I can picture myself puttering along the shores of Lake Como wearing a stylish hat, a straw picnic basket in the back seat filled with delicious Italian things. A spectacular bottle of Barolo held at the right temperature is awaiting the perfect moment as I round the next bend revealing yet another wondrous vista. The car, a Lancia Fulvia.
To be more specific, it’s a Lancia Fulvia Berlina. It may sound to the uninitiated like just another long Italian name. But the word “Berlina” when translated means, disappointingly, “car in the shape of a box on top of a box.” No I’m kidding! It means “sedan”, which when translated means, “a 4-door car in the shape of a box on top of a box.”
Get ready to putter from 0-60mph in…wait what’s today? Thursday? Well, by Saturday for sure. Actually the number is very close to 19.5 seconds. But getting to 60 is not what this car is about, if you haven’t guessed by the photos. It’s the experience of getting there that counts with this little bugger. But maybe one shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or a car by it’s 71 HP narrow-angle V-4 engine, or heck even it’s front wheel drive.
As it turns out, the Fulvia in various incarnations, mainly coupes, were famous for being rally cars. In fact the Fulvia won the Italian Rally Championship every year from 1965-1973. The 1969 coupe was a hot little number, and attractive too, winning the international Rally Championship in 1972. There’s some street cred there.
The sedan version (Berlina) is ugly-cute. I love it. You just wanna pinch it’s cheeks like my Italian grandmother and say “mangia, mangia – you need to eat so you grow up – be a big car someday.” But grandma was pretty short and we’ll just say…robust. So you may not want the Fulvia to eat too much more pasta and put on extra weight. All those carbs will slow one down, and honestly 20 seconds to 60 MPH is about as leisurely as this Italian can afford.
But if leisure is your objective, which it should be if you’ve got the stylish hat, the picnic basket full of goodies, the bottle of fine vino, and a slowly passing view of Lake Como, then in my humble opinion, this could be your Roman chariot. A Roman chariot with a clean title and manual transmission of course.
Click HERE to contact the seller of this grey over red and black interior on craigslist. Perhaps it will be your ticket to la dolce vita. Pass the olives. Ciao!