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            In the history of Lancia and its models, a very special place will always be reserved for the Fulvia, a car of extraordinary vitality which has not only given rise to a long series of successful versions and which has not only linked its name with an interminable sequence of sporting successes, but which also was the model of which the greatest number of units has been built during the course of the first 65 years of Lancia’s existence.   
            Lancia Fulvia Berlina.jpgThe spring of 1963 saw the introduction of the first Fulvia Berlina, designed by Antonio Fessia and intended to replace the never-to-be forgotten Appia in the small-medium engine range. Except for its engine and its size, its general structure was reminiscent of the Flavia. Lancia having been decidedly orientated to front wheel drive (which was proving to be so successful on the Flavia), the new “mini” Lancia did retain the positioning of the final drive/engine, the same type of suspension and the braking equipment of the Flavia. With an obviously shorter wheelbase, the track dimensions were identical to the Flavia. By doing so it was possible to standardise many components including the constant velocity joints, the drive shafts to the wheels and also the back axle.
Lancia Fulvia Berlina interior.jpg
Lancia Fulvia-GT Berlina Rear view.jpg
            On the other hand the design of the engine was completely new, although it followed in the Lancia tradition: a narrow V4 engine with twin overhead camshaft. Furthermore, the crank case, cylinder head and sump were cast in aluminium with a cast iron block and the crankshaft supported on three main bearings. Therefore, it had nothing in common with the four-cylinder Appia engine, except for the capacity of approximately 1100 cc.
            The Fulvia Berlina had a very distinctive luxury styling even though the rather angular design of the rear was the subject of much debate. Exceptional care was taken with the interior trim and fittings, instrumentation - all perfectly in line with the Lancia style. For as long as the car was in production, the Fulvia was certainly the most elegant and refined modest capacity compact saloon being built in Europe. Furthermore, even though the ruggedness of the car called for a sacrifice in terms of weight (the power to weight ratio was 17.7 kg per bhp), the Fulvia embodied a high degree of active and passive safety. It was also a fast and brilliant car (the first series sparkled at 140 kph) and was very economical to run: 9 litres of fuel per 100 km.
            The Fulvia Berlina immediately enjoyed an outstanding commercial success, although when it was introduced, the symptoms of the economic crisis which for almost 2 years retarded  Italian expansion following a long period of prosperity, were already being felt.
            In the autumn of '64 at the Turin Motor Show, along with the first version, the Fulvia Berlina 2C was introduced. It had a more highly powered engine, two twin choke carburetors, new intake and exhaust manifolds, the compression ratio had been stepped up to 9 :1. All resulting in a substantial increase in power in all ranges with a maximum of 71 bhp at 6000 rpm, while the maximum torque was 9.4 kgm at 4300 rpm.
            The Fulvia Berlina 2C also offered other mechanical improvements: improved gear box and final drive ratios, so that the maximum speeds in the individual gears were increased. Furthermore, a new type of clutch control, of the flexible mechanical type instead of using the rigid linkage; the steering was higher geared; there was an improvement in the front suspension; a new brake pump was fitted which had separate feed cups (less strain on the pedal, shorter stopping times). Also improvements were made to the body, shape of the seats, heating and ventilating equipment and instrumentation. In this way, the Fulvia became even more complete and sparkling.  
Fulvia Coupe 1st series.jpg 1968_Lancia_Fulvia_Rallye_1_3S_Coupe_Interior_1.jpg Fulvia 1300 HF.jpg
            Less than a year later, in the spring of '65, the Fulvia Coupe was presented at the Geneva motorshow - a car that was to enjoy a future of exceptional brightness and success. An ultramodern aesthetic approach, slender and graceful lines, a bright cockpit (two plus two seating) were the features immediately visible. To improve the handling, the wheelbase was 150mm shortened compared to the Berlina whilst the suspension layout remained unchanged other than the addition of a rear anti-roll bar and 1 leaf fewer in the rear springs. The main changes were under the bonnet - the engine capacity was raised to 1216cc and 1st, 2nd and 4th gear ratios were modified.  
