Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Sidelined Project: 1967 Lancia Fulvia Zagato 1.3 Sport

Well, so long as we are talking about “Lancias”, let’s talk about a real Lancia. Okay, no, not a Spider America, and yes, admittedly from the post-FIAT era of Lancia – but something that has the same genetic inventiveness and intensity around excellence that Lancia historically brought to the table: a 1967 Fulvia Zagato 1.3 Sport here on eBay, bid to $5000 with reserve not met. Purchased for restoration years ago and located in Rancho Cordova, California, this early Zagato Sport is said to have an aluminum body. As we’ll see, that’s a complicated claim. For now, note that the car was designed by Ercole Spada at Zagato, with mechanicals based on the beautiful Fulvia coupe. The coupe was quite a successful rally car, and Lancia hoped to transfer that glory to this more exotic coachbuilt fastback.

The motor is Lancia’s nifty DOHC 1298 cc narrow-angle (13°) V4, making about 90 hp. It is mounted forward and deep in the engine cavity at a 45° angle, helping to keep the car’s center of gravity low. The factory supplied it with twin Solex carbs, and the short-shifting gearbox drives the front wheels through four speeds. Thanks to its lightweight body, the car could exceed 100 mph. Alas, the Zagato version of the Fulvia was never put on the track by the factory – only privateers. Its best placing was 11th 0verall in the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona.

The interior is luxe with a real wood dash, a two-spoke steering wheel (leather on early cars, wood-rimmed on later cars), low-back leather bucket seats (these have replacement upholstery), a heater, a clock, and other niceties. The floors were clothed in rubber mats from the factory. An electric motor operated by a dash switch raises the hatchback a couple of centimeters for air. The spare tire is housed in a locking panel behind the license plate. The seller indicates “we have all parts” – a statement that needs verification as there are no photos to prove that in the listing.

This car is a Series 1. But for Lancia, the demarcations between cars of this or that series and their features are like a Turner painting – impressionistic at best. For instance, the very first Zagato Sports received Lancia’s 1.2-liter motor with just 79 hp, and the bodywork was nearly all aluminum. The bonnet opened by rotating around a side hinge. Soon, the motor was changed out for the larger displacement version, and by 1968 more steel encroached upon the body. Still, the bonnet, doors, and spare wheel hatch were aluminum. After 1970, the body was produced completely in steel – a first for Zagato – and the bonnet hinged conventionally. However, we owned a ’67 1.3 with a side-opening bonnet and more steel panels than it “should” have had. Potential buyers might bring along a magnet, as well as a lot of patience. Lancia parts can be scarce and the would-by DIYer might need a consult to get the mechanicals straightened out.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Greg in Texas

    $25k easy. Find another one. And good luck with that. Hopefully Leno or someone with resources can bring it back. Beautiful gem.

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Beyfon

    Ah the disappointments in life! At one point in my life I was set on buying one of these, but a later 1.6. I had spoken quite a bit with the seller who seemed to be solid enough so I bought a train ticket down to Malmo Sweden with 50,000 sek in my pocket (~$5k) to go picking it up. It was just that…I didn’t really like it. Perhaps it was the fact that it wasn’t quite as nice as I had been led to believe? Perhaps it was that the 1.6 isn’t quite as sweet as the 1.2 and 1.3? For whatever reason I had expected to love it and I didn’t. And for once I was wise enough to not buy a car that I didn’t really want, so I bought another train ticket back home again.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Michelle Rand Staff

      We didn’t like ours, either. It was a 1.3, and cosmetically lovely. We lived with it for years, trying to like it. We like and own other Lancias but never warmed up to this one. For whomever buys this one, I have the full shop manual that I have been meaning to sell. Weighs a LOT, multi-ring binder, very fat. If you know Lancia’s, you know what it looks like.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Rallye Member

        What didn’t you like? My accountant has 2 of them I thought they were fun to drive. Not as much fun as the 330GTS or the Islero but for the little motor, it did alright.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Michelle Rand Staff

        We had an odd surging/lagging/driving problem with the Zagato. We tried changing all mounts, we balanced the driveshaft, of course the carbs had been rebuilt. It was as though the car was simply not happy unless it was at high revs all the time. I found it exhausting. We have an Aurelia B20 six series, a three series Appia, a Zagato GTE, and a ’59 Flaminia by Touring. None of them have or had this problem. We sold the car simply because we began to never drive it. Later, I was at Dominick’s, in White Plains, NY and Frank asked, do you want to go see a guy about some cars. I said sure. He drove his Sport Zagato. It did the same thing as ours. I mentioned it, and Frank said, you have to keep the revs up. Sigh.

