Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Italian Style: 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe

This next car comes as a tip from Matt C who puts it eloquently when he writes: I realize saying it's an '80s Italian car with sketchy electronics may be redundant, but this is sketchier than most. Still, could be a good deal for someone who's not afraid of rewiring and has a lot of time on his hands. Find this 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe offered for $1800 somewhere near Atlanta, GA via craigslist.

From the seller:
1981 1981 Lancia 
fuel: gas 
title status: missing 
transmission: manual 
© craigslist - Map data © OpenStreetMap
(google map)

1981 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe 
fuel: gas 
title status: missing 
transmission: manual 
This is a solid project for someone wanting to build something very unique in the US. 
A 1981 Lancia Beta. Was owned by a well known Fiat - Lancia Mechanic until he passed away in 2011. Car sat for a while. The car is very solid, it does have rust showing at the lower windshield pillar which is common on these. It had two spots total on the floor that needed to be patched. I patched those and reinstalled the interior. The underside/frame rails are solid still wearing original paint.

Interior is Leather and the seats and carpet are in very nice shape as pictured. Door panels will need to be redone. Material is good enough to reuse.

Engine is a Lampredi Twin Cam 2 liter Fuel injected. Compression is in the 170-180 range on all 4- picture attached. I did install a brand new fuel pump and have the original that also still works (Combo Relay was bad not the pump). The car will run but someone pulled the exhaust and just hung it back to the manifold with a couple of bolts. We can run it here or I can text/email a video of it running, engine seems very healthy.
Looks like everything is here, Only thing I noticed missing was the horn cover, air cleaner and the rear bumper.

It needs wiring attention, there are plugs unplugged under the dash and a few wires are showing 4 volts when they should show 12 volts. If I can find time I will continue to troubleshoot it and start correcting or replacing, just do not have time currently. There is an issue with ignition at the relays showing 4 volts, same with starter wire when triggered. It can be cranked and will run from under the hood by jumping power at the main relay pack.
Someone was in the process of removing the exhaust so it is just hanging from the Manifold, therefore it will be loud when we run it but it sounds very healthy.
The alternator is charging and is silent. AC is on car but assume does not work.

Some cool parts are on this car if you are into Lancia's. It has a pretty rare 82 grill, Has leather interior, and has Koni Suspension. 

I have my hands full with two other projects so looking to pass this one on to someone interested. As mentioned this is a pretty rare car in the US. It is actually the only one I had ever seen in person. Paint appears to be original and it has a one little dent in the drivers fender, the rest of the body is straight.

The best I can tell what it needs be street ready.
1. Wiring went through or bypass factory wiring
2. Exhaust gasket installed at manifold
3. Brakes rebuilt with soft hoses replaced

Car has 5 correct Lancia wheels and One fiat wheel. 
New parts installed in the past few months- Ignition switch,Water Pump,Fuel Injection Combo Relay,Fuel Pump, Magnetic pick up in distributor, HEI,Cap, Rotor and Wires. 
I have Caliper rebuild kits- It will need the brakes gone through as well.
Car will be sold on a Bill of sale. I did not get a title when I bought it.

Car is on hold for out of state buyer.I need this gone, it was paid for and never picked up. 

Asking 1800. OBO

BMW Lancia Fiat ferrari porsche welding carb weber jetronic beta scorpion 2000

See a better way to drive Italian?


  1. intrigued with the other cars in the shot. 355 (real?) and a Scirocco with Martini style stripes.

    I think the way to approach the Lancia would be to tear out all the bad and build a custom. Use an aftermarket harness or what ever it takes. No point in making it original.

  2. A 38-year old member of the "Etceterini", with dodgy electrics, peeled-back door cards, a missing title and it's already been paid for by someone else. What could possibly go wrong with this deal? On the other hand, what a great story you would have.....

    1. The missing title is the least of my worries with that one. Georgia doesn't require titles for 1985 or earlier vehicles, and you can register it with a bill of sale. But I'd only touch an Italian car with spaghetti wiring if I had the time to build a new harness from scratch.

  3. Seems honestly presented, albeit in need of on-site verification. If the rust is minimal and the engine is good, as described, then it seems like you've got something to work with.


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