1978 Lancia Beta monte carlo from UK and Ireland - Comments

14th Feb 2006, 17:29

I had one that I wrote off on 1st April 1983 (on the way to church!) having just spent about £1k on the dreadful body work. The car was green, which probably explains a lot. It was a bloody magnificent car to be seen in, but, in the wet (and by wet I mean thinking about raining next Tuesday), it was totally impossible to make to stick to the road. I went out immediately and bought a Beta coupe. What a car that was.

21st Feb 2006, 13:22

I spun mine at an embarrassingly low speed. Never spun a car before in my life. Sold it soon after. They were a terrible car. In response to the earlier comment about "setting a car up properly", isn't that the job of Lancia? Is he suggesting owners understand the dynamics of Lancia's products better than Lancia themselves? I agree with all the other posts. They look great, but they're a poor, nasty car to drive. Lancia should have done much, much better.

4th Apr 2006, 23:18

My Scorp rocks, I have a 76 Lancia. In Oregon it rains like mad, our leaf filled streets a bit dangerous and slippery. I have to tell you that at first my scorp was a bit dangerous due to balljoints and other aged parts. Went to MONTE Hospital, picked up polyurathanes for everything, new ball joints front and back, anti dive front kit, also the Rear Cross member. I had reinforced the front end due to some sheet metal disconnects. All struts in the front where redone, the rears where OK.

Wheels are properly aligned now as well.

I have to tell you that even with stock tires this baby is awesome to drive. I have been ripping it around corners, hills twisty roads, oh my this baby screams even with a near stock engine. Soon comes twin 42DCNFs and an electronic engine kit. High speeds the car just gets a heavy feeling of being locked down to the ground as if it is a nimble tank.

I will lower the car soon, adjustable shocks, and 17' rims.

Tires will be on the order as I am looking to upgrade the tyres once I take out the R Fenders and widen them.

I feel that the scorp is an awesome platform from which to launch a Rice Machine Munching Monster.

Viva Italia!!!

21st May 2006, 08:50

In response to Viva Italia!

Wouldn't you have been better off buying a decent car to begin with? What's the point of buying a car & having to spend thousands to make it safe?

The Monte Carlo's ability didn't match its looks.

21st Dec 2006, 04:12

VLF 525 S was the most lethal death trap I ever owned. It was my second car (I was only 19 at the time) It ruined me financially and was horrifically dangerous. The rear turrets had been glued with body filler. The car had suffered a major front impact and had been stuck back together. The roof was cracked and leaked. The gear change mounts had completely rusted away and you would pop out of gear at any speed. The doors (don’t even go there). I had button mushrooms growing under the carpet. I was constantly getting a push form passers buy to get the thing going after having just switched it off. The return spring snapped on the carb on the M3 at full speed (and scared the hell out of me and I’m lucky to be alive). Of course I span it out of control in the wet (on a straight line!). 25 years down the line would I want another one? I would think about it for ten seconds then say NO. With the road handling of a billiard ball on a tefal frying pan it is too dangerous. For years I was paranoid about not getting the car started, or not being able to brake correctly or just driving in general. Beautiful, but lethal, like a tiger. Nice to look at in a magazine, not practical to have one at home.

20th May 2007, 08:21

I don't understand why Lancia refused to develop/re-engineer this car. In my eyes it looked better than most Ferraris. I owned one circa 1986 & it looked astonishing on the road next to all the hot hatches. It looked low, exotic, beautiful & rare. People stopped & looked because they had no idea what it was. It was like driving down the road in the Starship Enterprise with Elvis Presley glued to the roof. Unfortunately the car was hideous to drive. It seemed to want me dead. I took a wet corner in my Astravan with no problem whatsoever. I took the same corner in the Lancia & I ended up spinning out of control like drunk flamingo on rollerskates. Being seconds from death tends to take the shine off your enthusiasm for a car. Added to that was the woeful build quality. The bodywork rotted faster than a wet raspberry in the middle of the gobi desert & things fell off on a daily basis. I still love the looks of the car, but to be honest (& it hurts me to say this) it was absolutely vile to own. Lancia could have had a world class machine on its hands. Why they chose to ignore it is a complete mystery.

17th Nov 2007, 16:03

No one here is stating whether they owned an S1 or S2 Monte - they are VERY different from a driving and corrosion perspective. The S2 doesn't have the front brake servo and has infinitely more galvanisation.

The S1 is deeply flawed, and I suspect that the negative remarks here relate to this model.

The S2 (much rarer than an S1) still needs work to the brakes, engine and weight distribution, but it's a totally different car to drive than an S1. Build quality in terms of trim is much better on the S2 - S1 interior is pretty tacky.

Aside from the galvanisation which is pretty much non-existant on the S1, it also has water traps which breed rust.

It's very, very rare to see an S1 these days that isn't either upgraded to S2 'spec, or fully modified.

30th Apr 2008, 17:06

They were BOTH flawed!

8th Aug 2009, 16:36

You must have owned some abysmal cars, if the Montecarlo was your best!

11th Dec 2009, 23:21

I have owned Fords, VW's, Fiat's, Toyota's and SAAB's and have road raced for years. I picked up my Scorpion after I sold my prepped X1/9 and it comes a close second to the X1/9 for fun to drive. My ford was a Focus ST170 (SVT here in Canada) and yes it was faster but no where near as fun to drive. The Japanese stuff meh... it's Japanese they do what they do with no real big flaws but not much fun in a cookie cutter type of way. (BTW has any one ever been in a fun to drive Civic? If yes... it too had to me modified to be fun and handle correctly) The Scorpion/Montecarlo's are great cars if you look after them... when was the last time you left your Ferrari 308 to the elements outside? You all have to keep this car in perspective, it is not a grocery getter or a La mans supper car, it is an exotic car made for the masses with features ahead of it's time with inherit bugs because of it. If the FIAT and Lancia's are so bad why do the Japanese copy them so much. Don't believe me? Go look at some early MR2 shop design photos and look at what is in the background. The Scorpion is a great car with lots of stile.

20th Apr 2010, 12:15

The difference between Japanese cars and Lancias is that Japanese cars work, drive well & don't dissolve like aspirin in a glass of water. I've owned a Monte Carlo (I was lured by the looks) and I can assure you, in over thirty years of car ownership (and driving for a living), the Monte Carlo was the worst car I've ever driven. Why else would Lancia withdraw it from sale TWICE!

20th Apr 2010, 18:28

I have owned a S1 Monte Carlo for 20 years. I raced it and drove it like a go-kart. Its my summer toy. When I am in Italy, I never had a big problem with it. Having had 10 cars in the last 20 years, in UK I spent 10 times more money on my cars here. This car was made for Italy. It's a joy to drive, to look at and to own, so I can't understand all the bad press it gets here.

Viva la Lancia Marco!

6th Feb 2011, 12:11

It gets bad press because it was a poor car. Even Lancia saw that.

1st Dec 2012, 05:27

You say the car was made for Italy? Well if that's the case, it was a very naive business move by Lancia. They knew they'd be exporting the car, so why on earth would they just design it to survive & work in Italy? Your statement makes no sense.

The truth is, the Montecarlo was a bad car. It looked the part and has a small army of loyal fans who are in denial about its many faults, but it really was a badly built/engineered car. It's a shame, but that's the truth.

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