Drive Italia: Lancia Fulvia coupé Tipo 818

Over-engineered, expensive and achingly pretty – Lancia always did things their way…

Photo by Amanda Robinson

Lancia car, ItalyThe Lancia Fulvia Coupé Tipo 818 was a handsome, compact, two-door coupé introduced in 1965 and designed in-house by Lancia itself. Produced up until 1976, this small, beautifully engineered coupé was named after Via Fulvia, the Roman road leading from Tortona to Turin.

In its heyday, Lancia was an innovator, building cars like no other manufacturer at the time. There were three variants of the Fulvia: the Berlina 4-door saloon, the 2-door Coupé (seen here) and the Zagato Sport. Unlike the Alfa Romeo Giulia and the Fiat 1300, the Fulvia was front-wheel drive with an advanced four-cylinder engine.

The Fulvia was particularly well suited for rallying. Before the Stratos, 037, Delta S4 and Delta Integrale, Lancia had considerable motorsport success with the Fulvia, winning the Italian Rally Championship every year but one from 1965 to 1973, and winning the WRC’s predecessor, the International Championship For Manufacturers, in 1972.

The Tipo 818 was the last Fulvia model to be produced, replaced as recently as 1977 by a 1.3-litre version of the Lancia Beta Coupé. When new, it would have cost you more for a Fulvia than for the Jaguar E-Type, and today this innovative little coupé is highly regarded by Lancia aficionados and classic car buffs alike.

A true driver’s car, the best examples are becoming thin on the ground these days with demand very much at a premium.