        I was talking with a friend just today about this very thing, actually. He wanted a Panhard PL17 in the worst way. I wanted the Zagato Sport in the worst way. We each got our cars. And then we each didn’t like our cars. He called it something like the “danger of elevating your hero”. Very well put.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Rallye Member

        Michelle,

        Aha, now I know your issue with Webers. You’re lacking someone that can tune them! That’s all your Zagoto needed to to be as nice to drive as the 2 I drove. You had them rebuilt but the same air correctors, mains and etc were in that caused your issues.

        He also has 2 Appias , one stock and one hot rod…yeah some American V8. Say Appia and I think open all four doors and have short people run through the car. I don’t remember if I drove the Appia or if he brought it to a vintage race when we were racing.

        And he has 2 HFs.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Michelle Rand Staff

        Yes, the webers were a problem given the talent around me. That is also the reason I tend to dislike webers. I don’t want to struggle with the carb, when other options are SO MUCH EASIER, unless of course the car is something like a 330 GT or an Espada. Ok, it’s worth the struggle.

        A buddy of mine bought an MGB and said “it won’t run right, can you drive it.” He lives 3, 4 miles away so he brought it by. I didn’t open the bonnet, I just drove it. It was… ill. I said, “does this thing have a weber on it?” Yes.

        He pulled that off to swap for SU’s and all was well, and he has had many a year of enjoyment.

        Frank & Santo have what seem like a thousand Lancias. I stopped counting.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Rallye Member

        Michelle,

        Yes, SUs are very simple but sometimes you need different needles. MG is fine with SUs except for full race.

        It’s similar with DCOEs you just use different parts for the variations in the needle. It’s easier to change jets than needle profile.

        Do look at this:
        http://www.redlineweber.com/html/application_guide/performance_main_and_air_jet_kit.htm

        They can also help you choose jets based on info from you…what jets etc. you have, your motor and what it’s doing or not doing. Other than the brass bits, you only need a screwdriver and a pliers with some electrical tape to protect the brass to do basic tuning.

        A lot of stuff is often out of my reach but tuning always fits in my budget.

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo DelBoy

    Only seen one of these in the flesh. Sitting on a side street, looking a bit sad and waiting for repair. Peered under the bonnet. Oh, boy; zero space to access anything and cooling it must have been a problem.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Palandi

    “Okay, no, not a Spider America, and yes, admittedly from the post-FIAT era of Lancia”

    Actually, Fiat bought Lancia in 1969, thus this nice Fulvia Zagato is from the pre-Fiat days…

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Martin Horrocks

      Also, FIAT left the Fulvia pretty much alone, its main focus was to get the new era Fiat-engineered Beta series into production.

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo SubGothius

        The only thing “Fiat” about the Beta’s engineering was the Aurelio Lampredi-designed twincam engine from the Fiat 124, which was one of the most advanced and efficient mass-produced engines in the world at the time, so a real no-brainer for Lancia to adopt, to help fast-track development of the Beta as a long-overdue replacement for the Fulvia.

        Even so, Lancia revised many details of the engine’s design, especially in the head, to improve performance and adapt it for a transverse FWD application (which Fiat had yet to do with that engine at the time) with the block leaned over by 20° for a lower hoodline and better weight distribution.

        The Beta berlina (sedan) was also styled at Fiat’s studio, so Lancia designers could focus on finalizing the coupe and HPE styling in parallel, but literally everything else about the Beta family was developed entirely in-house at Lancia by career Lancia engineers who remained on the payroll after the buyout.

        As for the Fulvia, Fiat’s only involvement there was to de-content and otherwise cost-cut the last couple years of series 2 Fulvia coupe production, badged as the “Fulvia 3” but not really a separate series in any meaningful sense nor in factory records.

