Driving Update: 1978 Lancia Beta goes to the Pedal Pushers Pullover Rally

It’s finally time for another update on actually driving the RustyButTrusty fleet. I actually manage to drive the cars on a fairly regular weekend basis, but this was an event where the setting was picturesque and other folks took on photo duty. This time, it was the Beta’s turn to serve as our ride, which was a great choice for me, but less so for my co-pilot. The softer ride this car has vs. my Alfas makes it great over the bumps and cattle grates, while its independent suspension makes it a great handler. That said, the softer ride also didn’t help my co-pilot’s tendency towards motion sickness, so we actually peeled off early. Other than that, the car held up fairly well on its first major outing, aside from an annoying tendency to stall out anytime we came to a stop. For now, it’s going to be parked for a little while so I can figure out what’s up next for it, make sure I’m good for 2009 taxes, and get reacquainted with the Alfetta GT, which was parked for the last month or so.

Anyway, back to the event. The Pedal Pushers are an all-women’s car club interested in a broad mix of old cars. This is the third annual Pullover Rally they’ve put on, and it’s a really fun, well-organized one-day drive out in the East Bay hills, an area that I’ve not had much of a chance to explore. Last year’s drive was great, so we decided to go again this year. Sure enough, it delivered, and here are a couple of shots:

1978 Lancia Beta Berlina at Altamont Pass

If you are feeling adventurous, try Altamont Pass Road, just north of & parallel to 580. It’s nicely paved, curvy, and the windmill farm makes for an interesting landscape and background for photos. Ben Buja was sitting in a turnout and took this shot of my car in a whole row of cool old cars. Funny enough, his camera is so quick it looks like the car is not actually moving, so there’s still no concrete proof I’m driving it!

1978 Lancia Beta Berlina at Altamont Pass pit stop

When would you ever see these two cars at a gas station, much less together?? To make it even weirder, that 2002tii Touring is right hand drive! After this, we had a lunch stop at The Junction out in the middle of nowhere on Mine Road near Patterson, and then drove on along some more very isolated roads until we hit 580. Thanks to Ben for this pic as well.

If you want to see some more photos of things as bizarre as a Citroen Ami wagon and as popular as a Porsche 911, check out the following links:

Shaun Pond’s Fulvia Cam
Ben Buja’s photos
Norman Weinfeld’s set

And thanks again to the Pedal Pushers for putting on a great event!


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7 Responses to “Driving Update: 1978 Lancia Beta goes to the Pedal Pushers Pullover Rally”

  1. Rich C. Says:

    I have a concrete, albeit very poorly-shot, proof of the Beta in motion. See car #7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoLgtgM_sNA

  2. Chris Keen Says:

    Nice! I also found this today, a picture that shows the wheels turning: http://www.jagpromotions.com/bill/autoscene/events/pedalpusher/rally/09pullover5a.html

  3. Shaun Pond Says:

    Chris, It was kinda unusual but nice to have 4 Lancias (your Beta Berlina, Richard’s Fulvia Berlina, Jeff Barhoum’s Fulvia Coupe Rally, and mine) on an event; thanks for bringing yours out.

    Am sorry that I didn’t get a chance to catch up with you sometime during the event, but I did get an opp to admire your car at the lunch stop.


    • Chris Keen Says:

      Thanks, I was glad to see that many Lancias too! Your count makes me wonder how we stacked up against other marques… I’m sure Alfas outnumbered us, but we may have equaled Porsche and maybe even BMW. Hmmm.

  4. Jeff B. Says:

    I’m not sure I can be counted as “participating” this year. Right as we climbed up to Skyline, the Fulvia started sputtering badly and so I reluctantly turned it around. The Alfa has used up all my AAA tows for the year and I wasn’t in the mood for something major breaking out in the boonies! Made it home, and promply sprung a bad fuel leak – so it was good we were not way out there with a hot engine getting sprayed with premium, and me with the fire extinguisher left in the Alfa!

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Doh! I was wondering what happened to you… I finally gave in and got Hagerty’s 125-mile tow service when I drove up to Vancouver. So trying to be within AAA’s 6-mile limit is no longer a concern.

  5. Jeff B. Says:

    Well – I HAVE AAA premium towing 100 miles, but I’ve had a really bad year car-wise. I’ve never had to use it more than once in some 10 years, but this year has been another story…

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