R.A-S.H: The Lancia Fulvia


Welcome to R.A-S.H, the series in which we separate the fact from the fantasy in old car brochures that should have been thrown out years ago. Or so my girlfriend says.

In today’s instalment of R.A-S.H, there is actually an almost total lack of H. Today, the brochure text is informative and descriptive, and hyperbole is virtually non-exsistent. Truth is, the car didn’t need it.

What comes ahead is an opportunity to drink in the images, and wonder if such simplicity, economy of line and fitness for purpose will ever grace our roads again.


“The Classic Fulvia Coupe continues its evolution, its history rich with high standards and its enviable success in international motorsport. A car renowned the world over or its quality, safety and spirited performance.”

Indeed it was, and the legendary 1600HF model is ranked high on the list of all-time Italian greats. But this brochure isn’t about that car, in fact it doesn’t even get a mention. Let’s just look at it a few more times.



“The front-wheel drive, the great power of the engine, the 5-speed gearbox and the exceptional roadholding make the Fulvia coupe 3 one of the most enjoyable cars to drive under all conditions from motorways to mountain roads”

That engine was a narrow angle V-four just 1.3 litres in capacity yet spinning out 90hp in stock street trim. This was enough to clip the little Lancia along at 105 mph, made easier by the fact that it weighed less than a metric tonne. But enough of this; this brochure suggests that Lancia decreed that the Fulvia should be sold by photography alone. Either that or all their copywriters were on strike. Or asleep.


Isn’t it lovely?


No more talk from me, just lovely, lovely pictures.




Of course, in 2003 Lancia had a go at recreating, or even bettering, what they had achieved decades before, when they revealed the Fulvietta. It was gorgeous and refreshing (even in metallic beige) at a time where swoopiness and clever detailing were all the rage and purity rarely got a look in. Indeed, there were hushed voices whispering in corners that Lancia would put it into production, which could have seen the company exploding back onto the world scene, but it never came to pass.


Today the Fulvietta is an interesting anecdote from the category marked automotive what if‘s, whereas the original Fulvia has passed into legend. And Lancia has been reduced to, well, I can hardly bring myself to think it.

(Disclaimer:- All images have been taken from original manufacturer sales literature and remain property of the copyright holder. I’m off to take a cold shower)

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22 responses to “R.A-S.H: The Lancia Fulvia”

  1. Alff Avatar

    I understand your girlfriend's perspective – my wife wouldn't like it either if I kept a bunch of old pictures of someone else's Fulvia.

    1. $kaycog Avatar

      I wouldn't touch that with a 10-foot pole.

      1. Alff Avatar

        I would, and frequently do.

        1. Vairship Avatar

          Bragger! 10 inches maybe, but 10 feet nobody will believe you.
          Or 6 feet or so, depending on whether Kamil is a tall feller.

  2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    I'm coughing here now, that was GOOD!

  3. Vavon Avatar

    If I had to pick just one Lancia for my garage, the Fulvia coupé would definitely be the one.
    One of the prettiest cars ever made, and I seldom use pretty to describe a car!
    <img src="http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/416409/103_0535.JPG1..jpg" width="670/">

    1. Alff Avatar

      My only nitpick, and it's minor because this car looks better than anything contemporary, it that the nose looks a bit heavy.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    One of only a handful of FWD cars I would actually want to own, even if I couldn't afford to maintain it.

  5. longrooffan Avatar

    I had not previously been aware of this striking beauty. It has very similar lines to one of my all time favorites, BMW 3.0 CS. Another example of when a picture is worth a thousand words. Lovely and thanks for sharing.

    1. Alff Avatar

      In this scenario, fwd>rwd.

  6. Batshitbox Avatar

    The Fulvia 3 came out in 1974, towards the end of the Fulvia model run.
    The Fulvia Sport 1.3 S had one of the most indecipherable name badges I ever encountered. After seeing only the back end of one in traffic I had much internet research ahead of me before I finally figured out what I had seen. Kind of my own little "Mystery Car" episode.
    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4094/4780717400_77b4324ec0_z.jpg"&gt;

  7. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    'And Lancia has been reduced to,well I can hardly bring myself to think it'
    Neither can most of us, especially those with Lancias, but the marque could be brought back to life .It has more engineering integrity than the former licensed manufacturer of Austin Sevens and Isettas,let alone the current maker of flock lined gloveboxes, wooden steering and compromised mechanical layout .If the Germans can do it why can't there be room at the top of the branding hierarchy for another Italian. Not just sporty, but well made,an Italian Mercedes if you like. At least they've got the platform right with the 300.
    How do you dial back the American-ness of a Chrysler and turn the Italianity up without it becoming a pastiche, like the new Lancias? If Fiat can answer that properly, Volkswagen-like profits could lie in their future.

