While Jay Leno thinks Lancia's Roman-inspired names weren't the most fortunate (the Fulvia reminds him of a certain lady part and Flaminia sounds like an STD), when Zagato entered the game, that hardly mattered. Meet the world's sexiest V4.
Not many Fulvia Sport Zagatos made it into the US back in the day. You can tell the original US-spec cars from the later imported Euro ones simply by looking at their headlights. But whichever setup they use, be that the 1.1, the 1.3 or the 1.6 V4, the all aluminum, the semi-lightweight or the late all-steel body, this Zagato is probably one of the most desirable cars from the sixties today. It's even better than the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato I found in the Goodwood Circuit's parking lot in March!
Think about it. It's the right size. It's rare and beautiful. It's fast enough thanks to a cleverly tilted and quite torquey V4 and a lightweight body. The Fulvia is also over-engineered and full of wonderful mechanical details that Lancia was known for before Fiat took over and replaced everything with cheaper parts. It's front-wheel drive, but handles like a dream, and the sports seats are as comfortable as in any Zagato. It's from a time when Italians were at the top of their game.
I want one badly. Almost as much as I would love to see Lancia being saved, again. Unfortunately, you'll see me in a Fulvia first...