Introduced in 1963 to replace the aging Lancia Appia, the Fulvia was named after the Via Fulvia, the Roman road leading from Tortona to Turin. Intended to be a competitor to the popular Alfa Romeo Giulia and the Fiat 1300, the newly introduced Fulvia packed some interesting technology that was truly ahead of its time including a longitudinally-mounted narrow-angle V4 engine as well as front-wheel drive, providing better balance and grip. Historically, the Fulvia saw 3 different series with an increase in engine displacement from 1231cc to 1298cc from the SI to SII, along with a new 5-speed gearbox as well as a few more minor changes both cosmetic and mechanically. The SIII cars were introduced in 1974 and were largely mechanically unchanged except for the addition of emission controls on the Solex Carburetors. Cosmetically, they received a distinguishing matte black grill and headlight surrounds, as well as newly redesigned seats and few other interior bits. Although it was phased out and replaced by the Lancia Beta in 1976, the Fulvia proved to be a massive success for the company both in sales as well as the competitive world of motorsports.
Most automotive enthusiasts immediately associate the Lancia name with rallying success and for good reason. With 10 World Rally Championships titles to their name, Lancia proved throughout their history that they knew how to navigate their way through a rally stage. Although it was cars such as the Stratos, 037, and the Delta that took all the limelight, Lancia’s true racing success began with the humble Fulvia. When it was launched in 1963 Lancia was determined to prove the merit of their new Fulvia design and so like many manufactures throughout history, they decided to take it racing. The little Fulvia dominated right out of the gate especially in the Italian Rally Championship where it won the title from 1965 all the way through 1973. In further display of the car’s brilliance, A Fulvia HF also won two World Rally Championships, two European Rally Championships, as well as the 1972 Monte Carlo Rally. To commemorate their rally racing success, Lancia launched two special edition S3 Fulvias, the “Monte Carlo” and the “Safari Edition”, both available from 1974 through the end of production in 1976. The unique “Safari Edition” came equipped with special, mainly cosmetic features such as bumper delete, matte black exterior trim, seats upholstered in cloth and leatherette, as well as some unique badging. Despite being largely a celebration of Lancia’s success, the “Safari Edition” Fulvias, remain fantastic cars with their unique styling paying homage to the greatness of the Lancia badge that adorns them. Although information is limited, it appears that around only 900 of these special little Lancias were produced, making them quite rare and highly sought after for the collector looking for a historical vehicle that is boundlessly fun to drive.
The example on offer here, chassis number 818630070971, with engine number 123462, is a 1975 Lancia Fulvia that is believed to be 1 of only 900 Safari Editions produced. This particular Fulvia spent most of its life in the Northern Italian region of Cremona, which is just southwest of Milan. On file are Italian registrations dating back to when the car was new. These are available for review in the “View Documents” tab. It appears that the car was restored at some point in the early 2000s based on the excellent driver quality cosmetic condition. The car was also ASI Certified (Automotoclub Storico Italiano) as a 1975 Lancia Fulvia Safari and had its “Gold Badge;” a high honor among Italian collector cars. It was then imported into the United States from its long term home in Italy back in 2017 by the current consignor and has remained under their care since then. Under their ownership, it has been cared for and used sparingly on the backroads of western New York. This Lancia Fulvia is very strong mechanically and ready for touring or casual drives down winding backroads and maybe even some light off-roading should the next owner choose to live out the Lancia rally heritage.
Included with the sale of this Fulvia are the original books, tools, jack, spare, and available documentation.
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Body And Paint
The Yellow exterior paint retains a smooth and even finish all around the car. The color shows very well and compliments the lines of this little Fulvia very nicely, especially with the contrasting matte black paint of the grill and wheels. The body is straight true, with no signs of any bad metal underneath. Body gaps are consistent and straight.
Glass And Trim
The matte black grille and headlight surrounds retain a deep dark color and show nicely cosmetically. Chrome trim throughout the car presents very nicely with good shine only minor light scratching in some of the high contact areas. The headlights are clean and clear with good lenses. The glass throughout the car remains clear and clean with only some light scratching and minor pitting present on the front windscreen.
The matte black wheels contain clean and smooth painted surfaces, with clean mounting hardware and Lancia branded center caps that show nicely.
Seats And Surfaces
The back vinyl covered seats remain in excellent condition and show little to no wear. Currently there are a set of OMP 4 point belts that fit the rally nature of the vehicle and show a date of April 16, 2006. The steering wheel appears to possibly be an original unit and as such does have some scratching and fading on the leather-wrapped rim. The top of the driver's side door card shows some markings from normal use. The carpeting shows very nicely with next to no wear to be seen. The wooden style veneer on the dash retains good color while being smooth and clean. The headliner is tight and clean. The glove box does show a significant scratch that appears to be caused from a missed key placement when attempting to open it.
Functionality And Accessories
The doors open and close as they should and the windows roll up and down with ease. The gauges all appear to work as they should and remain in good cosmetic condition with bright easily legible lettering. There is a bit of dust that has worked its way behind the speedometer, but it does not take away from the readability of the gauge. The shifter moves easily through its range of motion and the handbrake holds the car firmly in place.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay overall is clean and tidy with smooth painted surfaces showing bright color. Everything appears to be well kept mechanically with hoses, wires and tubing showing minimal signs of wear or issues. The data tag looks to be original, judging by the patina on it. The carburetors show a bit of grime on them but no signs of leaking or issues.
The trunk area is likewise clean and tidy with matching body color paint evenly coating its surface. The black carpeting fits nicely and the rubber gasket trim appears supple and with good color. The spare wheel is mounted neatly inside of the trunk. Under the carpet, the fuel tank cover shows a pit of cosmetic pitting but appears to be in sound condition otherwise. On the underside of the trailing edge of the trunk lid it appears there was a botched bit of trim install that left a hole and some surface corrosion.
The underside of the car presents as one would expect from a driver quality example. There is some cracking of the paint around the lower portion of the front valence and the metal at the bottom edge of the rear valence is a bit wavy. There is also what appear to be some poor metal repair near the drivers side bumper mount in the rear of the car. The painted components on the underside including the frame itself are a bit thick and chunky. The floors seem solid and show no signs of current issues.
Once warm, this Fulvia fires right to life with a quick turn of the key and settles into a smooth idle. It makes ample power and appears to run both smoothly and cool. Upon cold start, it takes a bit of effort to kick over.
The transmission shift easily though gears and holds power well with no issues to note.
Brakes And Suspension
The brakes bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop and the suspension feels compliant and shows no odd road manners or noises.
The car currently wears Firestone Cavallino Sport HS-1 radial tires with solid sidewalls and plenty of tread life left all around.
The Fulvia was the car that started the rallying pedigree Lancia is today known for, and with just a short stint behind the wheel it is easy to see why. The car is very light and nimble with a playful power band that begs to be revved to its upper limits. The steering feels responsive and tight while the front-wheel-drive provides plenty of grip. This particular Fulvia, believed to be 1 of 900 “Safari Editions”, is not only a blast to drive but is sure to turn heads and garner questions at any car event the world around.
- Exterior Colour Yellow
- Interior Colour Black
- Drive LHD
- Chassis Number 818630070971