1969 Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF Competizione
Lot Location: Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
- One-off prototype with Ghia coachwork designed by Tom Tjaarda
- Shown at both the Geneva and Turin Motor Shows in 1969
- Believed to have been modified for intended use at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Fully restored in 2014
Please note that this lot will need to be collected in Chobham, U.K.
Tom Tjaarda described the Lancia HF Competizione as one of the best cars he created when he was reunited with it for the first time in almost 50 years in Thoroughbred and Classic Cars magazine in 2017. The project itself was the brainchild of Ghia’s Alejandro De Tomaso, who in the late 1960s thought he could lure Ford into purchasing Lancia outright if he could demonstrate a future for the company to rival that of Ferrari. His expectation was that if he could engineer the sale of Lancia to Ford, his close friend Lee Lacocca and CEO of the Ford Motor Company would then install him as CEO of Lancia, thereby fulfilling his ultimate aspiration; to run his own car company. Sadly for De Tomaso, the deal never came to fruition as Fiat caught wind of the ruse and purchased Lancia outright for themselves. However, the car that would act as the honey trap did become a reality and it was unveiled at the 1969 Geneva and Turin Motorshows to widespread interest; the HF Competizione.
Built on a contemporary Fulvia chassis, it was touted as a car with a dual personality; perfectly suitable as a GT yet ready to attack a circuit at a moment’s notice. It was therefore lightweight and featured cutting edge aerodynamics for its time with folding headlamps and a retractable adjustable rear wing, which was said to ‘increase grip proportionally to speed’. A racing inspired clamshell bonnet, quick release fuel filler cap, plexiglass windows and internal roll bar also demonstrated its suitability for track work. De Tomaso even modified the chassis to allow the 1,600 cc V-4 engine to sit 30 mm lower, the solid rear axle was replaced by two independent oscillating wishbones and a large aluminium tank was added to the rear compartment and commissioned a bespoke lightweight windscreen from Belgian firm Glaverbel, which was 3 mm thinner than standard, to save weight wherever possible. It is believed that the car was subsequently modified and tested for Le Mans in 1970 before the programme was abandoned.
Since then the car has been owned by the nephew of stylist Afredo Vignale, who kept it for 20 years. Later, it ws acquired by its current owner, in whose possession it has been comprehensively restored. It has also been shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and has been the subject of multiple enthusiast magazine articles. It presents in good condition, ready to be enjoyed or equally enhanced further with sympathetic replacement of age sensitive items; suspension bushings perhaps being the most cost-effective starting point.
A unique piece of history that incorporates Ghia, Lancia and De Tomaso with an intriguing back story, accompanied by its Certificate of Authenticity from Lancia Classiche.