Lancia Fulvia

Lancia Fulvia 1970s Italian classic sports car

The Lancia Fulvia 1.6 HF is an Italian legend. An 'homologation special', a mere 1,180 were built - enough to qualify the car to compete in international rallying. It went on to win two world championships. In standard form, the Fulvia was impressive. But the 1.6 HF model took it to another level. Revered as a roadster, it sported many of the features of a competition car.

The HF was powered by a narrow-angle V4 engine. It produced 115bhp ... though there were a few factory-tuned units that upped that figure to 132. The less potent motors still provided a top speed of 115mph. Fuel was supplied by twin Weber 42 carburettors. Power peaked at 6,200rpm. Transmission was by way of a 5-speed gearbox. It used the 4-speed 'box - to which was added a 'piggy-back' set of cogs. With that novel set-up hooked up to the front wheels, the HF handled sweetly enough. Braking was via Dunlop discs. Interestingly, Lancia judged that a servo was surplus to requirements.

The Fulvia's bodywork was designed to cleave cleanly through air ... be it in a baking-hot desert, or freezing forest! A clear pointer to the car's rallying roots could be found in its large 7″ headlamps. As far as the wheels went, neatly flared arches topped off a set of suitably wide tyres. The rubber was mounted on deep-rimmed Campagnolo alloys. A touch of negative camber at the front - and a slightly raised rear - were hallmarks of a car for which road-holding was of the utmost importance. The HF's interior décor - or lack of it - signified that light weight was at a premium. At the front, high-backed bucket seats were designed with rigidity, rather than comfort in mind. Behind them was a padded bench ... something to sit on, and not much more! Standard Fulvias - and the 'luxury' 1600HF - gave more in the way of mollycoddling. Nevertheless, it is the relatively unadorned HF which is the most sought-after Fulvia of all. Seriously iconic, it is probably the most illustrious car Lancia built.

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