“Lancia Quest” – Battle lost, war still to be won

Another quick update…..

The Lancia Fulvia I was tracking on Ebay sold last night for ,250. I’d set myself a ceiling of $12,000 so someone else has ended up with what is hopefully a wonderful example that’s full of potential. It’ll take some work based on the photos I saw, but it’s a good start.

I’m not too fussed about missing out on this one, to be honest. I had my concerns about the seller’s integrity. Not only was there some dodgy two-level advertising in different places (with price variances of $10,000), the car was also inadequately described. It’ll be interesting to see if it becomes available again in the near future. I could well imagine a buyer looking the car over and thinking “this is not what I expected”.

FulviabiddingOn top of my concerns about the car, I also have concerns about the auction bidding. Take a look at the bidding progression, at right (click to enlarge). There were only two bidders. One had a purchase history and the other was a newly created identity. The new ID kept pushing the price up just a little then backed out as the auction drew to a close. Does that feel legit to you?

Given the less-than-stellar vehicle description, this bidding pattern is quite suspicious.


Regular visitors here will know that I change vehicles like I change my underwear and I’m constantly window shopping for something new.

I have to say I haven’t been this interested in a new vehicle in ages. This Fulvia has slipped through my fingers and despite my hesitations about the seller, I think it could have been a good car. I’m going to keep looking for one and given their relative affordability in other markets, I won’t be limiting my search to Australia.

This is a cracker of a little car with a wonderful backstory, design to die for and lusty small car performance. I’d be proud to own one. As long as it’s red 🙂

To be continued……


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  1. Too bad it didn’t work out but maybe a blessing in disguise. The whole deal seemed a bit fishy.
    Anyway, not that you’d bid on this one, but there’s a beaut of a 1966 Fulvia Coupe on the U.S. eBay, starting at 15k USD, steering on wrong side though. The pics are something to behold. I love that dash. From what I’ve learned the last few days, seems this is a FWD car that even RWD die-hards seem to like.

    1. I’ll have a look for the US auction. Am not keen on LHD, though. It could be registered here, but it would be restricted (52 drives a year). Would still be interesting to see, however.

  2. The Alitalia license plate leads me to believe that is the car from the petrolicious

  3. Bad luck. But good luck, I think. Those cracks in the paint were hiding something. Lightweight little Italians can be a bit flexible at times. It is a charismatic little car for sure. Very like a 124, or the 105. Having driven a decent 105 you never forget it. Rear drive, twin cam, double DCOEs. Pendulum pedals. Wooden dash. Bertone body. In red, with chromadora wheels it could well be a Ferrari. Same sort of money too.
    Just my two cents.

    1. A 105 would be option #1 if the pursuit of a Fulvia doesn’t yield dividends. I’ve always loved them and they’re on the list.

  4. Good luck Swade – I grew up in Luxembourg, and there were several of the 70s versions of the Fulvia in my neighborhood. The one that sticks out the best in my mind had a yellow interior and a light metallic brown exterior. Although this color combo was well out of fashion in the 80s, I remember thinking what a striking car this was as a young boy. So elegant in its proportions. Oddly enough, an old lady drove the above mentioned Fulvia (she was in her mid-60s). I remember her driving this beautiful beast in the neighborhood at no faster than 30 KMs/hr, and never reving it over 3000 RPMs (what a waste!). Seemed a little strange that an older lady would drive such a sporty coupe!

    I have to echo what the others have said. If you find a good example, it is bound to be less expensive than getting a sub par example up to speck. Accordingly, am sure the ebay Fulvia fiasco was a blessing in disguise. Good luck and keep up the excellent posts – I truly enjoy following your posts. Also would be great to learn more about the Aero you settled on!

    Ed K.

    1. I look forward to writing a fair bit about the Aero. I’ll pick it up in exactly a week from now and will have a nice, leisurely 3-day drive home to get familiar with it.

      And if the Fulvia hunt works out, then I’m sure there’ll be plenty to write about. Actually, I have a million posts in my head. It’s just a matter of clarifying them and getting the time to research them – I spend a lot of time thinking about brands/cars that I don’t know too much about. The theme – authenticity and character. Lots to say 🙂

  5. Since you are still in the hunt for a Fulvia, it sounds like you did determine that you will fit in one even with a helmet.

  6. There will be others. A thought: Fiat 124? Fiat isn’t an exciting marque, at least to me, but the 124 was a sporting car. I always assumed that it was related to the Alfa Romeo Spider / Spider Veloce, but perhaps not.

