Well, you got me all teary eyed - used to have a '76 when I was a kid. I know where there is one like it now that I think I can get for a few hundred $$ U.S. - think I will.
I'm the author of the 1984 HPE comments in this forum. Maybe I was too harsh on the good-looking little Italian vixen.
I remember hustling along the local freeway at 6,500rpm in 5th...tracking around the sweeping curves in the late afternoon sun...
Then reality bites with another expensive conversation with Tony from Il Portello...'Well, OK, if you think that will fix it...'
But I'm glad I owned it.
Yes, it's an enormously underrated car. Here in the USA, they are virtually nonexistent. People always ask me what it is, and when I tell them it's a Lancia, they just stare blankly at me as if I were speaking another language.
Which, in a way, I guess I am.
But after owning a very large number of highly-touted sports and GT cars, I honestly believe my Beta Coupe is one of the most pleasing touring cars I have ever owned. It has been remarkably reliable, it still covers ground incredibly quickly and comfortably, and it is a delight to drive hard.
The shift bushings can be problematic, but if they are kept properly lubricated, they last longer than most people think. In the USA, parts can be hard to come by, particularly body parts and glass and trim. And unless you live in a major metropolitan area, you'd better be able to work on it yourself, because no one else will want to.
But it's all worth it. A great, great car.
I had a Lancia beta coupe when I was 19,it was a 1300 engine the body was white with martini racing stripes down each side. It was the best car I have ever had, It was a 1980 model with light Grey interior. I paid £600 for it off a colleague who coincidently was Italian. Rust was a problem, but that did not matter as it was a great drive. I must get my hands on one just for old times sake.
Have owned at least 4 of these Lancia Beta Coupes. Turned these 4 Lancia Coupes into 1 very good 1976 Beta Coupe with a 2 litre conversion put into the saddle of the tired original 1800.
With a great deal of time put into that 2 litre engine, it now makes around 150 bhp.
Added a 1979 Coupe 2 litre bonnet with the conversion because of the 20mm height difference from the 1800 engine it replaced.
But yes, the rust was the biggest part of the restoration, replacing parts left, right and centre. But after 5 years part time on the project, she is a great old school package to have a play in.
We own a 1976 Lancia Beta Coupe in Australia. There are a few around, but not many good ones, but the ones that are good are usually awesome.
Our car is being totally stripped and rebuilt, and having the rust removed.
Our car, where we live, is much loved by all the local people, and when it is finished, it will be stunning.
I'm 46, and to all you people reminiscing, go and get one or even two. If people don't know what a Lancia is, they don't know anything about cars.
Boyfriend has a chopped (convertible) '76 beta which is seriously awesome - looks even quirkier with the coupe roof gone. Feel like movie stars in it.
Found in a shed covered in mattresses and boxes and seized! Once un-seized has given four years of trouble free and very fast service.
I am 44 years old. When I was 20 (1983) I bought a 1979 Lancia Beta coupe. It was green, with a tan leather interior. Of the many, many cars I have owned ever since, this is the one for which I have the fondest memories. The handling was something out of science fiction, the brakes were apocalyptic, the seats, oh, those incredibly beautiful and comfortable seats... of course there were many mechanical issues, but when everything was working right, it was magic. I miss my Lancia.
Just got one! My other car is the CX 20. These two cars are incredible - a real glory of the 70's engineering. The Italian keeps my left foot very very busy compare to what I get used to with the French. The magic is at the brake paddle for the French and the steering wheel for the Italian. It just much much "Grip (er) " than the French even there is a special design system to take care of the steering wheel for the CX.
Both runs on LPG which cost me about 20 km of driving at the speed of 120-140 km/h for only about 1 US$ (about 3 litre of LPG in Thailand). Gotta save up!!! these 70's glory are being eaten alive by rust.