  8. sporty88au Avatar

    How 'Italian' they can make the 'new' Lancia depends on how much money Fiat wants to throw at the brand, which of course is dependent on how serious they get about using it to take on the Germans. Of course, if you see the current state of the Lancia brand as a cynical marketing move, it's all a moot point.
    I can visualise the 300/Thema, with a few styling tweaks (front sheetmetal, maybe some alterations to the trunk and taillight area, a bit of work on the interior trim), becoming a modern take on the Flaminia sedan of the 1960's. A lot more money could get them a coupe (and maybe a convertible) on the same platform, which would put them in direct competition with the full BMW 5- and 6-series and the M-B E-class range. They might even be able to use the Hemi V8 (which I understand is not currently available in the Thema) to power an AMG or M competitor. Imagine a new Thema coupe, with its own distinct styling, in SRT8 specification – done right, I would expect it to evoke the look and feel of some of the Italian GT cars of the 1960s and 70s (modern-day Iso Rivolta anyone?).
    Lancia doesn't yet have anything to compete in the European D-segment (except maybe the 200-based Flavia convertible). Since this is the territory of the BMW 3-series and the M-B C-class, it would appear to be a significant omission from their range. I'd see 2 possible directions to go to remedy this – either a development of the 200 sedan (not really right for the image), or a variant of the upcoming Alfa 159 replacement (according to some reports it will be the right size, and may even be rear-wheel drive).
    The rest of the current Lancia range, with the exception of the Voyager, appears to be carryovers from before the 'merger' and Fiats with Chrysler-style grilles hastily grafted on. Hopefully the next generation of these will have more time and thought applied to differentiating them.
    Unfortunately I don't think anything like the Fulvietta can happen within the Fiat hierarchy – it looks like it would almost certainly encroach too far into the territory marked out for Alfa Romeo. That said, it might be possible to work some elements of it into a BMW 1-series competitor.

  9. max Avatar

    The 2003 Fulvia concept was developed on the chassis of the Fiat Barchetta (the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Barchetta), and wasn't produced because it couldn't meet the contemporary safety standards.
    After the Lancia Museum was razed to the ground in 05-06, all of it's car (including the Fulvia concept) were moved in an unmarked building that was already home of the Fiat group collection.
    Here is the Fulvia:
    <img src="http://img.tio.ch/tio_common/multimedia/74/235/iphone/h___TFMF_rbppvlv1m1ja4t55z1ngacrn_6fa1ed39-3adf-43a3-89be-550830332ee4_0.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <img src="http://img.tio.ch/tio_common/multimedia/74/235/iphone/h___TFMF_rbppvlv1m1ja4t55z1ngacrn_1a6f5741-93eb-4745-abda-503194bfe63f_0.jpg&quot; width="600">
    And this is the whole collection :
    <img src="http://img.tio.ch/tio_common/multimedia/74/235/iphone/h___TFMF_rwgv43ifaozunyzd3oiyjmfm_c47c6e8a-40c2-47ff-82b2-d69f092d1500_0.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Source here : http://www.tio.ch/News/Motori/674235/Dentro-la-co
    More pictures here (scroll a few post) : <a href="http://forum.passioneauto.it/index.php?topic=4858.30” target=”_blank”>http://forum.passioneauto.it/index.php?topic=4858.30

    1. max Avatar

      Sorry fcked up the links. fixed wiki link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Barchetta
      fixed forum link : http://forum.passioneauto.it/index.php?topic=4858
      I forgot to say that in that place there are 220 cars, 75 Lancias, the rest are Fiats and some Autobianchis/Innocentis.

  10. bhtooefr Avatar

    The sad thing is, I'm not a fan of the greenhouse of the Fulvia Coupe (although I definitely see where they were going with it, and it doesn't look anything like the frumpy Berlina).
    I'll take a Fulvia in Sport trim:
    <img src="http://www.eddinsmoto.com/4a95e270.jpg"&gt;

  11. Ulysses Avatar

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