Posts Tagged ‘zagato’

No Alpha – 1982 Lancia Beta Zagato

May 31, 2016

When Lancia introduced their Beta line of cars, returning to the practice of naming their cars after the Greek alphabet, they decided not to name it the Alpha because of possible confusion with Alfa Romeo. Further, in North America, the car known as the Lancia Beta Spyder was known here as the Lancia Beta Zagato (even more confusing since it was designed by Pininfarina and built by Zagato, suggesting some serious pride-swallowing in the name of a paycheck). Taking that one step further, if the car had been designated the Alpha, submodel Spyder, we could have had a Lancia Alpha Spyder. Wait, what? Now you’re thoroughly confused, let’s take a look at this 1982 Lancia Beta Zagato for sale for $3495 in Bend, OR.

1982 Lancia Beta Zagato right front


You say Zegato, I say Zogata – 1981 Lancia Beta Zagato 2000

March 12, 2010

Maybe some of you have followed my experiences with my Lancia Beta sedan… as with many older cars, it’s sat for some time and, as a consequence, had (and has) various needs. So you might ask (and I wouldn’t be offended!), why on earth would you be looking at Lancia Betas? Did you not learn your lesson? Well, yes and no. I learned that the carburetted cars are more trouble-prone if not maintained, and that the fuel-injected cars suffered less from application of smog equipment. I also learned that EFI as installed on these cars makes for smoother running and easier cold-starting, and that the last of the Betas imported to the US came with a better-looking, tidier grill (which might show this car to actually be a 1982 model).

All that said, my sedan is actually fun, in an oddball kind of way. It also has a comfortable ride and a nice interior… it’s kind of like an Italian interpretation of a Mercedes or a Volvo. And for a car of its size, weight, and ride, it corners, brakes, and handles really well. So that brings us to today’s car…. a 1981 Beta Zagato with a 2-liter fuel-injected engine. Same ride, same handling, same brakes, more power. And the top goes down. What’s not to like? For the low, low price of $1000 (probably less if you show up with a neat stack of $100s), you can find this Beta in Roseville, CA, near Sacramento.

1981 Lancia Beta Zagato front


Boise Betas – HPE, Coupe, and Zagatos

June 30, 2009

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.

1979 Lancia Beta HPE & Coupe