Hantariffic Betagasm – Lancia Beta Collection

Corvairs are much maligned as the classic car that attracts the greatest number of equivalents to the crazy cat ladies of the world, and while that stereotype might have roots in some truth, there are certainly plenty of normal Corvair fans who are in recovery have their addiction under control only have one or two Corvairs. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other car makes that seem to attract hoarders collectors, and though this person is probably in a crowd of one, evidently Lancia Betas aroused that tendency in someone. Check out this Lancia Beta collection for sale for $2100 in Penn Valley, CA.

1975 Lancia Beta HPE left front

First up is this HPE. Interestingly, this looks to be an early (1975 or 1976) car based on its grill. So if this does turn out to be a 1975 and you always wanted to build that hot rod Beta without getting hassled by the man, here’s your ticket. As one of the last common man’s shooting brakes sold in the US, this is a pretty cool car – who can say no to the Beta’s handling, paired with some funky 1970s styling cues like gigantic battering ram bumpers (all the better to park with, my dear), possible rear window louvers, and lounge style seating?

1975 Lancia Beta HPE interior

Okay, so lots of people did say no to them, but can’t you picture a woman with big sunglasses, feathered hair and a short fur coat sitting back here? It’d be interesting to hear how comfortable the accommodations were – they don’t look too great, but Betas otherwise had some pretty nice seats. It’d almost be neat to take this bench and somehow integrate it into a seating arrangement in your home, perhaps in a window nook or dining area.

1975 Lancia Beta Coupe right front

Next up among the least-intimidating looking of this bunch is this 1975 Beta coupe. It’s really too bad Lancia didn’t pull off making this into a serious contender against the BMW 3-series (which wasn’t even available in the US yet), since it’s got a great mix of luxury and handling in one – in fact, these cars are arguably more luxurious than most of their competitors. Surprisingly for a car stored outdoors, the rust situation doesn’t look too scary here, but if it is, perhaps this 1975 VIN could accept many later parts, upgraded to avoid the horsepower and smog system shortcomings of the US-market Beta?

1975 Lancia Beta Coupe left front

And from there, things seem to go downhill. This is one of two coupes that seem to be pretty much the same, though the one pictured has sustained crash damage to the front and the other is missing some things like a left rear wheel. It’s likely lost to the fog of time (or wine), but what do you suppose the seller’s plan was for these cars? Parts? Combine several into one good one?

1977 Lancia Beta Scorpion left side

Or perhaps they were all just food for his Scorpion addiction – here’s a 1977 Scorpion parts car missing things like the frunk lid and pop-up headlights. It’s a shame this car has suffered so much, as the 1977s got a more elegant rear buttress with a glass window to lighten it up visually. If it’s anything at all, though, it’s a parts car, since many parts are either missing or likely to be in such poor shape they cannot be used elsewhere. If you had an endless supply of ventilators, this might be a fun bunch of cars to take apart and sell in bits on eBay, saving some of the choicest pieces to revive the truly rare HPE. What would you do, if you felt compelled to do something?


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2 Responses to “Hantariffic Betagasm – Lancia Beta Collection”

  1. 1977chevytruck Says:

    I never heard of the HPE, and IMO it’s the best looking, so I’d think that would be the coolest one to have restored.

  2. steve in podunk Says:

    The Scrapman cometh

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