The Lancia Beta was the first new car that Lancia developed after Fiat took control of the company in 1969. Introduced in 1972, this model would go on to set record sales for Lancia, but also garner a reputation for being a rust prone vehicle. This reputation would taint the company so badly that Lancia would pull out of its largest export market at the time, the United Kingdom, a little over ten years later. One of the last new Lancias to be sold in the US market is the car you see here, the Beta Zagato. Built on the Coupe's chassis with a targa roof, it was an interesting collaboration in that the car was designed by Pininfarina but built by Zagato. In total, a little over 9,000 of these open roofed Betas were built before Lancia ceased US sales.
1981 Lancia Beta Zagato, 3rd owner. Approximately 27K miles on rebuilt engine. New starter, clutch, exhaust. 5K miles on timing belt, shocks, motor mounts. Recently rebuilt steering rack. Seats reupholstered in cloth, Pirelli P-6000 185/65-14 tires. Many interior/exterior trim pieces replaced. Car runs well. Paint good, new top. Professionally maintained. Many spare parts. California car. Never driven in rain, always garaged. Shop manuals, original owners manual, original tool kit. All work receipts. $3500 or best offer, price negotiable.
At $3,500, this is possibly one of the cheapest points of entry into classic Italian car ownership, without having to dump a ghastly amount of money on a full restoration. Few of these Zagatos survive today and the ones that do are often rusted out and on their last legs mechanically. While not the fastest cars out there, these Betas are known for their good handling and if this car has lasted this long without suffering at the hands of the tin worm, it should be able to survive another 30 years with proper maintenance.