Since I’m feeling guilty (or something) for finally giving in on my Beta sedan and taking it up to a professional in Berkeley, I figured I’d do a post on Betas. Call it an act of contrition, if you like. Speaking from my experiences working on these cars, I would move on any of these cars with a certain level of trepidation, but I have to say they’re still very attractive in terms of the performance and technology you get in these late-70s cars. Maybe it’s just setting the correct expectations – with these cars at such low prices, expect to do a certain amount of mechanical work before having a reliable, smooth-running driver.
Who knew there were so many Betas in Boise? With four on the market at the same time, Boise must be a veritable hotbed of Lancia enthusiasts. With the varied assortment, you have to think that somewhere in the Boise area, there’s a Berlina hiding in someone’s garage. This first pair is pretty interesting – an HPE and a Coupe, both from 1979. Unfortunately, the HPE has an automatic transmission and is missing a carb, but from my perspective that’s a good reason to source a fuel-injected 2000 engine with a 5-speed and drop that in, instead of bothering with the strangling emissions equipment. The good news is, the coupe is a runner, so you can keep the flame alive with that while finding and installing that 2000. The HPE is also listed separately at $200, but you can get the whole package here at $750 in Meridian, ID.