        Like 1
  5. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    I love these cars. For anyone interested Harry’s Garage on YouTube did a series on the restoration of a Zagato. To say these cars rust is an understatement since the Zagato factory attached the aluminum skin to a steel chassis.
    On a separate note as a premium member I’m supposed to get new stories before they are released to the public. What I find increasingly is cars like this one will show up in my feed after they have gone public. I have asked the staff and given no explanation. Are other premium members experiencing the same difficulty?

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Frank Barrett Member

    I second the Fiat date. These are rare, and I am alerting the American Lancia Club about it.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Martin Horrocks

    The aluminium body is an easy check against the VIN. I don’t have the details to hand but there is a cut off point in 1967 (?) when the shell is steel and the doors and bonnet are aluminium. The rear hatch back was alwats steel.

    A curiosity was the transition to 1.3/ 5 speed series 2 cars, where the first 650 +/- retained the chrome trim and alloy panels of the S1, with the upgraded S2 mechanics. That’s the Fulvia Zag sweet spot.

    I had a Fulvia 1600HF and later swapped it for a 1300 Zagato, which I much prefered. I am always amused by folk who bang on about Lancia engineering. Over-complicated and underpowered about sums it up for me. Fulvia is a nice car and good value in the market.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo SubGothius

      Lancia engineering may have been “overcomplicated”, but it was at least also sophisticated, clever, innovative, and comprehensive (viewing the car as a whole machine, rather than a collection of disparate subunits). There’s an old aphorism about how popular sports car manufacturers of this era would solve the matter of affixing a component to the chassis:

      MG would use an existing off-the-shelf tractor component and its bracket, even if the nut/bolt hardware spec differed from anything else on the car.

      Alfa Romeo would design a nice, elegantly attractive cast-alloy bracket.

      Fiat would use a sheetmetal strip or stamping spot-welded to the chassis.

      Lancia would design the component housing with integral mounting ears, eliminating the need for a separate bracket entirely.

      Like 7
      • Avatar photo Martin Horrocks

        Maybe, but re-inventing the wheel in order to bankrupt the company never impressed me much. My comments are mainly aimed at the Fessia era cars.

        I’ll exempt the Flaminia as that was basically an update of Jano’s Aurelia, but there’s nothing very elegant under the bonnet of a Flavia or a Fulvia. Stuff everywhere compared with any contemporary Alfa.

        After one last unsuccessful attempt at “traditional” Lancia engineering in the Gamma, it fell to FIAT to rationalise the marque. I think they did that pretty successfully, given that all Lancia’s storied competition success Stratos onwards derived from FIAT management and Abarth input (Stratos was D’ Allara).

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo SubGothius

        Martin, agreed on most points, tho’ I’d quibble the Fulvia and Flavia were still a cut above their contemporary peers in engineering innovation and build quality — probably unnecessarily so; to paraphrase an old Jamie Kitman Automobile Magazine column from memory, “Lancia may be the only car maker to nearly go bankrupt, twice, by paying too much attention to quality.”

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo jwaltb

        I’ve had 6 old Lancias, all bought in tough shape or abandoned. 4 I got running and on the road again. I love Lancia engineering. I took apart the master cylinder of an Appia, the bottom of the line, and the brass parts inside were like jewelry. They may have have put themselves under by focusing on quality, but I like quality…
        To each one’s own.

        Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Gary

    Turbo Buick v6, wire wheels, black with red interior.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      Boo.

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo t-bone bob

    Ended:
    Sep 05, 2023 15:08:02 PDT
    Current bid:
    US $7,600.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 17 bids ]

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo t-bone bob

    Relisted:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/204452064204

    Ended:
    Sep 15, 2023 15:08:14 PDT
    Current bid:
    US $8,100.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 11 bids ]

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo t-bone bob

    Relisted again:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/204463768375

    Ended:
    Sep 25, 2023 15:08:45 PDT
    Current bid:
    US $7,100.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 7 bids ]

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Rallye Member

      How much does it cost to keep relisting and hoping?

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo t-bone bob

        Insertion fees range from $19 to $79 for vehicles depending on the selling package chosen

        Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.