1979 Lancia Beta Zagato

The Beta Zagato, known as the Spider outside of the US, was Lancia's last ditch attempt at trying to salvage what little market share they had left stateside. Featuring a targa top with a fold down rear roof section, these were actually designed by Pininfarina, yet built by the coachbuilder whose name the car bore. You can find a few of these Beta Zagatos left, but many are rust buckets and specimens that would take the most ardent Lancia enthusiast to resurrect. This car for sale in California, however, has benefitted from some recent refurbishment and is ready to be enjoyed by the next owner.

1979 Lancia Beta Zagato

Springtime is near and summer around the corner. This wonderful Lancia Zagato Convertible is ready to be enjoyed! For a smart collector/enthusiast who wants to drive a head turning, unique, fun, exotic Italian roadster without breaking the bank, THIS IS YOUR CAR. These cars are scarce in this kind of condition but as only the second owner I got the car from a very well to do owner who drove it sparingly, maintained it beautifully, and kept the mileage low. I can detect no accident damage ever, and the car has absolutely no rust that I can find or detect which is to be expected be a California Car from new.

In the past year I took a very good car and made it excellent by taking care of three major areas that always need attention on older Zagatos: First, I completely redid the interior upholstery to an exact match of the original shapes and patterns. See the photos. Everything you see on the seats is new front and back, and looks exactly like it came fom the factory however in a much more durable ambla type material that looks and feels like the fragile Italian leather used original, but will not shrink and crack while you enjoy top down motoring. Speaking of top, the wonderful targa convertible top and rear window are brand new just 5 months ago also, and the car comes with a perfect condition boot cover for when the top is down. Also inside there was only one hairline crack in the original dash top, however a very high quality molded replacement has been professionally fitted and is undetectable from a new dash which is what it looks like.

The rest of the dashboard and instrumentation is original and working. The clock keeps perfect time, the lighter works to charge the cell phone (or light a Gitane....if you must -this car has never been smoked in!) and the factory original radio works however I never use it and will find the removable antennae mast before delivery. The power windows both work, however characteristically slow as they all are. The heating and a/c system is intact and working, although it may need a charge as I dont use it but the compressor kicks in and all things work and blow as they should. Most of these systems have been removed, but that really hurts the character of the car as a possible tourer.The condition inside is that of more like a one or two year old car. I took the floor mats out for the photos just to show the factory carpet has no wear at all. Likewise the trunk looks perfect. (The tire will be back on the apare wheel on delivery. All four tires are a brand new set in the correct size as well.

Mechanically the car is a joy and currently needs nothing I know of. I just did the full power steering rack replacement with a newly rebuilt unit that has a lifetime warranty and it is dry and perfect. The car drives great with a smooth gearbox in all five speeds, and amazing brakes and a silky smooth engine that is economical and perky. Why sell it now that it is so nice? I have just finished my long 3 year body off Triumph TR250 restoration and it will do the driving duty this summer as I try to finish a Lancia Fulvia and my E type. I have really enjoyed the Zagato roadster but I want it to be used and enjoyed now that I have finished another roadster. Please ask all questions and be amazed at the very reasonable reserve that will be met soon if anyone out there knows a bargain. This is a good car, without the nagging achilles heels of others. You can sometimes find these cheap, but you will have an unpleasant dog of a car needing thousands of dollars to get it to where this one is, if it can be gotten there. You see most of these cars are rusty, and its a dedicated enthusiast that wants to tackle that. Dont get e rusty Lancia. Please start with a good car. This one lets you start enjoyiong it right away and it will be a super bargain for someone. these are well supported by parts specialists and people are really discovering Lancia. grab this one, and you will enjoy it or years to come as they go up in value. Ask any and all questions. Cheers- Bob.

Betas have a bit of a notorious reputation for being cars that rust and mechanically troublesome. Noted automotive journalist Jeremy Clarkson himself referred to this car as a problem child, but then again, no one had tried to drive a Beta Coupe across the spine of Africa before. Last year, a documented Beta Zagato owned by the Fiat Lancia Club president brought $6,400. An example like this will probably bring a little bit less; perhaps somewhere in the $4,000 to $5,000 range.

-Paul