Classic Cars

Unique of the Week: 1971 Lancia Fulvia Zagato Sport 1600

There was a time when Lancia produced cars that were both beautiful and exciting. This is one of them.

There was a time when Lancias were not simply rebadged Chryslers. Sadly, the current market that Fiat has identified for the brand mainly consists of older, more conservative European buyers. Before the Chrysler 300 was rebadged as the Lancia Thema, the brand's most identifiable model was often seen as the Delta. Yes, the brand was in that bad of shape. And even now, while improved with those rebadged Chryslers, the brand is still a shadowed fragment of what it used to be in its heyday.

Back in the 1950s, Lancia was quite active in motorsports. Their D50 took part in the 1954 Spanish Grand Prix and the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix. More importantly, Lancia became heavily involved in rallying. Even before the World Rally Championship was formed, Lancia won the International Champion for Manufacturers title with their Fulvia model back in '72. After the WRC was formed in the following year, Lancia became the most statistically successful brand for winning constructor championships. All told, they've won 10 titles, with Citroen coming in behind them with seven.

The Stratos, perhaps the brand's most famous car ever, won three of those titles and their Delta HF and Integrale took home another six titles. Not surprisingly, the Delta became the most successful model ever to compete in the sport. Sadly, Lancia had their share of tragedies with the deaths of drivers Attilio Bettega in 1985 and Henri Toivonen the following year. Eventually, Lancia pulled out of the sport altogether, hence partially the reason for their sad state today. But they did make other cars such as the Fulvia, which was first unveiled at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show. Known for their racing history, the Fulvia actually won the International Rally Championship in 1972.

And now this 1971 Fulvia Sport 1600 is up for auction on eBay. Claimed to be the fastest production Fulvia model, it's powered by a 1.6-liter HF-spec V4 mated to a five-speed manual. The bodyshell designed is by famed Italian design house Zagato. The seller claims the car was originally imported from Italy back in 1996. Prior to this, it was fully restored in Italy by an Alfa Romeo dealer for a private collector. Mechanically, the gearbox has supposedly been well maintained and still shifts flawlessly and no other major repairs to the engine or other parts are needed.

The body and frame are rust free and the orange paint is all original. It's also free of dings and major scratches and the black leather seats hardly look their age. Also included are the original manual and complete service and registration records from Italy. With 59,000 miles on the odometer, there's a current bid of $28,500 as of the time of this writing.

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