1979 Lancia Gamma Coupe

The Lancia Gamma Coupe has more than a few things in common with the Fiat 130 Coupe we featured yesterday. First, it's no coincidence that its styling is similar to the 130 Coupe, as both cars were styled by Pininfarina. Second, these two big coupes were never sold new in the United States. Third, they are quite a rare sight on the road today, no matter what country you are in.

I'm a big fan of the Gamma, as it has a bit of a budget Ferrari 412 air about it. The Gamma draws off of some of the Lancia Beta suspension technology and employs a horizontally opposed four cylinder engine, a departure from the Lancia norm. This particular Gamma coupe has the later Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, which is a welcome upgrade on the reliability front versus the carburettor setup. While these engines offered good torque, they were nortorious for overheating and had issues wearing out camshafts. The power steering system was driven off the cam belts and at full lock, these belts could fail - leading to a dangerous situation, to put it mildly. Along with the horrible press the smaller Lancia Beta was garnering in the press due to rust issues, these were indeed dark days for Lancia.

Barring all the issues, these are pretty coupes that have aged well. I haven't seen a decent example of a Gamma for quite a few months, but this one in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, looks to be a well cared for example.

1979 Lancia Gamma Coupe

Lancia Gamma 2500 ie Coupe with lots of history.

The seller's description is lacking, to say the least. €7,700 (~ $10,043) is strong money for any Gamma coupe. From the pictures, it does look like a clean, well cared for example. The Nardi wood rimmed steering wheel and shifter knob complement the tan interior and the metallic brown fits the car's '70s flair quite well. It would be awesome to ship this over stateside, as there are few, if any Gammas roaming US roads. If you had a good mechanic and a back channel to parts in the Old World, this would be a practical classic; one which exudes class, good taste and which would make you the hit at car shows and club events.

-Paul

Posted under: Lancia, Modern Classic
Dated: Dec 22 2011

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