Striking Italian: 1968 Lancia Fulvia 1300S Coupe

While I admit that I love cars that pack plenty of muscle and attitude, I have to admit that I also have a real weakness for small cars like this 1968 Lancia Fulvia 1300S Coupe. They might not possess the sheer horsepower of a muscle car, but nothing compares to the sense of satisfaction that you can experience when you point these little classics at a piece of twisting tarmac. That is where these cars are in their element, because whilst they might be left to languish on a drag strip, they usually have few peers when the road begins to twist and turn. This little Lancia is in impressive physical condition, and it also sounds like it is in extremely good mechanical health. Located in Miami, Florida, you can find the Fulvia listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN has been set at $25,900.

So often we get to this point in proceedings with an Italian classic, and the question of rust will tend to rear its ugly head. Well, there’s no need to worry about that, because the Fulvia is a completely rust-free vehicle. The panels are also arrow-straight, while the Burgundy paint has a wonderful consistency of both shine and color. It is really hard to find anything much to be critical of with this Lancia’s external presentation. The exterior chrome and trim appear to be in extremely nice condition, while there are no signs of any issues with the glass. The owner says that potential buyers should expect the normal wear and tear that you would see on a car that is driven, rather than being hidden away in a garage. However, there are few problems evident in the comprehensive series of photos that he supplies. All of the panel gaps are tight and consistent, and there are no indications that the vehicle has suffered any form of accident damage.

Italian manufacturers have developed a reputation for marching to the beat of a different drummer, and nowhere is this more evident than when you lift the hood on this Fulvia. It is no surprise to find that a car that is this diminutive should be home to a 4-cylinder engine. What makes this so unusual is the configuration of this particular engine. It is a V4, so it still doesn’t seem that groundbreaking. However, with a “vee” angle of a mere 13°, that makes it one of the narrowest in automotive history. In fact, the engine is so narrow that it is able to utilize a singles cylinder head to serve both banks of cylinders. This DOHC motor has a capacity of 1,298cc and produces 91hp. This power is fed to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission. That all might not sound like a recipe for excitement, but with an overall weight of 2,050lbs, the Fulvia is able to produce some surprising straight-line performance. In fact, it is capable of despatching the ¼ mile in 18.3 seconds. I openly admit that this is nowhere near muscle car territory, but for a car with such a tiny engine, it still looks very respectable. The Lancia appears to be in sound mechanical health, with the owner saying that it moves pretty quickly. He also supplies a walkaround video which I have included at the bottom of this article. Not only do we get a good look at every aspect o the car, but we do get to hear and see the V4 at work. There is no doubt that it possesses a very distinctive engine note, but it does also sound very clean and strong.

It is when we open the doors and take a look inside the Lancia we find that it does have a chink or two in its armor. Starting with the bad news, and the worst of this is that the dash pad has a couple of pretty substantial cracks in it. This isn’t the end of the world, as it is not beyond repair. In fact, this issue is common enough that I have even managed to locate one company that specializes in performing this repair on the Fulvia Coupe! The lenses for both the speedometer and tachometer have become yellow and cloudy. Once again, this need not be a problem. It didn’t take much searching to locate a company that can supply a replacement set for all gauges, and this was priced at less than $150. Otherwise, the timber on the dash looks nice, while the rest of the upholstery is in extremely good condition. Apart from the two issues that I have mentioned, there really doesn’t appear to be much wrong with this little car’s interior.

I admit that I really do like this Lancia, and I would love to have it parked in my workshop. It ticks a lot of the right boxes, and being a rust-free vehicle is a huge advantage. The fact that a mere 16,827 examples were built for worldwide distribution is also a factor to consider with this car. As they have grown in rarity due to natural attrition, so the value has increased accordingly. In fact, if current trends continue, I probably wouldn’t be holding out for too long if I really wanted to become the proud owner of one of these little Italian classics. The reason is that values, regardless of condition, have jumped by more than 50% in the last 3-years alone for pre-1970 examples. That means that prices of $30,000 or more for a nice car are pretty common, while a pristine one can push closer to $50,000. This one isn’t pristine, but its condition does appear to be above average. That would seem to make it well worth a look.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    It makes me sad when I see cars like this and the Alfa GTV that I missed the opportunity to own one when they were more affordable. Such pretty cars and those of you who have owned Italian sports cars in the past and present can relate to the passion of ownership. VW might have been the first to create a VR6 but no doubt they drew on Lancia’s narrow angle “VR4” when they were looking for packaging efficiency.

