You know the type. You bump up against her at the bar. Not exactly gorgeous, but after a bit of banter you’re interested, and you want to know more about this engaging creature. Meet the Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato.
Like people, the car world is populated by those quirky and off-beat, where personality trumps outright beauty. This nifty collaboration between Lancia and coach builder Zagato is just that.
Enthusiasts know Lancia mostly for their the famous Stratos rally car with its cult-like following. Few know that Lancia built a Formula 1 car later bought by Ferrari, and almost no-one knows that Lancia Stratos DNA can be had for a fraction of the price of a Stratos in the Lancia Fulvia Zagato.
All of Lancia’s rally experience went into making the Fulvia Sport S ultra quick and way ahead of its time for the early 70’s. Front wheel drive, a front engine V-4 puts out around 100 HP, all hooked up through a close ratio 5-speed transmission. The combination of light weight and great handing put many of its contemporaries to shame.
That Z on the side is also special. The same Zagato that famously designed many of the most beautiful cars in the world, was challenged to lightening a standard body and chassis, shaping it into continuing Lancia’s tradition of building sporty, road or track machines.
Yeah, the name script is a bit difficult to read so get used to people asking you what it is. Start by saying, “rare”, as Zagato only built 2000 of these. Few made it to the States and it’s anyone’s guess how many are still available.
With a noticeably different sound at start up, a bit more aria than an Alfa, the Zagato bodied Fulvia sounds richer, and the V-4 just gets better as you feed it revs. Very light steering translates to instant feedback and you quickly fall into the pattern of shift and grin.
A wonderful experience on the road, Lancia and Zagato gave birth to one of the first European hatchbacks.
Romance and personality make a comeback in this collectible Italian with racing pedigree in its blood.
Whether you’re just starting your collection or considering adding to it, stop by Continental AutoSports and take a peek at all their heritage automobiles.