Curbside Classic: 1972(?) Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF “Fanalino” Coupé – Rocket Lancia

To the best of my research, this fine little blue car gives every appearance of being a 1972 Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF.



Translated as well as possible from the eauh-seauh-veddy-eauvaheated prose of Sotheby’s, this 816-kg (1,800-lb) car came with a carburetted 1.6-litre V-4 engine and a close-ratio five-speed gyuhbox. The previous Fulvia had large 7-inch inboard and small 5¾-inch inboard headlamps and so came to be known as Fanalone (more or less “large lights”), while this kind of Fulvia has all four headlamps the same 5¾-inch size, and so it’s known as the Fanalino (“small lights”). That’s the claim, anyhow. Whether it’s real or just another bit of Sotheby’s auctioneersmanship, I have to like at least the idea of a car named for the configuration of its headlamps. They also say between 1966 and ’73 very few continental European rally championship winner circles lacked a Fulvia such as this, and now I’m done giving them oxygen.

I spotted this car on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive on my way almost home from driving errands a few days after my recent birthday, but by the time I reached the spot on foot, it had gone. Oh well, that’s all in the game. I carried on with my walking errands, and just a couple of blocks later I saw the car again, parked in a side street.

I know almost nothing about cars like this, so here are some more photos.

Looks like half a substantially nifty V4 visible through the grille…

…but no, that’s all of a substantially nifty V4 visible through the grille; Paul N informs me the cylinder bank angle was just 12°, so the four cylinders used a single/common cylinder head—like a VW VR5 or VR6. That’s why the head looks so wide end-on like this.

No bumpers—it was built without them, as it seems—but there’s a yellow tow loop to match the black one up front:

Pleasant lines and shapes here…

…and here:

Later cars are said to have got integral fender flares, but these…

…do a fine job accommodating these:

The aforementioned quad 5¾-inch headlamps appear to be original, or at least highly period-and-place correct H1 halogen ones from Italian maker Siem (as I say, I know almost nothing about this car).

Related reading:

CC Lancia Fulvia Coupe: Last Chance To Try Something Really New