It is an indelible image of rallying and Italian motorsport: the little Fulvia HF flying sideways down a snow-covered mountain road, LANCIA-ITALIA emblazoned across its hood, while drivers Sandro Munari and Mario Mannucci fight their way to victory at the 1972 Monte Carlo Rally. The win was an important moment for the storied company, as it ultimately led them to the championship title that year (and many beyond), but was also a fitting tribute to the amazing automobile hiding behind layers of snow, mud, and HF Squadra Corse stickers. Early attempts at competition saw the 1.2 and 1.3-liter cars upgraded to Lancia’s famous “HF” (High Fidelity) spec as the company entered cars in the contemporary rally scene. But the competition became more and more stiff, and soon the Fulvia needed something extra under the hood to stay in contention. Enter the Lancia HF 1.6, jumping into the fray with a significantly-upgraded 1.6-liter engine. With up to 132 hp on tap the new engine created a purebred Italian rally monster, and naturally the rest of the car received exciting enhancements as well. For homologation purposes Lancia produced 1,278 road-going examples, featuring the same 1.6 under the hood (tuned to 115 hp) and many of the same cues as seen on the rally cars.
CONDITION AND HISTORY
Formerly part of a large collection overseas, this Fanalone is now in the US and presents in exceptionally original condition throughout. Thanks to an intact libretto (service booklet), it’s recorded as an Italian-market delivery, originally in the Palermo region, and stayed in the country until its recent importation. Many additional service stamps show careful ownership throughout the years, while the dry and straight body indicates it was never raced or damaged. Perhaps the most famous detail on these cars are the oversized Carello driving lights in place of the main beams. At the time, competition rules stipulated a limited number of lights up front, so Lancia had no choice but to upgrade the existing configuration. It turned out to be the signature design element of the car, earning it the nickname “Fanalone” (literally “big headlights” in Italian, along with all the double entendres one can imagine).
All of the HF trim on this example is accounted for and in great shape. The vinyl stripes and stickers, aforementioned Carellos up front, and Cromodora wheels look great and give this Fanalone a lot of presence, while the lively 1.6 and twin Solex 42mm carbs back it up with exciting performance. Inside, the elegant sports seats face a Ferrero steering wheel off a Works racer, set against the gorgeous wood Fulvia dash. On the parcel shelf, the car's ASI plaque is intact, indicating that it met the criteria for a certified classic while still in Italy.
Featuring solid brakes, the exciting and race-inspired "dog-leg" five-speed gearbox, and special HF suspension tweaks, the car loves to grip and go, hurtling around corners in much the same way as its rally brethren. Eligible for many events worldwide, and increasingly collectable thanks to their limited homologation production run, the Fanalone represents the best of the old Lancia as it entered a new era under Fiat.
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