In the late 1960s, Lancia Racing Department director, Cesare Fiorio, commissioned custom models of the Fulvia from Zagato. These would be based on the already successful 1300 version of the Lancia Fulvia Sport and feature lighter bodywork. As a result, one of the most notable competition cars in its class was born – the Fulvia Sport 1.3 Competizione.
The Fulvia Sport Zagato’s racing version boasted an impressive 1,300cc 4V engine and aluminium alloy bodywork riveted onto a steel bodyshell. Its front-wheel drive setup made for a light, powerful, and spirited driving experience. During its glory days of hillclimbs, rallies, and endurance races, this model exuded excitement and captivating Italian charm. The renowned Milanese body shop founded in 1919 by Ugo Zagato added their signature touch to the design. Crafted with artisan precision, the bodywork features various sized holes to reduce weight and even the windows are made of four mm plexiglass instead of glass for added lightness – with the exception of the windscreen.
Produced in extremely limited numbers, this race version was initially created for private teams and drivers. Out of the 25 units believed to have been made, three were allocated to Squadra Corse HF and another three to Jolly Club Milano. The Fulvia Sport Competizione boasts an impressive track record, excelling particularly in the Targa Florio where it secured class victories in 1968, 1969 and 1971. Today, it is estimated that only 19 of these cars remain in circulation. One of them, with chassis number #1905, was previously owned by the esteemed driver Angelo Rizzo and will soon be up for auction on Car & Classic – Europe’s largest online marketplace for classic and unique vehicles.
Coming up for auction on Wednesday 10 January is the Fulvia, which boasts impeccable upkeep and flawless functionality. With an estimated value of 140-170 thousand Euros, this particular model preceded the renowned Fulvia Sport Competizione from the same production batch. This impressive car, sporting a 1600cc engine and chassis number #1911, dominated at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1969, securing victories in its class twice over.
In 1968, Angelo Rizzo was given the car by Cesare Fiorio, having already been crowned champion in the Italian Touring Car category’s 1300cc class with a Fulvia HF. Known as Radec in his countless national and international races, Rizzo was a member of Scuderia Tridente and had Facetti prepare his Competizione in Cormano (Milan). He first competed with this car at the Targa Florio in both 1968 and 1969 before achieving an impressive sixth place overall at the Catania-Etna hillclimb that same year.
After a series of strong performances throughout the season, the car was eventually sold to driver Emanuele Parrinello for the 1969 competition. Minor adjustments were made during this time, such as removing certain parts from the front grille and replacing the plexiglass covers on the headlights. However, this also marked the end of the car’s competitive days as its owner chose not to comply with updated Group 3 regulations. Subsequently, it received a sleek new coat of Lancia Blue paint until a restoration in the early 1990s returned it to its original look.
The car currently sports the iconic San Siro Red hue, as originally chosen by Zagato. Its specifications include four adjustable shock absorbers, a brand new set of Pirelli CN36 tires, five 13” Campagnolo rims in their original form, and an additional five Cromodora 14×6 rims paired with fresh Vredestein 185/14 all-season tires. The Officina Ratto-prepared 10/37 gearbox is suitable for both road use and hillclimb racing, while the car’s short competition gearbox is also included and works perfectly. Other features of the Competizione model are two 35 Dell’Orto carburettors with trumpets, an oil radiator, a battery switch, a Brantz rpm detector and front leaf springs on roller bearings in line with its original design.
The interior boasts its original trim and seats, featuring the iconic light blue imitation leather that Zagato chose for the Competizione. Along with a Ferrero Sandro Munari steering wheel, customers have the option to purchase a separate Momo steering wheel, famously used by Radec in competitions. The exhaust system is an updated Inox Aros with Gr4 manifold, and the car comes equipped with two side exhausts commonly seen in racing.
The number four, displayed in white on a black circle on the sides, was assigned to this Fulvia during its participation in the 1968 Targa Florio. It was the second car to start. Its involvement in the race is extensively documented in the “Zagato Fulvia Sport Competizione” bible published by Nada Editore and written by Carlo Stella and Bruno Vettore. Vettore was also one of the owners of this particular example during the late 1990s. The current owner is a direct descendant of Vincenzo, founder of Lancia, and son of Francesco De Virgilio – the engineer behind Lancia’s first-ever V6 engine found in the Aurelia model. Known for being meticulous and attentive to car maintenance, the enthusiastic owner proudly keeps their Fulvia Sport Competizione stored in an air-conditioned garage.
The fascinating history of this racing car, with its preserved competitive spirit, is well supported by historical race photos, entry lists and competition results, along with various period chronicles. It has also garnered attention in the press, being featured in magazines such as Auto d’Epoca (May 1998) and Automobilismo d’Epoca (May 2023). Additionally, notable recent races it participated in include the 2019 Coppa dei Fiori and the 2020 Floriopoli Cup. In 2022, it was showcased at the renowned Vernasca Silver Flag dynamic elegance competition and the following year at the Historical Grand Prix of Rome in the heart of the city.
The 1968 Lancia Fulvia Sport Competizione Zagato will be up for auction on Car & Classic from 10 to 17 January, with estimated bids of 140-170 thousand Euros.
Written by: Steve
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