Lancia Fulvia – First Photos

Things have been busy with my guitar building course taking up so much time, so it’s been hard to find time to do anything with my new Lancia Fulvia.

Here are the first photos of the car. I haven’t cleaned up a single thing yet so you’re seeing it warts and all. It was good to finally take a close look at everything. There’s a LOT of work to do but having looked the car over pretty closely, I feel even more confident that it can all be done. It’s just a matter of time and money. I have plenty of the first. Hopefully I have enough of the second.



The red paint is not original and will eventually be replaced. My current thinking is a dark-ish blue. The paint’s in poor condition and who-knows-how-much bog is underneath. The car was first described to me as having had more hits that Frank Sinatra and whilst it appears straight, I ear it’s true.

Here’s a telltale worrying sign – the crooked grin on the front. The left side seems to be slightly lower than the right.


You can also see some misalignment with this view down the side of the car with the door not quite matching the rest of the car:


There are a few spots of rust apparent, mostly in the sills and likely in the floor. Both were expected and new replacement metal can be ordered easily enough. From what I can see, the all-important subframe appears to be intact.

Here are some more external photos:

At first I thought the windscreen was intact but then noticed a crack when I was sitting inside the car. I’m sure I can get one eventually but the price will be interesting!

Much of the brightwork is OK. The window trims, for instance, are quite good and can be retained. The stainless steel trim around the boot is pretty dented, however, and hard to replace. The dents in this headlamp trim (below) might be hard to see, but are significant.

Engine Bay

This little Lancia Fulvia played host to some rats for some period of time and they seemed to like using the privacy of the engine bay for their toileting. Rat poo abounds! I restored a little of the Fulvia’s dignity by sweeping what I could out by hand after taking these photos but I’ll need to haul a vacuum cleaner (and a very long extension lead) up to the front yard soon to clean out the rest.

The boot (trunk)

We’ve removed the boot lid and the inside’s not terminal, but not exactly pretty either.

I peeled away some of the material covering the fuel tank and noticed a tiny little hole peering back at me. I’m not sure if it can be repaired (I’d like to keep as much of the original fittings as possible) so that might be another replacement item.


The Interior

There’s plenty to do on the inside, too. The seats need reupholstering, the dash needs some new timber as well as re-covering or replacement of the top pad, and who-knows what state the wiring’s in? The roof lining appeared to be intact at first glance but soon revealed a 1cm hole above the passenger seat. The wooden steering wheel has a number of small cracks in the timber but I’ve been thinking of replacing that with a Sandro Munari two-spoke wheel anyway. All the brightwork is intact, which is a bonus.

Dismantling the interior will be the first job I do in a couple of weekends from now.

The shagpile rear parcel shelf came out quickly and is now in the bin 🙂



When we first got the car home we set to work finding out why the boot lid was stuck up in the air. We managed to squeeze our arms inside and undo the hinge bolts to remove the lid and found that the hinges were stuck fast. We got one moving a little with some Penetrene but the other still won’t budge. Dismantling comes next.

I’ve also started applying some Penetrene to the cylinders to help un-stick the engine. This will be a long process, so I’m putting a little more in every few days to let it soak. The engine will have to come out anyway for dismantling but at least it feels like I’m doing something to contribute to the process in these early stages.

That’s your introductory look for now, a warts-and-all view of the Lancia Fulvia I’ve just bought. There’s not much I can do myself in terms of proper repair but dismantling, some preparation work and then reassembly should be within my meagre abilities.

Thanks for looking!

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  1. Take your time doing the dismantling, pack and label screws and minor parts in ziplock bags and make a log of parts that needs to be replaced/repaired. To increase the sense of actually doing something you can for instance clean up and polish the brightwork when you dismantle it.

    For the engine bay I recommend dismantling all the electrical/water sensitive stuff and then go to town with either a rented steam pressure washer or degreaser and plenty of as hot water as your tap will allow and a few brushes and a pile of rags.

    1. Already got a big box of ziplock bags, marker pen and notebook. Everything with be photographed, noted and catalogued. And yes, need to find a good cleaner for the brightwork. Lots of pitting but I think most of it can be restored with a good clean.

  2. Excellent shots. They really tell it like it is. I wouldn’t worry about the front end look at this point. Until you pull off the bumper and check out the alignment of the irons behind them, you can’t really evaluate it. The bumper itself can be refurbed to a high standard, and being stainless they will come up a treat, front and rear. Head light rings can be reshaped and rechromed. Even if the front end is twisted, it can be rejigged back to square without too much trouble.
    Taking it apart is always interesting, and absolutely be super organized to keep track of all the little bits and pieces. Don’t do what I do and just chuck it all in a margarine tub!Two years later, that screw you can’t find will drive you crazy when you want to reassemble the thing.
    It’s all good fun though, and one of the BEST things is to choose your own paint color, ‘cos you can! To me though, it is red, red or red. My personal favorite is Maranello red.

  3. You’ll be getting your hands dirty in this one! The ziplock bags are a great idea, easy to see thru and write on. Good to keep even unusable little parts just so you have a reference for replacement.
    I wonder if there’s a good source for sheet metal parts like some some of the trunk stampings. I got a new trunk floor for my MC850, stamped with the original factory dies.
    And make sure any welding is done by someone good. Distortion is an unavoidable bitch.

  4. I’m sure that as you tear down the car, the original paint colour will present itself. Given how good a shape this car is in despite being obviously mistreated, in my mind it deserves to be more original than less.

    Unless the original colour is yellow. Ugh…

  5. Ah, she’s still a beauty! The grille looks misaligned and I think that is contributing to the wonky appearance as much as anything else. Looks like she was a blue colour in the past – wonder if you can find the original colour code? There are guys with a lot of knowledge and chassis number records that might know over at

    You might want to use this as an encouraging workshop poster 🙂

  6. Restoring this beautiful wreck and building your own guitar from scratch. Looks like you’ve gone to Manshed Heaven.