setup. The limited production HF (High Fidelity) models were developed out of the very successful Rallying program and were stripped of bumpers, had aluminum doors, hood and boot lids, as well as more powerful engines rated at 88 bhp for the 1.2HF, 101 bhp for the 1.3HF and 115 for the 1.6HF. A total of 140,000 Fulvia's were built comprising of 60,000 Series I and 80,000 Series II between 1965 and 1976. 1258 Series I and 3600 Series II 1.6HF's were built.

Model Type: 2 Door coupe
Body Designer: Pietro Castagnero
Engine: V4 (1584cc)
Horsepower: 115 bhp at 6000 rpm
Torque: 112.8 lb at 4500 rpm
Transmission: 5-Speed gearbox
Front- Independent by wishbones, transverse leaf, anti- roll bar, telescopic dampers
Rear- Semi- beam axle, elliptics, Panhard Rod, telescopic dampers Top Speed: 112 mph

Lancia Fulvia Zagato Coupe

Although Zagato's most famous bodies were fitted on Alfa Romeo chassis, it was Lancias that received the most Zagato bodies. From the 1950s, almost every Lancia model had an extra sportive Zagato bodied version in the line-up. So it came as no surprise that in 1964 Lancia comissioned Zagato to construct a coupe version of the Fulvia.

In April 1965 the first prototype was ready and it was Elio Zagato himself who conducted the road tests. Before the end of the year the production of the Fulvia Sport 1.3 Zagato was started. The rear hatch could be opened slightly electrically to improve ventilation while driving. The first production were powered by a 1.2 litre V4 engines, pumping out a decent 80 bhp. In 1967 the displacement was increased to 1.3 litres. This larger engine was available in two states of tune, 87 bhp for the Sport 1.3 and 93 bhp for the Sport 1.3S. In 1970 the Fulvia Sport was slightly restyled and a 115 bhp 1.6 litre engine was added to the line-up. Various motorsport successes were scored with the light weight Fulvia Sport, including a class victory for a Sport 1600 at Daytona.

Lancia Fulvia Zagato Coupe

Lancia Fulvia Zagato Coupe

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