1972 Lancia Fulvia

The Lancia Fulvia, for me, is one of the prettiest Italian cars ever produced. Not only were these coupes attractive, but they proved their worth on the World Rally stage, kicking off what would be a string of competition successes for Lancia. This Fulvia 1.3 for sale in California looks a bit pedestrian in beige, but this is one Italian sports coupe that should be given its due respect.

1972 Lancia Fulvia

We bought this car from a dealer in Texas in February of 2012. Apparently the owner of the dealership was jogging by and saw the Fulvia in a garage with an open garage door. He spoke to the owners as wound-up buying the car. The elderly owners told him that they had imported the car from Italy about 10 years before. Texas title.

We bought the car and it arrived from Texas about 5 miles from our house. We started to drive it home but it ran poorly and the brakes were sticking. We got within 2 miles of the house and the brakes locked-up entirely.We trailered the car the rest of the way and when we opened the trunk, it had all of the parts necessary for a complete brake rebuild including rotors. We can only assume that the owners knew of the brake problem and bought the parts but never got around to having the work done. I understand that if the cars sit a long time the brakes locking up is a common problem. Once the brakes were rebuilt they worked great and do now.

By then we assumed that it had been sitting so that was probably the root of the poor running. We drained the gas from the tank and bought a fuel filter and carb kit from LA Lancia (great guy!) and after rebuilding the carb the car runs great. Starts easily with choke every time, good oil pressure no overheating. As per my luck, it wouldn't start when I picked it up from the detailer Saturday so it also has a brand new battery. Tires look good and all lights seem to work fine.

The body is excellent. Gold is generally not our favorite color on a car but somehow it looks good on the Fulvia.The paint appears to be older (I suspect in Italy) but there is not evidence of any problem under the paint except a slight bubble under the paint on the right rear wheel arch. Further, I have gone over the entire bottom of the car including above and below the side trim molding and the edge under the rockers with a magnet and can find no evidence of bondo. (We recorded a video showing me doing this but cannot seem to add it to the listing. If we can figure out a way to add it, we will do so). We are told that these cars can be rust buckets so one that doesn't have any is remarkable. There is no obvious rust behind the front wheels under the car which is good news also. There is evidence of a repair on the drivers floor but it is not big and it is not getting bigger. In fact, we didn't even notice it until we got it up on a rack recently. There are two light scratches on the right rear of the roof and the front of the hood has several marks on it. Despite this, it really looks great and you would be proud to drive it.

The interior is very good but likely not original as it has cloth on the seating surfaces. The up side is that it is likely more usable in a warm climate (Texas?) than the original vinyl. It is in good shape except there is slight staining on the rear cushion that we have never tried to remove. The dash it great with no cracks in the fake wood, plastic dash. The steering wheel is cracked which we also understand is common for these cars. I suspect that the flat door panels are also not stock but we have not seen another Fulvia since we have owned this car to compare it to.

The car is a blast. We can't take it anywhere where it is not the center of attention drawing a larger crowd than cars costing 10 times as much. We have taken it to our local "Cars and Coffee" (EuroSunday) a couple of times where it was a hit. We also took it on a 2-day tour last year and it never missed a beat. It rides surprisingly well, handles well and is larger inside than you would think. For a 1300 cc engine, it is also peppy, once you realize that the power comes on at high rpm's.

We are selling the car because we don't use it (we have 22 other cars) but not without hesitation. You are welcome to inspect or have the car inspected. The car is near Sacramento, California. Good ones of these cars can sell over $20,000 and one sold recently on ebay for $17,350 albeit red with black vinyl.

The seller is pretty spot on with his valuation of these coupes. Around $15,000 to $20,000 is what good examples can bring these days, with exceptional Fulvias reaching into the $20,000 territory. While I love the Alfa Romeo GTV coupes from this period, the Fulvias are just that much more interesting to me. These are cars that kicked off Lancia's domination of the World Rally Championship and for me, it is surprising that they aren't fetching higher prices these days given their storied history. With that said, I think it is an opportune time to pick up one of these coupes, as they are bound to appreciate over the next few years.

-Paul