Fulvia zagato 1st series rear.jpg Fulvia zagato interior.jpg Fulvia zagato side.jpg
            In November '65, the Fulvia Sport version was introduced at the Turin motorshow. This model, designed by Italian coachbuilder Zagato, had the same mechanics as the standard Coupe but with a lighter aluminium and more profiled body and a different final drive ratio (resulting in higher gearing). While sharing the Coupe's excellent road holding, the better aerodynamics and lower weight made the Sport even livelier on the road and achieve better performance whilst saving on fuel.  
            At the start of '66, logical evolution of the Fulvia Coupe gave rise to the Fulvia HF version, designed mainly to compete in rallies and speed trials. The engine output was raised to 88 bhp at 6200 rpm. Unchanged in its styling with respect to the standard Coupe, the body of the HF was structurally modified by the adoption of a light alloy (peralluman) for the doors, boot lid and bonnet. Through using the lighter peralluman, plexiglass windows and through the absence of bumpers, the weight was cut to 825 kg without in any case affecting the ruggedness of the car. Externally the HF had a yellow and blue (colours of the city of Turin) stripe running across the bonnet, roof and boot of the car. Thus started the long and very happy sporting career of the Fulvia HF.  
            After the excellent successes of the 1216cc engine, in '67 this unit was also used  for the saloon, which became the Fulvia GT (80 bhp, 152 kph), while at the same time also the other sports versions of the Fulvia underwent an updating by virtue of which the engine capacities were increased. The Coupe was now offered in 2 versions - the Fulvia Coupe's engine was changed from 1216cc to 1231cc (whilst also the narrow angle V was changed slightly) but the power output remained unchanged. However, this new engine configuration allowed Lancia to increase the bore of the engine, resulting in a new engine of 1298cc. This engine gave birth to the better performing Fulvia Coupe Rallye 1.3 (85 bhp at 6000rpm, 168 kph), the Coupe HF became the Fulvia Rallye 1.3 HF (101 bhp at 6400 rpm, 168 kph) and the Sport was restyled to become the Fulvia Sport 1.3 (85 bhp, 176 kph), still with the Zagato body. In competitions, the red HF Coupes really started to shine. Both the Coupe 1.3 and the Sport 1.3 were tested by the American magazine "Road & Track" and their comments were:   
            "The best front wheel drive cars we've ever driven, with a very high level of adhesion to the road, outstandingly light steering and a supple ride. In summary, The are both absolutley delightful to drive".  
1969_lancia_fulvia_1600_hf_07_m.jpg Lancia Fulvia Coupe rear.jpg
Fulvia 1600 Fanalone.jpg
In '68, the Coupe and Sport versions once again were upgraded and became respectively the Fulvia Coupe 1.3S & Fulvia Sport 1.3S, with an engine developing 93 bhp and a speed of  respectively 177 kph and well over 180 kph.
            The last member of the Fulvia family was launched at the Turin Motor Show of '68, the definitive sporting development of the Fulvia, the “polyvalent” motor car per excellence - the Fulvia 1.6 HF. The 1.6 engine (actually 1584 cc, with bore and stroke of 92  x 75 mm) developed 115 bhp (in other words 72.6 bhp per litre) at 6000 rpm; subsequently, in special race- prepared models, it did in fact reach 158 bhp. Further refined in comparison with the earlier Coupe 1.3 HF, and especially equipped for rallies, it reached 200 kph. Of the more splendid victories of the 1.6 HF, we will confine ourselves to mentioning the triumph of Sandro Munari and Mario Mannucci  in the 1972 Montecarlo Rally.   
            But the career of the Fulvia and its versions was still not over. In '69, Lancia launched the second series Fulvias. The berlina received a newly styled body and more harmonious distribution of volume, a longer wheel base (2500 mm), better accessibility to the back seats (which were now also wider), a redesigned dash board, iodine head lights, an electrically operated fan automatically operated by thermo contacts, a floor mounted gear shift leaver, vacuum servo brakes. Furthermore: the 1298 cc engine was developing 85 bhp at 6000 rpm, maximum torque 11.3 kgm at 4500 rpm, and an alternator was incorporated in the electrical system. The top speed rose to 142 kph in top and 118 in third. This new Fulvia was to remain in production throughout 1972, with further improvements (including the 5-speed gear box) until it was replaced by the Beta saloon.