Car Crush No.4: Lancia Fulvia Coupé

Cars

It’s almost impossible to avoid cheesy, vaguely sexist anthropomorphisms when talking about this car. As I’ve said before. I nearly owned one in the eighties. I’ve regretted the missed opportunity ever since.

Piero Castagnero designed the incredibly fine featured, unconventional body, with its trademark raised rear haunches, angular side sill and gorgeous acreage of glass. In many ways the design was informed wholly by the engine’s V4-format. The car’s entire orientation reflects, therefore, the engineering that makes it work. Aesthetic form this follows mechanical function. Always a good sign.

In its race-bred HF spec it was particularly sexy and had some success on the track. According to enthusiasts a Fulvia 1.2 HF finished the 1966 Targa Florio 11th overall, posting an average speed less then 5 kph slower than an 1.8 liter MGB driven by rally legend Timo Mäkinen. In the 1970 Targa, meanwhile, a 1.6 HF driven by Claudio Maglioli and Sandro Munari apparently finished 9th overall ahead of all production cars including a phalanx of nine Porsche 911s. The only finishers ahead of the Fulvia were the sports-racing and sports-prototypes entered by Ferrari (the 512), Porsche (908), Alfa Romeo (Type 33) and Abarth (2000 S).

For us the basic coupe (in profile in white above) retains a purity of design that makes us swoon. And the thing is, you can pick lovely one these petite beauties up for the price of a brand new compact.

Take a look at the video below for some great footage of the 1965 Targa with a voiceover by the great Raymond Baxter. We think it really captures the atmosphere of classic racing.

http://vimeo.com/9624195MCoupe on Vimeo.

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