Most references politely say that Fanalone means “large lights,” but Italian friends have told me that it’s actually slang for “big breasts”

During the 1960s, the wonderfully nimble, front-wheel-drive Lancia Fulvia reigned consistently among the highest echelon of international rally contenders. Campaigned by the Lancia factory team in 1966, they achieved second place finishes in the Monte Carlo and Three Cities rallies, won the Team Prize in the Rallye dei Fiore, and even scored circuit-racing class wins at both the Targa Florio and the Nurburgring.
The 1298-cc, 101-hp coupes were upgraded to 1440 cc and some 120 hp in 1967, taking first and second places in the Spanish Rally and Tour de Corse, second at the Acropolis and sixth in Sweden. In 1968, Pat Moss and Liz Nystrom won the Coupe des Dames in the Monte Carlo Rally and were second at San Remo.
For 1969, 1.6-liter engines were developed, and Fulvias won both the San Remo and RAC rallies, taking second in the Monte Carlo classic, sixth in the Swedish Rally, and fourth and fifth in the Alpine.
Thus the Fulvia on offer here promises its new owner tremendously fulfilling fun behind the wheel. It was prepared in 1971 by Bosato to circuit-
race in the Italian Championship, being fitted with a fuel-injected engine, which can be identified by the hump on its hood. Two years ago it was prepared for rally competition by an Abarth tuner in Italy. Since having been acquired by the vendor, this lovely little Lancia has again been completely checked by an Abarth specialist in Turin.
It is equipped with twin 40-mm Weber carburetors, its engine claimed to deliver some 160 hp. Dunlop disc brakes are fitted at the front and rear, along with four Technomagnesio competition wheels. The 1969 Lancia Fulvia sports Mirafiori seats, an authentic competition fuel tank, and a rare 10,000-rpm rev counter. The car is finished in Aragosta Orange and is described by the vendor as being in perfect running order and essentially ready to race in numerous historic events.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1969 Lancia Fulvia HF Fanalone
Years Produced:1969-70
Number Produced:1,258
Original List Price:about $5,000
SCM Valuation:$35,000-$55,000
Tune Up Cost:$500
Distributor Caps:$50
Chassis Number Location:riveted plate on top of right side wheel well
Engine Number Location:front timing case cover
Club Info:American Lancia Club, 27744 Via Ventana, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
Alternatives:1965-67 Alfa Romeo GTA, 1965-71 Porsche 911
Investment Grade:B

This 1969 Lancia Fulvia sold for $72,800 at Bonhams’ Monaco sale, held May 16, 2005.
The Lancia Fulvia coupe shares a story similar to that of the Alfa Romeo GTV. Both were introduced in the mid-1960s and evolved over the better part of a decade, and both Alfa and Lancia campaigned high-performance variants in international racing competition. These efforts fell into the FIA Group 3 and 4 racing classes, which required a minimum number of cars be built for sale to the public with the same goodies that the racing cars got.
Their approaches to the homologation specials were similar, using aluminum doors, hood and trunk, and Plexiglas windows, plus improved suspension and super-tuned motors. Bumpers, radio, heater, and sound deadening materials were removed to further reduce weight. Alfa Romeo named its special model the Grand Touring Alleggerita, or GTA (see “Race Car Profile,” September 2005).
The Lancia was called the Fulvia HF, named after an Italian racing club whose initials stood for “High Fidelity” due to its members’ faithfulness to the marque. While the Alfa was primarily campaigned on race tracks, the HF followed the Lancia tradition of rallying.
The first Fulvia had appeared in 1963 as a four-door sedan. It used a compact, narrow-angle DOHC V4 leaned on its side at 45 degrees to lower the hood line. Engine displacement was 1091 cc, rated at 58 hp. The front-driver had a transverse leaf-spring front suspension, a rear axle tube on half-elliptic leaf springs, and Dunlop disc brakes at the corners. It was an innovative car, but hardly exciting to drive.
The following year, an elegant, compact coupe was introduced,
designed by Lancia in-house, under the direction of Pietro Castagnero. The coupe had handsome lines similar to the “pagoda” Mercedes SL, and rode on a shorter chassis than the sedan. The design was so popular that it remained virtually unchanged for the decade-long production run. A 1216-cc version of the V4 supplied 80 hp, which at least gave the new coupe some sporting potential.
But it was the HF of 1966 that made the Fulvia a credible sports car. Weight-saving measures had trimmed the curb weight to just 1,819 pounds, and the 1.2-liter motor was now tuned to 88 hp, making for quite a lively performance. Only 435 of these first-generation HFs were made, and they are rare today.
The factory rally cars were further lightened to 1,719 pounds, with their power increased to 101 hp. A 1.2-liter HF won its first outing, but even so it was realized that more power was necessary. A 1.3 HF was introduced in 1967, with 1298-cc displacement and 101 hp in street tune, though factory-prepared versions managed 122 hp. A total of 882 of these were built.
In late 1968 Lancia upped the ante again, with the 1.6 HF. In standard tune its 1584-cc engine put out a leisurely 115 hp, but customers could order the “variante 1016” option that bumped power up to 132 hp at 6,500 rpm. Over the next few years, the motors were developed to put out as much as 170 hp, and they brought Lancia numerous victories,
including the European Rally Championship in 1973 and the World Rally Championship in 1972 and 1974.
The first series of the 1.6 HF is the most popular due to its minimal creature comforts in the interest of performance. These are rare in the U.S., since they were never formally imported; I know of only two or three examples Stateside. The earliest versions have lovely and incredibly light Campagnolo 13-inch alloy wheels, and of course these Fulvias all had the large inboard driving lights referred to as “Fanalone.” Most references politely say that this just means “large lights,” but Italian friends have told me that it’s actually slang for “big breasts.”
After 1,258 first-series cars were made, a detuned second series of 1.6 HFs were introduced in late 1970, with bumpers and normal-size lights, cars that are less sought after today.
The 1969 Lancia Fulvia pictured here is a first series 1.6 HF, claimed to deliver 160 hp using 40-mm Weber carburetors on pump gas, which is perhaps a bit surprising since the factory required 48-mm Webers to reach 158 hp. That the HF Fanalone began its life fitted with a one-off fuel-injection system is certainly different and the bulge in the hood is cool, though undoubtedly the Webers will make the car much easier to keep in tune today.
The big question here, of course, is what’s it worth. Like any old race car, there are a number of factors to consider. I’d like to see some documented in-period racing history. Its current lack of FIA papers means it has probably not been vintage raced recently. Even so, as a 1969 model it is eligible for the Tour Auto and many other historic events, where it could offer a lot of fun for only modest operating expense thanks to its robust nature.
All things considered, you could probably park a similar Fulvia HF in your driveway for $50,000 or less, so the seller should be pleased. But given the six-figure prices that some Alfa GTAs are commanding, the buyer can hardly be drowning in remorse.
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)

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