The ex-Innes Ireland
Lancia Fulvia HF
Chassis no. 818.540.001002
Here we are delighted to be able to offer you not just an ex-works team example of one of the most delightfully nimble, agile, good handling and just simply FAST front-wheel drive Lancia Hi-Fi Coupes we have ever had the opportunity to sell by auction, but also one of the most historically significant of these magically fulfilling Italian classics.
This particular Lancia Fulvia HF is only the second of the works team cars to have been completed, and it is also the earliest surviving example of an HF 1600 produced for Homologation by the FIA (having been accepted into the contemporary Group 3, and later Group 4 categories of International circuit competition.
You will note that this individual Fulvia Hi-Fi features a raised hood. Many of the works team racing cars had their hoods raised approximately 1cm proud of the fender lines to clear large-bore carburetors, when fitted. This distinctive characteristic is clearly visible in period movie footage and photographs as published in the contemporary competition press and notably as reproduced in the book Lancia Fulvia HF by specialist Italian author/researcher Piero Casucci (see pages 28, 32, 34, 43, for example).
The works team, HF Squadra Corse Lancia - as described in Lancia Racing by Nigel Trow (page 119) - entered this car in the 18th Annual Sebring 12-Hours classic, run on March 22, 1969. Both this car and a works Fulvia Zagato were entered with the necessary paperwork being handled by Algar Enterprises, as Lancias official US representative.
This particular car offered here was driven by the great Scots racing driver Innes Ireland past winner of the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen and later renowned Formula 1 correspondent for Road & Track magazine here in the US. His co-driver for the 12-Hours was Mike Tillson. Unfortunately, during qualifying in Florida, senior team-mate Umberto Maglioli broke the no. 3 connecting rod in his Fulvia Zagato, which forced the team to cannibalize Irelands HF coupe (this car) for its 1.6-litre engine complete, a 1.3-litre power unit being substituted for the classic Sebring race. In spite of this handicap Ireland and Tillson managed to finish in 27th place overall, Innes driving for no fewer than 9½ hours and then writing a typically amusing article entitled 12 Hours Hard Labour which was published in the famed British weekly magazine Autocar, recounting the full story of his race.
This car was subsequently entered for the following Sebring 12-Hours in 1970 by Robert Clark co-driving with Wayne Marsula. Although the original factory variant 1016 racing engine had been transferred into Magliolis Zagato at Sebring, the essential rare parts are still included with this car as offered here today (including the stamped flywheel cover, block, Solex carburettors, etc) these components having been drawn from the original 7th variant 1016 HF motor made by Lancia. This is absolutely correct for the 1969 Sebring period. Other original features preserved within this most attractive circuit car include original FIA Group 3 seats, roll cage and rare Campagnolo wheels.
The car is currently fitted with a 1600 HF motor breathing through 45mm twin-choke Weber carburettors (as used in later factory racing cars) and new old stock Mondial 10.5:1 compression-ratio pistons. This power unit was rebuilt as recently as 300 miles ago with all parts crack-tested and ARP connecting rod bolts being used. Rings should fully seat in some 1,000 miles. Estimated power output is no less than 140 bhp, use of racing gas or octane booster (i.e. 108 Octane) being recommended.
Onboard safety features include a full Halon fire suppression system and new fuel cell bladder as required for most Vintage racing events. This Lancia Fulvia HF is offered here complete with current FIA papers and temporary FIVA card, while its log book confirms active use of this car in Vintage racing events from 1984 through 1999, including such prestigious venues as Laguna Seca, and the Tour Auto.
During the late 1960s the wonderfully nimble line of front-wheel drive Lancia Fulvia Hi-Fi Coupes also reigned consistently amongst the highest echelon of International rally contenders, driven most prominently by a galaxy of world-class stars including Ove Andersson, Leo Cella, Pat Moss-Carlsson (formidably talented rally driving sister of Mr Motor Racing himself - Sir Stirling Moss), Harry Kallstrom, Tony Fall, Sandro Munari and Simo Lampinen.
- Lot 1034: Please note the Lancia Fluvia HF is accompanied with rare number stamped fly wheel cover - available in the office - from ninth "Variante 1016" Lancia factory racing engine and other essential items including a protype cylinder block and the correct 45mm DDHF Solex carburetors and manifold. Documentation is available substantiating Sebring race history with Innes Ireland. See a member of the Bonhams & Butterfields department for further details and a handout.