It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a while an automobile comes along that people love so much that even decades later, it still remains something of a legend. That is precisely the case with the 1968 Lancia Fulvia. Obviously, this is an automobile that hasn't been produced in more than 50 years, yet people still find themselves thinking about the automobile and having a strong attachment to it. As a matter of fact, it still remains one of the most popular automobiles in classic car shows and collectors tend to do their best to get their hands on one if at all possible.
It's almost sad to realize that some people have never even heard of Lancia, especially those that didn't have the opportunity to grow up witnessing the true greatness of this automobile manufacturer. At one time, they were the dominant force in World Rally racing. They haven't even participated since 1992, but they still have more trophies than any other automotive maker in history, 10 of them to be exact. The Lancia Fulvia came along in 1963, designed to be an effective competitor against Alfa Romeo in these types of races. You can definitely say that it was indeed effective, and it remained so for a number of years. It was relatively small, nimble to an extreme and capable of holding its own around corners while going far faster than most of its competitors could even dream of. By 1968, the company had definitely perfected the design.
As a matter of fact, a lot of individuals in the know consider the 1968 version of this particular automobile to be an almost perfect example of what the Lancia Fulvia could be. All of the little bugs that inevitably occur when a new automobile is designed had been worked out long ago and everything that was right about the car had only been perfected upon even more. The end result is something that people loved driving. It was an effective racer and it became just as popular on the streets. As previously mentioned, people have a tendency to collect the automobile these days, so it's not outside the realm of possibility to see them at car shows, parades, or being pampered while being hauled on a trailer from one event to the next.
A Little Car With Lots of Personality
No one will argue that this is a little car that has loads of personality. It’s also exceedingly rare. Despite its popularity, there just aren't that many of them that are still around. That's precisely why the individuals that do have them are typically collectors, individuals who don't plan on letting go of them without a fight (and the hefty price tag to match). Despite the fact that the car was made for the 1968 model year, it incorporated engineering feats that were virtually unseen in other automobiles at the time. Despite being a very small car with an equally small engine, the almost 2,000 pound car was capable of going from 0 to 60 and roughly 12 seconds. That may not sound like anything terribly impressive if you're used to seeing how fast a new sports car can reach 60 miles an hour in modern times, but back then it was something to be proud of. As a matter of fact, it's still rather impressive when you consider the fact that the engine used in the automobile was a tiny 1.3 liter 4-cylinder engine. As a matter of fact, the engine only produced approximately 87 horsepower, even when the car was brand new. That highlights just how lightweight the car itself was. Otherwise, an engine that produces less than 100 horsepower would never be able to propel it from 0 to 60 in this time frame.
An Affordable Classic
One of the things that people really love about this car is that even today, it remains surprisingly more affordable than other coupes, especially when you're talking about classic and rare automobiles. As a matter of fact, one of these cars that's in relatively good condition can often be had for just over $25,000, provided you're lucky enough to find one that's available for sale. It's worth noting that your chances of finding one are a little bit better if you either live in or frequently take trips to Europe, as these cars are still far more popular there than they are in the United States. After all, the car was manufactured in Italy, so this really shouldn't come as any surprise. It's also important to realize that not all of these cars go for an affordable price. As a matter of fact, the record for one of these automobiles was just over $350,000. Fortunately, that's not typically the case so if you want a rare coupe that's capable of commanding the roads at 80 miles per hour or so without emptying your bank account in order to do it, this might be a good option for you.
It should go without saying that almost any automobile manufactured during 1968 and purchased today is going to need at least some minor attention. The only exception would be if the owner keeps it in absolutely pristine condition from one end to the other, and even on cars that are part of a classic car collection, it's exceedingly rare that there isn't something that needs to be improved upon. If you are fortunate enough to find one that doesn't need any work whatsoever and has perfect interior trim and a paint job to match, be prepared to spend the extra cash in order to get your hands on it. Even if you find one that needs a little bit of work, there's little doubt that you will find it well worth the effort when it's all said and done. If you love the idea of having a unique car that will stand out in a crowd, this is definitely one to consider.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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