Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato

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Fulvia Sport 1300S Competition


Few things add appeal to a classic better than the word 'Zagato'. Aston Martin DB4: € 500.000; Aston Martin DB4 Zagato: 10 million. Fiat 1100: € 6.000; Fiat 1100 Zagato: 80.000. Alfa Giulia GTV: € 40.000; Alfa Giulia GTZ: 500.000. You could almost say that the multiplying factor is 10.

The 'Z' in GTZ stands for Zagato, car body founded by Ugo Zagato in Milan in 1919 (it's the centenary!) and continued for three generations. Influenced by aviation from the beginning, his goal was to create sports machines that were both beauty and beast, lightness and solidity, passion and balance.

The Fulvia Sport What we bring to these pages is its greatest sales success: No more and no less than 7.100 units were made between 1965 and 1972. Although in its time it was an expensive and exclusive car, the truth is that enough production left the assembly line as so that a copy can now be purchased for a reasonable price. And, as we will see during this test, there is no reason to miss the opportunity.

Fulvia zagato


Sketched by the controversial Ercole Spada, The Fulvia Sport debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1965. Even sharing the chassis, V4 engine and front transmission with the conventional Fulvia (the brand's saloon and coupe), the development of the Zagato took time: Very few units were built before 1967. The first to come off the lines were the Sport 1200s, equipped with the 1.216cc engine. In 1966 they were replaced by the Sport 1300, with a corresponding displacement and 90 hp.

Both mechanics were complemented by a 4-speed gearbox. And now comes the interesting thing: The bodywork of the first 709 examples was entirely made of aluminum, which made them shed a scale weight of around 880 kilos and, therefore, be quite capable on twisty roads and circuits. Are machines made of light alloy are the most valued among the Fulvia Sport, followed by the 1600HF.

From chassis 001912, the fabric From the dress it became steel, although the aluminum in doors and hoods was preserved. In 1968 the 1.3 engine received an update that raised its power to 92 hp, passing the Sport 1300 to be called Sport 1300S. To this day, Fulvia Sport Zagato Assembled until 1969 (just before the takeover of Lancia by Fiat), they are known as S1.

Fulvia zagato

In addition to the enriching presence of a metal with a pedigree, these units are distinguished by opening the front hood to the right side and by having a small rear opening to access the spare wheel without having to open the boot. In addition, they have an additional feature pretty cool: The rear hood can be left ajar thanks to an electric button that raises it by means of a screw mechanism. Apart from the bundled, passenger compartment ventilation is dramatically improved.

The second series or S2 It came in 1969. The streamlining ended many of its eccentricities: Goodbye to the side-opening front hood, goodbye to dedicated access for the spare wheel and finally goodbye to aluminum. And also to the pretty hubcaps that adorned the active wheels. But hello to the new 5-speed gearbox with a longer final development and an alternator.

Fulvia Zagato se sat also now a little higher. Definitely. part of the appeal was traded for functionality. And as often happens in Lancia history, 600 S2s were mounted on S1 bodies, thus creating an intermediate series or 1 1/2. This spread combines the best of both worlds.

Fulvia zagato

Finally, the rarest and fastest variant it was the Sport 1600, made only between 1971 and 1972. With the mechanics of 1.584cc, modified suspension and wider 6 × 14 ″ magnesium wheels, all coming from the factory 1600HF, its behavior gained integers. 115 hp were available.

However, the fashions of the time adorned the ensemble with with multiple black plastics (even on the front grille), darker body stripes, and larger headlights, which made our bipolar beauty / beast more of a second than a first no doubt. And the changes inevitably happened at 1300S.

Fulvia zagato


As with the Alfa Bertone SS, the Fulvia Sport Zagato was conceived as a base for competition. As we will see, events ended up transforming her at the top of the range of the model and, above all, in a product destined to be sold to sophisticated urbanites.

Being as they were light and aerodynamic, the first units they are ideal for competing. For this reason, in 1968 a small series of 27 'Competizione' copies was made. Lightened to a greater extent, and with Plexiglas windows, the idea was to create a racing-client version for asphalt. However, it didn't take long for the factory to realize how much of a vein the normal coupe constituted in rallies, so it lost interest in officially empowering the Zagato in this regard.

The Competizione They were only entered in circuits and raids such as the Targa Florio by pilots and private teams such as the Jolly Club. This lack of official interest meant that options such as the 1.3HF engine (an even hotter version of the 1300) were not available.
Fulvia zagato

Nonetheless, the Fulvia Sport Competizione fulfilled its destiny in two places. On the one hand, the Sicilian Targa Florio, legendary drag race run on public roads. There he won his class in 1968. 1969 and 1971, finishing 9 of 12 podiums between the years reviewed. A little known story, but very relevant.

On the other hand, two cars were sent to the United States to compete in endurance races from Sebring and Daytona during the 1968-69 season. Known today as 'Sport Daytona', these two units were lightened to the extreme and modified with bundled wheel arches that covered the 7 × 14 ″ wheels.

