Lancia Fulvia 1.3 S Monte Carlo | Spotted

Statos, 037 and Delta take the plaudits for Italy's rally success, but it all began with the Fulvia

By Cam Tait / Tuesday, 5 December 2023 / Loading comments

It’s been a year since Lancia announced to the world its intentions to reinvent itself. Again. Like almost everything that falls under the Stallantis umbrella, the Italian marque is in the process of repositioning itself as an EV-only brand (not that it had much choice in the matter) for the European market. And while a new Delta is in the works, it’ll likely go big on premiumness and go small on the box arches. Please prove us wrong, Lancia…

There really isn’t any point in marking this anniversary (especially as it was last week), but I’ll take any excuse to write about an old Lancia, particularly one from the company’s rallying glory days. And we’re going all the way back to 1972, a year before the advent of the WRC, to the squad’s first rally championship victory on an international scale. The Fulvia Coupe had dominated every season of the Italian rally championship since 1965, but it faced far stiffer competition in the IMC with the likes of Porsche, Ford, Nissan and even Jeep all competing for top honours. It’d come out on top at its third attempt in ’72, beating 17 other manufacturers in the process.

Not satisfied with the taste of champagne and a big old trophy, Lancia elected to launch a special edition Fulvia to mark the occasion. Though Lancia competed with a Fulvia 1.6 HF ‘Fanalone’, these were, at the time, exclusively reserved for competition use and were off-limits to the average Joe. So instead, the celebratory cars would be based on the sportiest domestic Fulvia at the time, the 1.3 S, dressed up in the squad’s factory colours and called the Monte Carlo edition. 

Only, there’s a bit more to it than that. See, the Monte Carlo edition would be a bit like Toyota releasing a GR Yaris with a stripped-out interior and all the aero of its championship-winning rally monster. Along with the matte black-on-red colour scheme, Monte Carlo cars were also fitted with rally-mimicking flared arches and rectangular fog lamps for the crisp early morning Col routes. The interior matched the championship winner, too, only rally cars of the era were nowhere near as spartan as they are today. So not only could owners enjoy sports seats trimmed in (artificial) leather seats, so too did the rally drivers.

Although the Monte Carlo wasn’t built in limited numbers, with nearly 7,000 examples produced across two generations of Fulvia, it’s hard to imagine many of those existing today, especially in the condition of the car we have here. This 1975 example has spent most of its life in Italy, before arriving here in 2015. Since then, it’s been given a full respray, though most of the previous owner’s attention has gone towards maintaining the car’s original ‘sure-footed’ handling characteristics by fitting new shocks and suspension components. Now that’s how you do a resto.

This might be the cheapest way into Lancia rally special ownership, too. While a Delta Integrale Evo 2 can set you back six figures these days, this seemingly immaculate Fulvia, along with a chunky history binder and a letter of authenticity from the Fiat Archivio Storico, could be yours for £29,950. And what better antidote to Lancia’s impending silent era than a featherweight, rorty V4-engined rally homage that marked the start of two decades worth of world rallying success? Hard to think of anything more fitting, especially for this money…


Engine: 1,298 V4
Transmission: six-speed manual, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 90@6,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 84@6,000rpm
CO2: N/A
Year registered: 1975
Recorded mileage: 66,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £29,950

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