Lancia’s Fulvia Coupé won the “Queen of rallies”, storming to victory at the Monte Carlo rally…
The Fulvia HF’s victory in the 1972 Monte Carlo Rally prompted Lancia to create a special version to mark the prestigious achievement. The result was the Fulvia Coupé Montecarlo, which was notable for its lack of bumpers and its matte black bonnet and boot lid, resembling the victorious No. 14 HF of Sandro Munari and Mario Mannucci.
The Fulvia Coupé, designed by the expert hand of Piero Castagnero in 1965, was produced in several winning HF race versions before its popularity peaked in January 1972, when Sandro Munari and his longstanding co-pilot Mario Mannucci won the Monte Carlo Rally during a legendary night on the Col de Turini mountain pass.
That success changed the history of Lancia, a well-known luxury car manufacturer, by reinforcing the brand’s sporting pedigree. Just over a month after the exploit in Monaco, Lancia attended the Geneva Motor Show and unveiled the new Fulvia Coupé Montecarlo in tribute to that victory, with livery inspired by the illustrious HF 1.6 “Fanalone”.
The special series was based on the Fulvia Coupé 1.3 second series produced since 1970, because by then the winning 1.6 first-series model was only built in limited quantities exclusively for the HF racing team. The Montecarlo’s bodyshell was made entirely of steel with slightly flared wheel arches and was inherited from the HF 1600 second series, as were the licence plate lights attached to the boot lid rather than to the bumper, the fixed window deflectors and some interior details, including bucket sports seats in artificial black leather with rubber headrests. By contrast, the three-spoke leather steering wheel was a new addition.
Due to its resounding commercial success, the commemorative special edition remained on sale in an updated form when Lancia released the final restyling of the winning Fulvia Coupé: the Fulvia 3.
It was mechanically the same as the Fulvia Coupé Series II and shared the same chassis number (818.630), with a 1.3 litre narrow-angle V engine developing 90 hp at 6200 rpm (818.303) and a five-speed gearbox giving a top speed of 170 km/h. In total, 4440 units of the 2nd series Fulvia Coupé Montecarlo were built, followed by 2529 units of the Fulvia 3 Montecarlo, the final restyling of the champion Coupé.
In both versions, the boot lid, bonnet and the top of the front wings had an anti-glare matte black finish. The under door fascia panel that ran as far as the nose was also black, while the rest of the car was in racing red. A small number of cars were painted in the race colours of France (blue), the Netherlands (yellow) and the United Kingdom (green), although the majority were red just like Munari’s HF. The boot lid and the left side of the bonnet were decorated with two red Monte Carlo Rally plate-style stickers.
*Special thanks to FCA Heritage