1 minute of audiovisual perfection: Gregs '71 Lancia Fulvia HF 1600
Automotive photographer Greg Keysar's love for cars is undeniable. I'd also describe it as unconventional. The cars in his garage - and in his head - aren't usual suspects. On the contrary: any man spending huge amounts of time and money on a Lotus Cortina twincam is worthy of a special place in gasoline culture.
All the great things vintage cars have to offer
But he really stopped me in my tracks when he introduced me to his 1971 bright red Lancia Fulvia HF 1600 Lusso. For me, this nimble sports car embodies all the great things vintage cars have to offer: style, performance, affordability and last but not least: a soundtrack that makes you want to grab your coat and driving gloves and head for the horizon.
Seeing Greg get in that car for what must have been the most satisfying drive of his life on wheels, you'd almost forget the car wasn't even running at all when he retrieved it from its automotive tombe. Allow Greg to elaborate on how it all went down:
"The car was a garage find out of Staten Island, NY. From my knowledge the car was last road registered in 1980 in NY then sat in a garage from there on. The car was delivered new to Messina Sicily, and then bought and imported into the USA in 1973. At some point early in its life it was modified with steel fender flares, exhaust, Hassia rally lights, and 13×8 BWA wheels on all fours.
Roaring back to life
Once I took ownership of the car a few years ago, we started down the path of making it roadworthy again. With the help of Richard Garre at Radcliffe Motorcar Company in Baltimore, MD, we discovered a few clues in the trunk of the car that led us to believe the timing chain needed changing.
After several attempts to find the right chain in the states, we finally received what we needed and the 1.6 V4 roared to life. In the end, we had to replace the fuel tank, flush all the fuel lines, all the hard brake lines, replace all the rubber brake line, rebuild bearings, ball joints, tie rods, shocks, brake calipers, source replacement Solex DDHF C42 carbs and it’s matching air box, and rebuild the steering idler box.
Photo: Greg Keysar
Since then, the 14k original kilometer car has been ripping the back roads of Southern Maryland and living next to my 1966 Lotus Cortina and 1983 Porsche 911 in its stable. I’ve put 1k miles on the car since finish it in September of 2018, and it’s been incredibly reliable. Starts right away, hot or cold, and the music it makes is mesmerizing."