Lancia Fulvia Review from North America

1972 Lancia Fulvia 1.3 S Coupe S2 1.3 V4

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.3 V4 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired104000 kilometres
Most recent distance105000 kilometres
Previous carRenault Alpine

Summary:

A fun little beast, sure to appreciate

Faults:

The car was advertised on Ebay as a roadworthy older restoration, and I bought it for (US$5,200). It was one of the only ones I have seen in 20 years for sale locally. I had looked at two cars for sale in Europe, but they needed major repairs.

My Fulvia 1.3S Coupe required new brake pads all around, a brake proportioning valve and a new master cylinder (US $1,200 total). I had engine, trans and shock bushings replaced as a precaution (US $400). To pass US Pennsylvania State Inspection, it required some electrical restoration; the grounds were poor and the euro style lights were very dim. The reverse lamp was also euro style, not allowed in PA. The new halogen sealed beams are fantastic, but the total electrical work was (US $1,700).

I installed some period 1970 seatbelts and discovered I need to lose some weight :-)

I have also discovered that the heater core is disconnected, and there is a small crack in the spare magnesium Chromadora wheel.

Right before I bought it, a new head gasket was installed, the valves lapped and dual Solex 2BBL carbs adjusted ($900.00).

The car when purchased was imported from Sicily to the USA in May 2003. It needed some minor body repair above the right rear wheel arch; it is missing the factory ID badge (located a replica HF badge on Ebay!!!). The car has no headrests or bumpers, but has the bumper hole covers. The paint was in good shape, generally, and the only rust visible is in the underpanel holes in trunk.

The KM speedometer moves, but is way out of calibration. All of the other indicators and gauges work fine.

General Comments:

My car is Lancia Red and is named Sylvia, after Sylvia Plath, who I thought of when I got the bills for repairs.

The Lancia Club predicted my experience perfectly, and recommended a S1 car, with the excellent 4-speed, but the rear drum brakes on a S1 are not as good as the 4W Discs on the S2.

The car is fantastic to drive, with little torque steer and good balance.

I would say though, that the steering is slow and a bit heavy to park, like 6 turns lock to lock.

The 5-speed is a little tricky on the 1-2 upshift - double clutch is best. The motor roars like a brute, and attracts major attention on the street. It has amazing room for such a small car.

Huib Geeruink (viva-lancia.com) and Mike Kristick (Lancia Spares, Wellsville, PA USA) have been a major help with tech support and spares respectively. I have located another Fulvia owner nearby my home and I look forward to touring this summer.

One small note; I had some personal difficulty right after I bought this car, otherwise I would have done more of the work myself. Admittedly, I am a huge Lancia fan, so take my word with a grain of Arborio.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2004

20th May 2004, 02:15

Good to see another Fulvia is saved from the eternal highways - for the time being: Dig into that rust! It's a series 2, its steel is not as good as from a series 1 - which is enough of a pain already. You talk about a series 1's rear drum brakes - well well. There aren't any. Right from 1965 onward, every Fulvia has had discs all-round. Good to see you salvaged your Solexes - mine were beyond that point and were replaced by Dell'Orto's. Oh well, you've probably read my S1 review already. :-) And indeed, Huib is a true asset. There's not much he can't solve or figure out.

Average review marks: 6.5 / 10, based on 1 review