    1. Heck, great machine the 124. Especially the BC. A beautiful thing. BUT….rust….. And ‘that smell’. A Fiat always has that smell to it.
      The Fulvia would certainly have more cachet and desirability and the engine tech is unique. Parts availability? The Fiat and Alfa (105) are pretty standard fare for 1973, with double carbies, rear drive etc. The Fulvia from the side view does look very 124-ish though. Very. I was always very drawn to the Fiat, and it was a great drive. Get the tail out and all hell would break loose.

      1. Parts are actually quite easy to get, thought the uncommon ones have to come mostly from overseas so they won’t necessarily be cheap. Thankfully, the model’s got a very good reliability rating amongst owners with a lot still being used as daily drivers.

        I’ve discovered an active community of owners in New Zealand, too. I’m sure they’d have some parts tips.

        1. My mother had 2 different 124 spiders many years ago. Great cars.

          I had a 128 coupe, then an 850 Spider, and finally an X1/9. Nice cars all…but back in the 1970s…they were EXTREME rust-buckets. I moved to SAABs in 1980 with my Turbo, my wife had gone there first with her 1978 99 Turbo.

          The 124 still is a good looking car, all these years later. Don’t think you would go wrong with one. And a VERY tunable engine it has as well. 🙂

  7. Swade, did you see the yellow car on the Shannons website? Passed in. 50K?? Wow. Maybe these things will be one of those rare appreciating assets you dream about….

    1. I saw a white one on the Shannons site that got passed in back in 2006. Missed the yellow one. Do you have a link?

      There’s definitely some investment potential there if you import the right model at the right price. They’re a lot more common in the UK and Europe. Some really fun driving potential, too, more importantly.

      1. Update – just looked it up…. and a silver HF, too, that used to be in their park and sell section for $60K. Don’t they look sensational?

        I’ve found a HF Lusso on the web for $35K. Slightly detuned version of the full HF with more comfort. Not sure of its value compared to the full HF, but the price online is a lot less than $60K.

        1. You really do have the bug. Give us a run down on the model code names, specs and years? Know very little about this little car…liking it more and more myself. The dash design is very nice. Well ahead of its time.

  8. Fixer-upper available via Gumtree in Torrens, ACT. Looks like you could get a decent deal but probably a lot of work in it. Looks nice in blue, though!

    1. Thanks Dan. I called the guy and as I’ll be in Canberra later this week, I’m going to have a look on Thursday! Very interesting story behind the car. Hope it’s a goer.

      1. Hey Swade, did you get anywhere with this particular car? The more I learn, the more I’m interested in getting hold of one myself. They really are beautiful, and quite affordable (for now!)

        1. Hi Dan. I had a look at the blue one in Canberra last week. I’m going to speak to the owner tomorrow but I doubt I’ll be making an offer as I can’t convince myself to offer anywhere near what he’s looking for. The car hasn’t been started for around 10 years and while he swears black and blue that the mileage is genuine and that the car will run (and I believe him), he doesn’t have any documentation to verify that mileage and he hasn’t drained/refreshed the fuel so that it can be started.

          Basically, I think the car will need a full mechanical and body restoration (the interior is fantastic) and that’s not going to be cheap. I can import one from England for less and I’m actually looking into that at the moment.

          The Canberra one could be great, but it’ll require a lot of work to get there. The seller’s a really nice, genuine guy, too. But I fear his opinion of his car is a little over-inflated. Someone will make a nice car out of it, but it won’t be me.

          1. Thanks for the info. I’m heading down to the snow via Canberra this week and I might have a look on the way back.

            It does appear that it’d be an almost complete strip-down-build-up job, so the price would really need to be right – as you’ve mentioned, there are examples going through Shannons auctions that would be ready to roll, and not for huge money.

            On the “from England” note, yes – I was looking at a white 1.3 on autotrader yesterday – would probably go for 4.5k GBP, and it looked in decent shape. Can you get any exemption on importing these (due to age)? i think you would be able to. I’m a pom and I’ve considered bringing cars over, but the fees are outrageous. 9-5 Aero Wagon, 2k GBP, total import cost $18k. Crazy!

            PS here’s something for you to enjoy: http://thewildmoo.se/

          2. I’m yet to do all the homework on importing, but I believe a Fulvia would be exempt from duty. You’d have to pay GST on arrival, though. I’m looking at one at the moment and I think it’ll be purchase price plus around $5K to get it here.