    Like 1
    • MarveH

      Same, I missed the boat too. The Fulvia is one of my all time favorite designs (along with the GTV). I just might have to pony up some day and get one before they get too crazy.
      The kids don’t really need college and the wife’s surgery is more of a luxury really…

  2. Elanguy

    Looks pretty nice from the photos, which are not terribly good. And it might be an OK buy at near the asking price if it were a 1968. But it looks to be a considerably later car which don’t bring as much money as the earlier ones. The steering wheel, hood trim, badging and numerous other details come from later cars.

    Like 3
    • grbbenny

      Yes, definitely a Series 2 with what looks to be a late Series 2 (sometimes called Series 3) grille.

  3. Bullethead

    Odd that an unclear body stamping photo is included, but not the VIN tag, which would confirm the build year. I think it is a ’68 with later bits added, but would like some details as to how the instruments got so foggy and why the interior looks recently replaced. The fresh paint is nice, when was that done? Price is in line more or less with condition as presented, just need more clarity of the car’s history. Too bad it’s not an HF…

  4. Martin Horrocks

    @Elanguy is quite correct, this is much later than 1968. It is a Fiat era car, (I´m guessing 1972) which means more plastic and slightly less eccentricity. On the other hand, you get 1300 engine and 5 speed box. Lancisti will tell you that there is a lot of cool detail and build quality which has also gone missing.

    Personally, I wouldn´t miss it, as Lancia post WW2 was always on a mission to bankrupt itself, and the attention to detail of a hinge or cigarette lighter don´t impress me much. Fiat kept the marque going for many years, you can still buy an Ypsilon in Italy. Lancia Integrale may be an icon, but engine, box, platform etc are all Fiat and the rally cars were developed, built and run by Abarth……

    This car looks nice, but is not a particularly rare Fulvia coupé, so should be buyable around $20000.

    Like 2
  5. Araknid78

    very nice

  6. Will Owen Member

    First one of these I ever saw in person was a pretty blue one on the road through the Bois de Boulogne, as we rode in a borrowed Peugeot from Paris to Chartres one day in 1991. It was a family out for a Sunday drive, Maman et Papa in front and two kids in back, like us but about a generation older. I was the only one in our car who knew what it was. I was glad NOT to be in that back seat – strictly for small people, not husky middle-aged Americans – but that was sure one of the prettiest cars we’d ever seen.

    It’s still on my Wish List, and I’ve even got a shop that I’d trust with it, but time is flying by and I’m not. So I’ll just look and sigh a bit. Thanks for the photos, though!

  7. Sean Taylor

    I owned a 67 Fulvia coupe in the same colour. It still remains one of my all time favourite cars. The V4 is a beautiful engine and the handling was fantastic. A real sense fine motoring when you where behind the wheel storing the gearbox through some spirited cornering on a mountain road. This looks like a nice car and certainly sounds nice in the video. Thorough check for rust will be a must. Good luck to the next owner.

  8. Bernie H.

    I’d love to have one period!, who cares about the $$.

  9. Louis Chen

    This is truly a survivor for Italian low ball autos. To it looks like a Bimmer but made in Italy! I’m surprised that the narrow angle V-4 has lasted this long is amazing! I’ve owned a VW GTI with the VR-6, it was a good car except for the VR-6. This Lancia looks great, I wouldn’t buy it because it might remind me of my old Alfa Romeo 1300 GT Jr. with a severe oil leak and carb problem. Luckily this Lancia has F.I.! It may a HMC for the next owner….LOL.

  10. classicsandcabrios Member

    Hi all, it appears to be a SII with a SIII steering wheel and grille, this one is ours a SII from Verona, Italy. All original inside has been refreshed on the paintwork in Italy before the 2nd brought her 25 years ago. Our price is £13,995 sterling here in UK. classicsandcabriolets

  11. classicsandcabrios Member

    Another view of her

    Like 1
  12. classicsandcabrios Member

    And another

    Like 1
  13. classicsandcabrios Member

    now the drivers inside

    Like 1
  14. classicsandcabrios Member

    Now the dash

    Like 1

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