1975 Lancia Beta 1.8 twin cam


FUN to drive, handles great, not the quickest though


Clean and acid the fuel tank. (time + old gas = RUST).

Strut towers.

Ball joints.

Fuel gauge stopped working.

Window crank froze up, replaced that.

Headlight issues (rigging of wiring from previous owner).

'Emissions' air pump has been disconnected and no longer works.

Carburetor needs a rebuild.

General Comments:

I acquired this car after seeing her sit for MANY years in a family friend's garage, (he is tall, much taller than my short Italian ass, so he doesn't fit very well, eventually giving it to my father while I was in school). My Dad never used it, so, after 10 more years of her sitting in the garage, I was able to coax him to sell it to me, for $1.00!!!

The car runs great, very low miles, 44K, body is all solid and straight, stock Magnesium wheels, all original. I know VERY little about the car, other that she is rare, in 8 years of ownership, ONE guy, from Poland, knew what she was on sight! I can't seem to get a value on it though, for insurance purposes.. Any ideas??

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2009

1981 Lancia Beta Zagato (Spider) 2.0L fuel injected


A sports car that gets noticed, except by police


The fuel pump went out on the way home, which was a 1100 mile drive. I have also had to replace the thermostat and the exhaust downpipe. Some of the interior needs to be repaired due to being owned in the desert. I also replaced the rear top, because many years of sun had yellowed the rear window and made it brittle. I still need to adjust the valve lash, and fix an oil usage problem that is yet unidentified.

General Comments:

I really enjoy this car, taking the tops off (targa and soft top) and driving it around on a nice day is great. This car is quite modern and refined, yet still retains some of the simplicity and character of an older Italian car. This Zagato is rust free, which is why I went so far to buy it, and why I wasn't too worried about the interior or any mechanical problems. I can fix those, but I can't fix rusty metal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2000

2nd Mar 2002, 07:21

My name's Biagio. We have an '81 Lancia Zagato in our garage. It needs new paint and a little work, and it will work great. When we do take it out (very rarely) from the garage, it's a blast.

Anyway, great webpage.

9th Nov 2004, 04:26

You have great taste in Italian cars. I have owned a Lancia Beta Spider (Zagato) in New Zealand for 15 years and I have never tired of driving it. It is now semi-retired at only 140,000km - but still loves to go for a spirited drive around the coast road on a sunny day.

6th Feb 2007, 23:13

I miss my little Zagato... It was a late '81 fuel-injected car and I loved it dearly, but had to sell it when my mechanic moved and engine/tranny parts became non-existant. I sold it in the Palm Springs Classic Car Auction back in...1995 or so.

Wonder if it is the car you have? It was reliable and fun.

30th Dec 2008, 22:53

We are looking for a 1981 Lancia Beta Zagato Jody Scheckter Limited Edition. We live in New England. If you know of any resources, please let us know. Email address is jkroth1@optonline.net Thanks!

14th Jan 2009, 17:18

Many many years ago I had a 1981 Lancia Zagato (Special Edition). I have the following items from the car:

1) Post-card size color picture showing the 1981 Lancia Zagato Special Edition. It was a dealer hand out.

2 The Triangle reflector (that is obligatory to carry in Italy). It has the Lancia logo on the outside.

3) The original Driver’s handbook. Black bound and covers all the Lancia Beta models incl. the Zagato.

Email: luckyboy_603@yahoo.com.

3rd Mar 2009, 17:41

I got a 82 Beta Zagato in a trade with a not running "fuel injection system". I am currently designing a twin side draught carb setup for it, Love the looks of the car though. Definitely an odd but great looking car. "Got to replace the floor board too".

I am also using the old convertible top as a frame for a lightweight hard top. A great project since I finished my twin turbo Impreza wagon.

11th Jan 2012, 21:51

I am curious to know about the Beta Spyder in NZ. I am a Kiwi living in the USA, and own two - one semi restored prior to me (original colour was Nero), and the other is a genuine unmolested Special Edition, which I am thinking of bringing home.