One of the great things about old Lancias is that their names sound like a lady's naughty bits. And as today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Fulvia (see?) might prove, they can be great in other ways too.
Not so anatomically correct, but potentially exciting to the ladies due to its impressive length, was yesterday's 4-door Corvette America. That car's proportions were unique to say the least, and for an astonishing - and revolted - 98% of you, its three hundred thousand dollar opening price proved equally disproportionate.
The Fulvia, in contrast, is a tiny thing- almost small enough that you could fit it in your pocket, or perhaps imagine it welcoming Dorothy to Munchkinland on behalf of the Lancia League.
Maybe you saw Clarkson drive one in the Top Gear episode where they waxed orgasmic over Lancia as a breed. Despite the fact that, of the three hosts, Jezza possesses the most continental of proportions, even he was able to fold himself behind the Fulvia's wheel. Sure, he had to roll down the windows to allow for his knees, but the point is, if he can fit, probably so can you. See?
Not only does Clarkson fit in the Fulvia, but he also loves it too, noting that the little front-driver was the first Lancia to win the World Rally championship. There's a lot to love in this tiny coupe. First off is that sweet 1.3-litre 12-degree V4, which sports double over head cams and pair of throaty Webers, giving it about 90 horses. At least that's what you would expect, but word on the street (BaT, actually) is that the seller has replaced this '72 Fulvia's 1.3 with the lesser 1.1 litre out of an S1 Berlina. That's not a huge difference, but as it's not mentioned in the ad, it does raise questions.
Whatever the motor, the Fulvia sends its ponies through a longitudinally-mounted 5-speed, non-overdrive gearbox, and then on to the disc brake equipped front wheels. Underpinning the delicate and elegant bodywork is an A-arm and transverse leaf front suspension, and a leaf-sprung dead axle with panhard rod rear. Neither of those sound particularly advanced, but like a roller-skating chimp wearing a tux, it just plain works.
Inside, there's a pair of close-coupled buckets up front, and a narrow bench in the back that's only there for show. The dash is a nice plank of wood framing a series of serious looking metric dials and sits behind a skinny two-spoke wheel. The interior on this one looks original and shows moderate wear and tear (mostly tear), as well as some gaping holes were the stereo and speakers once were. On the outside, it has the ubiquitous surface rust on the arches, as well as oxidization on most of the undercarriage, but nothing you wouldn't expect on a near 40 year old Italian. Color-wise, it's not the most exciting hue, but then again those who think Italian cars should only come in red really ought to expand their horizons.
One final noteworthy factor in the Fulvia's favor is that these are the last real production Lancias ever made. The follow up Beta line was brought to market after Fiat had scooped the company up, and those cars lacked the heart and soul that made the Fulvias great. This one looks good, not great, and while it's not a Delta, beatific Stratos, or even an HF edition, it's still a cool little car from the company Top Gear anointed as having made more great cars than anyone else. . . in the woooorld.
And it doesn't cost the world to buy, unlike yesterday's 4-door ‘Vette - or a locomotive, which you also could afford. At $9,000, this Fulvia won't necessarily emptia your bank accountia, but the question remains; with possibly the wrong motor in it, is that a deal? What do you think, is $9,000 a fair price? Or, for asking that much, is the seller Fulvia it?
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