1978 Lancia Beta 1600 Coupe

1978 Lancia Beta 1600 Coupe

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Discussion

Breadvan72

Original Poster:

33,892 posts

111 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Knowing as any sensible petrolhead does that J Clarkson knows something between Jack st and fk all about cars, I have long been a fan of the Lancia Beta, a much maligned car that is in fact one of the best things to come from Italy in the 1970s. I have previously owned a Beta Spider 2000, an HPE Volumex, and a 1300 Coupe (and also an HPE ie donor car). I have had a hankering to own a 1600, and was glad when this 1978 car (complete with the funky early interior) came up at a price that although not a mega bargain was a reasonable price. The car had been on the Isle of Man since the early 80s. Maritime climate and no MoT test ....hmmmm, but in fact the car only needed £1500 of welding. Now it needs a new wiper relay for an MoT and a return to the UK register. The car starts and goes well, although there is a small fuel leak from the carb that needs attending to. It looks very seventies-tabulous in metallic bronze with mustardy yellow interior. It is sitting a bit high at the front, perhaps. The Pirelli Cinturatos look OK - not unduly aged.

A Lampredi twin cam with a twin choke Weber carb is a glorious thing, and just as the 1300 version feels like someone else's 1600, this 1600 feels like someone else's 1800, at least (a Volumex makes two litres feel like three).. Five speeds,discs all round, and Cromadora alloys are as standard. Nine clocks on the panel, all except the fuel gauge working. The window winder on the driver's side is knackered, as on my last Beta.

So, there we are - the only FWD car in my lineup of otherwise mostly British 70s to 90s tat.

Now I can once again get used to Clarkson-idiots at filling stations saying "They all rusted in the showroom, mate", while standing next to a visibly present and quite solid 39 year old car. Who cares? It goes vrooooom.
















Breadvan72

Original Poster:

33,892 posts

111 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
quotequote all

cosworth330

1,153 posts

185 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
quotequote all
Looks great!

I always fancied a Lancia in the 80's but had a string of Alfa suds and sprints. From memory the Lancias rusted even quicker than the Alfas or the ones I looked at seemed to.

It's great that people are still keeping these cars on the road.

Enjoy your Beta coupe!

Breadvan72

Original Poster:

33,892 posts

111 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
quotequote all
I love 70s Alfas and have owned one and driven a few more, but now they are way too expensive for me. Lancia Fulvias ditto, but Betas are still affordable. Not for long, however - as Clarkson fades thankfully into memory, people are starting to realise that a good Beta is a good car indeed.

Breadvan72

Original Poster:

33,892 posts

111 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
quotequote all
The car appears to be in good original order - only a single door mirror, no sign of any radio ever being fitted, and original handbook and toolkit present. Seats need a clean. Cloth only worn through on top right corner of driver's seat.

Jimmy Recard

15,850 posts

127 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Talking of Jeremy Clarkson, the one he drove in Africa on Top Gear also had a broken window winder as I recall. Common problem?

Jazoli

7,351 posts

198 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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I recognise that car, glad it wasn't too rusty underneath, the seats are mega.

CharlesdeGaulle

11,071 posts

128 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Cool car. Really cool interior. Good buy.

mac96

1,574 posts

91 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Liked these when they were new, and still do. Brilliant purchase! (Well, I hope it turns out to be anyway)

sunbeam alpine

4,705 posts

136 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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I applaud and admire your enthusiasm. smile

Mr Tidy

9,751 posts

75 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Lovely car BV! thumbup

Lampredi twin-cam engines are wonderful, and the Beta Coupe is a lovely looking car - what could possibly go wrong?!

giveitfish

3,298 posts

162 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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My uncle also had an Beta HPE, a Spyder and a Coupe in the 80's. He bought and restored a lot of interesting cars back then.

I thought they were beautiful but never got to ride in any of them frown

lucido grigio

41,253 posts

111 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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There was a 11500 mile car similar to yours BV at Festival Italia 2 weekends ago.

Paint had rubbed in a few places due to the cover on it moving about but mostly in very good nick.

pic here ,scroll past various other Italiana.

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

Breadvan72

Original Poster:

33,892 posts

111 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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That thread is PRON.

Breadvan72

Original Poster:

33,892 posts

111 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
quotequote all
Jimmy Recard said:
Talking of Jeremy Clarkson, the one he drove in Africa on Top Gear also had a broken window winder as I recall. Common problem?
Probz. The mechanism is made of some rather frangible plastic.

I may have dodged a Beta bullet a month or so before I bought the 1600. Some bloke in Wales had for sale what looked to be an OK late model 2000 Coupe. But the guy was very cagey about answering questions about the car and would not even tell me his name. By contrast the bloke who sold me the 1600 was a straight dealing and reasonable person. The dude who welded it for me reckons it is an OK car, as does the classic car transporter specialist bloke who dropped it off at my place. My mechanic has not yet seen the car to deliver his opinion. So far the car seems a lot better than the fun but really very knackered and borderline* dangerous 1300 that I had a while back.


* That is "borderline" as in "way across the Rio Grande and escaped into deepest Mexico".

Breadvan72

Original Poster:

33,892 posts

111 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
quotequote all
Jazoli said:
I recognise that car, glad it wasn't too rusty underneath, the seats are mega.
Many thanks again for your help with pre purchase inspection.

BigMon

1,787 posts

77 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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Ah, that is lovely.

Cambs_Stuart

681 posts

32 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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That is a very lovey little car. Good luck to you!

AW111

5,121 posts

81 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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Vrooom indeed.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

203 months

Saturday 26th August 2017
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That is very lovely, definitely the right colour as well. I think it would be rude not to find an equivalently nice Alfa Sud to keep it company though smile