Lancia may be doomed for eternity after parent Fiat decided the brand will sell only one model and only in Italy as of 2015, but the Turin-based manufacturer will live forever in the hearts of car enthusiasts the world over. It’s cars such as the Delta, Fulvia, Montecarlo, Aurelia, Flaminia, and the Stratos that helped Lancia make a name for itself, one that will survive no matter what Marchionne decided to do with it.
Alfa Romeo may be the brand to own if you want to be a true petrol head, as Jeremy Clarkson once said, but Lancias were capable of delivering the same amount of thrill together with a better build quality. The Fulvia is a great example of Lancia craftsmanship, a vehicle described as "an engineering tour the force" that eventually went on to win the first Rally Championship for the Italians.
Built between 1963 and 1976, the Fulvia was offered in several configurations and with a host of V-4 engines. The Fulvia Coupe is the most famous of them, but no iteration was as intriguing as the Zagato-bodied Sport model. No wonder this Italian coupe was recently featured in Jay Leno’s Garage and driven by America’s most fervent car collector. Unlike its Coupe sibling, the Zagato had a rather awkward design. While Pininfarina and Bertone were known to have created the most beautiful cars of the era, Zagato crafted a host of unusual looking bodies in the 1960s, one of which is the Fulvia Sport 1.3.
It had a protruding front end, a pointy, Corvette Stingray-like rear and a hatch. It was a massive departure from the coupe model Piero Castagnero designed in 1965. Thankfully enough, some Zagato-bodied Fulvias have lived to this day and their owners are more than anxious to tell their story. Hit the play button above for a 26-minute history lesson and drive test of the Fulvia Sport 1.3 Zagato, a vehicle you’re not likely to encounter on your daily route anytime soon.
Click past the jump to see an image of the Fulvia Coupe prototype Lancia built back in 2006.