Beautiful Italian: 1967 Lancia Fulvia Coupe

Admit it, this 1967 Lancia Fulvia is just plain beautiful. How do the Italians do it? They take a basic, nondescript design—akin to something as ham-handed as the Ford Escort EXP—but render it so subtly seductive that I fall immediately and hopelessly in love. According to the seller, this car is “a dream for a person who wants to restore it without a lot of work” and the current auction bid is a reasonable $3,650 here on eBay.

This particular model is the coupe´, which had a run from 1965 to 1977 and was built on a shorter wheelbase than the original Fulvia, first produced in a sedan-only version in 1963. Though several different trim and horsepower variations were available in 1967, the seller fails to identify this car, so we must assume it to be the base model. The front-end is dominated by four large headlamps surrounding the familiar Lancia wide-mouthed grille with the marque badge centered.

The cockpit is arranged in a 2+2 configuration, providing the intimations of seating, if not quite literal accommodations, for four passengers. The transmission is stated as automatic, but the photos clearly indicate otherwise. The inferior description provided by the seller, along with the poor quality of the pictures, hint at two possibilities: This is an honest, but naive seller who might be offering a bargain; or perhaps this eBay seller with few feedback reviews is being less than forthcoming in an attempt to slip one past a buyer doing less than appropriate diligence. My sense, however, is that this might very well be a true bargain if one remembers Reagan’s advice: Trust, but verify.

The seller states that there are no tears in the upholstery, and the photos (though themselves of poor quality) indicate the interior is in exceptionally nice condition. The headliner is in shreds, but a replacement is included. The steering wheel is in good nick, and the dash appears crack-free. Original wheels are fitted, and the seller states prominently that the original hub removal tool is included, without which the wheels cannot be removed. The brightwork appears exceptional, the seller states that the body has no dents, and photographs show that a good color-sand and buff would do wonders.

 It’s stated a bit disingenuously that the car is a one-owner, but then the seller quickly amends that by clarifying that he/she actually purchased it from the original owner in 2008. Impressive, but not a one-owner. The original tech manuals and a few other bits are included in the sale, and mileage is declared to be 72,000. The car is located in Woodinville, Washington, and if I was in the market for a car of this type and lived in the western USA, I’d be on my way there to take a look. This might well be a sleeper of a buy.

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  1. Little Cars

    Front end looks like a mashup of a late model and early model Corvair styling cues, which continue to the greenhouse. If I was closer, I’d be a serious buyer.

  2. Tirefriar

    “The transmission is stated as automatic, but the photos clearly indicate otherwise” Thank god for small favors

  3. t-bone Bob

    very nice

  4. bog

    Up to $ 12,650 with just over an hour to go. It does say needs clutch in ebay ad, also brake work. It’s lovely, and I was stationed in Germany when this was new, so saw them on street there, and later in ’69 in Italy. Along with other Euro treasures I wish now I had purchased. Hindsight can be awful. But memories wonderful !

  5. local_sheriff

    I won’t deny it is a beautiful design – however it has a style recognized in several other ‘sporty’ Euro cars of the era, like BMW 3.0 coupe, VW Karmann Ghia 34 and I’m tempted to even put the Corvair into that group!
    Though it would be a sporty around town cart; with that puny 1,3liter just don’t expect to spend much time in the left lane on the freeway.
    It does present as a nice example, let’s hope it is; I wish new owner good luck locating model specific parts when necessary…!

    • Tirefriar

      These were not intended to spend too much time in the left lane but rather handle the curvy hillside scenery. Don’t forget that back in 1967 very few American cars even had disc brakes. While it’s true that the Fulvia may have gotten passed on the freeway, it would catch up and pass almost anything US produced at the time in the first set of apexes. Even in the 13’s this was a very good buy provided the claim of no rust is true. Rust, especially in structural repairs is what sucks up quite a bit of $$ during restoration. For the record I’ve never owned a Fulvia but after 9 105 chassis Alfas I can attest to how fantastic Italian cars of that era truly were

      • bog

        Tirefriar – If you’ve read my comment, I certainly agree with you. I lived in Germany, courtesy of “Uncle” from mid-’67 through late ’69, and got to see and drive many small Euro cars. A bunch of fellow young, single officers had an Alfa “club”, another group had Lotus Elans, and the rest were a “mish-mash” of Porsches, XKEs, and current “hot” American iron. During my tour I had a new Fairlane GTA (front disc brakes), a ’57 Fiat 500, and a ’68 Lotus Europa. None of the cars mentioned could actually pass me on the Autobahn, not even the “E”, but driving through the Alps from Germany, through Austria and into Italy (then back) I’d wish I’d taken something else. Heart in throat more than once in Fairlane !

    • bog

      local_sherriff – I’d say even prettier were the quite rare Fiat Dino’s. Though I would have put the front treatment of the convertible on the coupe and vice-versa. Still “kick” myself for not buying one of each and shipping them back to the states when I lived over there….

  6. Saul

    Yup. Karmann Ghia 34 and some of the wild Corvair experiments by Euro designers like Bertone. This is a balanced, pedestrian design with a powerplant that won’t get ya anywhere very fast.

    • Frank Sumatra

      100% agree with the “Corvair” comments and I would never take a chance on this Eye-Talian beauty if I could find a Corvair Monza. I lived with an Italian beauty and at the end of the day, the drama was not worth the price paid. Trust me on this one, my family roots have been traced back to Palermo and Napoli and the details are hair-raising.

  7. Little Cars

    Frank, are you in the United States? Lots of great examples of Corvair Monzas for sale to tempt you in any condition. Available for viewing 24/7 within the usual online locations. Wink wink. My last one was a late model 180hp Monza sedan with posi transaxle and four speed. Nice little mountain cruiser from Colorado.

  8. SubGothius

    Lancias of this era were regarded as an “Italian Mercedes” — and arguably even better than Benzes of the era. As Jamie Kitman put it, Lancia is the only marque to almost go out of business, twice, for paying too much attention to quality.

    Ingeniously engineered and exquisitely well-made, these Fulvias had 4-wheel disc brakes and a 5-speed FWD transaxle mated to a narrow-angle staggered-cylinder V4 sharing a single cylinder head (similar to VW’s VR6 of 30 years later). Even the turn signal switch is a marvel of satisfying, precision mechanical engineering I’ve seen compared to a fine rifle bolt.

  9. kevin widell

    well the car has O rust. the paint is original and is buffed thin in a few spots. it is a 1.3 rally with the early 4 speed. it has had after market seat belts added and was road rallied sometime in its life…it shows its age and ware but is all number original.. and the one thing that will bug everyone who watched the sale was what she didn’t list…the car came with a factory US dealer sign from the 60s…never ever have I seen one….how do I know I bought the car…..

    • bog

      Kevin – good for you ! Have as much fun as you possibly can with it. Best wishes.

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