The Lancia Fulvia HF ‘F&M’ barchetta of Sandro Munari and Rauno Aaltonen jumping its way to a class win at the Nurburgring 1000Km on 1 June 1969…
The story of this Lancia is an interesting one, well known to fans of the marque, three cars were factory built in period plus a couple by Sicilian Lancia tuners.
Cesare Fiorio and Claudio Maglioli, respectively team manager and works driver of Lancia’s Squadra Corse HF, saw that the team´s drivers were fried by the Daytona heat in 1969 and decided to create something more competitive and cooler for the drivers for the Targa Florio. Given there was no budget for a more sophisticated approach they chopped the roof off the HF coupé and shortened its chassis by 28 mm. The roof, windscreen and side windows were removed and interior completely stripped with the exception of the driver’s seat. The result, a car 200 pounds lighter with consequent benefits to acceleration, handling and braking.
Whilst lightened the structural rigidity of the chassis was retained by the addition of some tubular framework. The fuel tank was centralised by placing it where the rear seat had been.
The first factory car eventually became the test mule for the Lancia Stratos, the second exists although in what form is a little unclear, the location of the third is unknown.
The cars made their race debut at Targa in May where Claudio Maglioli /Raffaele Pinto retired due to overheating caused by an errant newspaper obstructing the radiator, but ninth place overall was a great result for rally-drivers Sandro Munari and Rauno Aaltonen in the other car. The race was won by the Mitter/Schutz Porsche 908/2.
At the 1000 km of Nurburgring on June 1, Munari /Aaltonen were 27th outright and won their class and Maglioli / Pinto finished 29th/2nd in class. Porsche again won the race with their 908/2, this time the car crewed by Jo Siffert and Brian Redman.
At the Grand Prix of Mugello in July Sandro Munari was 5th, a great result amongst 2 litre Abarth and Porsche sports-prototypes and a 5 litre Lola T70!
Two of the cars were then further modified (see post-script below) to accommodate a navigator and rudimentary weather protection to allow them to compete in Group 4 at the 1969 Tour de Corse/Rally Corsica where the Munari/Davenport car was 13th and Timo Makinen/Paul Easter 11th.
Lancia Fulvia’s were front-engined and FWD of course.
Engine, SOHC, 2 valve 13 degree, all aluminium 82.4X75mm bore/stroke, 1600cc V4. Circa 160bhp@8200rpm. Gearbox, 5 speed with limited slip diff, final drive ratios to choice.
Spider body with front suspension by wishbones, tranverse leaf spring and guide-bar and rear by beam axle, transverse rod and longitudinal transverse spring with telescopic hydraulic shocks front and rear. Brakes were non-servo assisted discs
The little cars were 3670 mm long, 1580 mm wide and 840 mm high with weight quoted as 720 Kg.
‘Tour de Corse’ Rally Corsica, 9-11 November 1969 Postscript…
Just love Lancia’s creativity; when looking at the Barchetta’s above you wouldn’t think they could be crafted into ‘all-weather’ rally machines, particularly given the winter of 1969, but that belies Lancia’s focus!
Lancia felt they would be more competitive against the Porsche 911R, Alpine A110 and 2002Ti opposition with the F&M Specials than their usual HF machines
Tests in Corsica resulted in some changes to the cars; which had reinforced doors, a wider roll-bar to protect both driver and navigator, navigation rally gear and thin Plexiglas, 24cm high, windscreen and wipers.
During the last week before the rally the weather worsened greatly, Sandro Munari realised the open car was going to be virtually impossible to drive in conditions down to 4 degrees so he decided to clothe himself more appropriately in rubber suits sourced by the Turin factory; one flew around too much at speed, the black divers wetsuit! didn’t ‘breathe’ causing lots of sweating.
After tests both Munari, Makinen and their navigators decided to use a race suit similar to that utilised by submariners. In Turin, the racing department considered further changes to the cars…More shelter was provided for the occupants by raising the windscreen, the earlier one tested replaced by one from a Fulvia Coupe albeit modified with special uprights and with plastic side windows which were anchored to the front section of the roll bar.
By the time the cars arrived in Ajaccio for the Tour de Corse start the ‘F&M’s had lost both the appearance of the Targa Barchettas as well as their light weight! Makinen’s car at the last minute was fitted with a rudimentary sheet metal roof, an addition scornfully rejected by Sandro Munari! Softie!, he thought of Timo.
The two ‘F & M Special’ were part of Lancia’s six car team in the event, the final result was disappointing with the normal 1.6HF of Kallstrom/Haggbom 9th, 1.3HF of Ballestrieri/Audetto 10th ahead of the trick ‘F&M Specials’; Makinen-Easter 11th and Munari-Davenport 13th. The rally was won by Gerard Larrousse/Gelin in a Porsche 911R ahead of an Alpine A110 Renault, Ford Capri RS2600 and a swag more A110’s…
Rainer Schlegelmilch, Rallymania
Tailpiece: Collesano, Rauno Aaltonen, Lancia Fulvia F&M, Targa 1969. The short, squat efficient lines of the car clear in this wonderful shot…