No Reserve Giant Killer: 1971 Lancia Fulvia

That a car as small as the Lancia Fulvia could achieve international rallying success, including an outright win in the Monte Carlo Rally by nearly 11 minutes, is a testament to the strength and performance that Lancia was able to extract from such a small car. Following on from the rallying success of the Mini, this was an era when small cars were posting giant-killing performances in many areas of motor-sport. Today, good examples of the Fulvia are becoming more difficult to find, but this 1971 model does appear to be one such example. Located in Saco, Maine, it is listed for sale here on eBay.

The greatest enemy of the Fulvia, as with so many of its Italian counterparts, is rust. This tends to consume these cars at an incredible rate. However, this little Lancia looks quite promising. The body looks solid, and this shot of the underside shows what appears to only be some minor surface corrosion on the floors. Mind you, given the fact that these can be so rust prone, I’d not only be giving the car a pretty thorough inspection but would be addressing that corrosion fairly quickly. The panels look very straight, the paint has fantastic depth and shine to it, while the exterior trim and chrome appear to be in good condition. The one aspect of the Fulvia that always stands out to me is the amount of glass that is present. The roof pillars are all so fine and thin, that it gives Fulvia a light and elegant appearance.

Another area where Italian automotive engineers have excelled is in mechanical design, and the Fulvia is no exception. The 1,298cc engine in the Fulvia is a DOHC narrow-angle V4, which is topped by a single cylinder head. This combination was virtually unheard of before the Fulvia was introduced, and following various updates during its life, by 1971, the engine was producing a rather healthy 90hp. Drive was then sent to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission. Braking is via relatively large 4-wheel disc brakes, allowing the Fulvia to stop on a dime. The owner says that the car runs and drives really well. Within the last year, the transmission has undergone a full rebuild, and the car has also been fitted with a new clutch, a new front subframe, and the suspension has been refurbished.

Interior space in a Fulvia is not enormous, but there is space to seat four people. The interior presentation of this Fulvia is close to perfect. The upholstery on the seats and door trims look great, while not only does the red carpet appear to be free of wear and marks, but it also provides a nice contrast to the black upholstery. The dash looks to be original and free of cracks, while the owner says that all of the gauges work as they should. The heavy bolstering on the seats certainly indicate a car that is intended to be driven vigorously, and they also look superbly comfortable.

Italian cars, in general, are renowned for three things. They tend to have engines that are innovative in design, their cars tend to be extremely fulfilling to drive, and they also rust like there is no tomorrow. This Fulvia appears to have the first two attributes in spades, while it is mercifully free of the last. Finding good examples today is becoming very difficult, as both rust and exuberant driving have taken their toll. As a result, values remain quite high. It is hard to find a good one for below $20,000, while pristine examples can sell for twice that amount. At the time of writing, bidding on this car has reached an extremely modest $7,900, and on this one, the reserve has been met. That means that someone is only days away from becoming the owner of a pretty amazing little car.

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  1. KevinR

    Bad link to ebay. Plus that rock face wall looks a lot like the one a dealer in Atlanta uses for their car pics.

    Love Fulvias but rarely ever see them.

  2. Vance

    The person who wrote the review for this car is to be congratulated. I found myself reaching for my checkbook and I can’t afford an Italian car. This person must have some level of legal training because the car was well presented, the reasoning for buying was extremely well written, and the urgency to buy this car now was well veiled. Bravo to the writer, and to whoever buys this car, good motoring.

  3. Big Len

    Much smaller in person.

  4. ccrvtt

    Don’t know diddly about Lancias but I did write a lengthy if underappreciated treatise on the car’s namesake, Fulvia, the last time one of these came up on BF. This one is 10 times nicer than that car and it seems to be a steal at $7,900. A flipper with a customer in mind could make a tidy profit.

  5. Scott Marquis

    Sorry, no current or closed eBay listing that matches this one.

  6. jpvogl

    Mama Mia, I’m in love!

  7. Adam Clarke Adam Clarke Staff

    Thanks so much for the info on the link folks. When I write the articles, I always test the hyperlink to make sure that it’s working properly, and this article was no exception. I’ve delved back into my browser history, found the original eBay listing link, and it does the same thing. It appears that the listing has been removed for some reason. Maybe that price really was too good to be true.

  8. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Looks like the seller pulled the listing before the car sold. They also had eBay remove it. Must not have wanted people to know what it was bid up to?

    • rapple

      More likely a scam ad on Ebay using the photos from the Atlanta dealer’s ad. The “reserve met” at $7900 that you report would be ridiculously low for this car in this condition. Listing it here may well have alerted that dealer who then had Ebay erase the ad.

  9. Tom Fitch

    Man, this is a beautiful car! But does it look lifted in the rear? Are they supposed to be high over the rear axle like this?

  10. Classics & Cabrios

    Hi all, yes they all tend to sit high over the solid back axle, picture of one of ours here in UK from Verona Italy. Classics & Cabriolets

    • DanielDC

      Stunningly beautiful

  11. Danh

    Viva Lancia! I miss my Flaminia greatly.

    • Classics & Cabrios

      Hi Danh, was it one like our Flaminia Coupe, that we have here in the UK from Torino Italy.

  12. Jeff cohen

    Great looking car. I love to see a nice 2 door car and 2 doors is a thing in the past now that most cars have to have 4 doors. Shame when you see good looking older vw golf or Saab with 4 doors.

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