One of them raced alone the 24 Hours of Daytona (DNF) of 1968. Both were equipped with the 1600 mechanics and entered in the same race the following year, winning in their class with Magioli, Andersson and Baguetti at the controls. Position 11 absolute. In the 24 Hours of Sebring, Magioli and Pinto finished fourth in their class and eighteenth overall.

Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato


This beauty is one of the 600 copies of the intermediate series that we have talked about. It combines some of the lightness and eccentricities of the S1 with the functionality and improved performance of the S2. First registered in Bergamo, the capital of the Dolomites in northern Italy in 1971, he has lived there for much of his life. Only four owners have gotten their hands on it, the last one barely a year ago.

The papers of the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI, the Italian FEVA) indicate that in 2001 everything was going well: It looked as standard, with its chrome bumpers and a healthy red color. Later, an insane and wonderful idea crossed the mind of its third owner: Why not pay tribute to the cars that triumphed and in the Targa Florio, Daytona and Sebring?

Fulvia zagato

Thus, the transformation works began to add the wings of Group 4 and dress it in electric orange; to modify the front suspension and fit it with some nice Campagnolo 6Jx14 ″ wheels. To power the 1300S engine up to 105 hp.

The wild orange color is typical of the Competizione, being the most similar to the one we tested today the unit that raced and won the 1969 Targa Florio in its class, on the 50th anniversary of the legendary competition. Without a doubt it will surprise you that the winner was a Spanish car, Registered by the Jolly Club España and piloted by Ruiz Gallardo and Tony Fall. Who'd say!

As you can see in the photos, the transformation of this tribute is quite faithful to the original. Lowered thanks to the factory 1600HF coupe suspension scheme and adjustable koni shocks, it sits right up there perfect, right where it should have always been. The slightly wider wheels and the flaps make the game perfectly. The Fulvia Sport Zagato Competizione is the graceful version of the conventional Sport. Without a doubt.


The genius of Spada created a small, light, sharp and aerodynamic arrow, which gives tremendous confidence when cornering. The Zagato has a ZF 5-speed gearbox but its ratios are really short, which helps to keep the little engine always at the right revolutions. Drive this driving feel it is above all to enjoy the dance, savor the moment.

It's not fast in absolute terms, but it can go very fast over rough terrain thanks to its light weight, low center of gravity and plenty of available torque. More than meticulously planning curves, you throw it away and you get out of them as quickly as possible.

The sound is a p ******* delight. The V4 fills the cabin with its gruffness, bellowing in our opinion in a distinctly different tone than an in-line cylinder engine. There is no radio, it would not make any sense, neither from the point of view of comfort nor from the passion for motorsport. The heating works only half ... Who cares? The touch is precise, the engine is progressive, the gears engage one after the other naturally and with a desire to party.

Fulvia zagato

Regarding the direction, it is direct and precise, perhaps somewhat erratic in a straight line. But when the curves begin, it is really successful. It is also a heavy direction, which it demands strength and determination from the driver. When you finish a port and get off to admire the view, it is as if you have just left the gym, in addition to the vibration that runs through your forearms.

Suspensions: Hard as a stone, there is no rocking. A real limpet in which, if you do not know that the tire pressure must go to 1.6 bars, comfort will suffer. Mixed independent diagram at the front, rigid axle at the rear with its corresponding leaf springs, Beware of speed bumps and holes in the road ... If there is a clear road, it is immune to G forces.

As for the brakes, I have seen them better, but they comply with the standards of the early 70s. Like the rest of the mechanisms in this car, they must be operated with affection but with determination. And everything will be fine; after a lot of mountains I can tell you that they only got tired once.

Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato

What do we miss? Well to avoid a common defect of the Lancia, the lack of power. 105 hp are few when you have to make a fast overtaking. The acceleration is certainly not impressive. Like many of the brand's pre-80s cars, it's all about keeping averages high, which is helped by its excellent chassis qualities. But when it comes to clearing an obstacle and regaining speed… you have to plan well.

The same could be said for top speed. On the highway it is not bad, you can go to 120 without problems. However, the medium regime is around 100-110 kilometers per hour, so it is not advisable to go much faster in a sustained way, or we will risk to scorch the mechanics.

Anyway, you know that you can't have everything. Of course, the second seems to me more like a comment to be made than a snag. The gearbox more than compensates on conventional and mountain roads.

Lastly, I have to say that it is not a discreet car. For a while I had a Fulvia Coupé 1600HF and it didn't attract nearly as much attention as this Fulvia Sport Zagato. The other drivers take photos of you driving in parallel and express their approval. The same happens with standing spectators. In any case, it does not seem to generate envy, something that in Spain is, unfortunately, important to take into account. So… Come on! 😉

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Written by javier romagosa

My name is Javier Romagosa. My father has always been passionate about historic vehicles and I have inherited his hobby, while growing up among classic cars and motorcycles. I have studied journalism and continue to do so as I want to become a university professor and change the world ... More information

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