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High Performance Estate: 1979 Lancia HPE 2000

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This 1979 Lancia HPE 2000 is a car that is rarely seen these days. It’s located in Oceanside, New York and is listed on eBay with the current bid price of $200 and a Buy It Now price of $5,000! This car has been in storage since 1991 and it’s ready to get back on the road again.

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The Lancia Beta HPE (High Performance Estate, and later, High Performance Executive) was a shooting-brake or a sporting-estate and they were made from 1975 to 1984 when all Beta models were discontinued. This car is about a 9 on a scale of 1-10 for me as far as looks go, even with the huge bumpers. There’s a decent amount of space inside and it looks more modern to me than a 1979 car should. Lancia made 71,258 of these svelte-looking, handsome cars.

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This is a one-owner car and was a “barn find”, according to the seller. As such, there is no title, but hopefully you can get one by using a bill of sale in your state. The story goes, after the original owner passed away, as part of the estate, the rent was paid to store the car from 1991 until the seller recently acquired it. That’s probably why there is no rust on it, or dings, or really any body issues that would take a lot of work to sort out. The underside looks pretty good for being a 37-year old car, and thankfully it was in storage for the majority of its lifetime which helped keep the corrosion down.

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And, being in storage for so long probably explains why the seats look so good. They must have a mouse-proof storage spot. There aren’t any interior photos to speak of, none that show the dash or steering wheel at all. Here is what it should look like, other than the colors. There is one photo of the perfect headliner, and one showing the rear hatch open and all of the room, and stuff, that’s back there. I’m guessing that they’ll throw the thermos in for the winning bidder. This car really does look great, really only have been on the road for about a dozen years. Why they didn’t include a photo of the rear seat is beyond me. Here’s another car with a perfect interior, showing the rear seating area; pretty fantastic!

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Here’s where you’ll spend most of your time and money. So much for being mouse-proof, it looks like a nest of some sort there, unfortunately. This is Fiat’s 2.0L inline-four with about 115 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. The HPE is a relatively heavy car at a little over 2,300 pounds, but it wasn’t meant to be a drag strip king so the available power matched to a 5-speed manual transmission should make for a spirited, if not mind-blowing ride. You can get this one going again, I’m pretty sure of that. Check out this YouTube video of a Beta HPE that was stored outside for seventeen years, without a cover or any protection at all; it starts right up! If you read the description below that video it’s pretty amazing. I absolutely love the look of this car. I thought that I was a Zagato coupe or spyder guy but I would much rather have an HPE. How about you, does this unusual shape draw you in like it does for me? I think that this car could definitely be brought back to life, what do you think?


  1. Dan h

    I do love all all things Lancia but it can be a bittersweet journey trying to restore one! Lots of people pronounce it “Lan-sia”. Lan-cha or Lan-chia is more correct and my wife says Launcha,with the hopes that I’m going to “Launch” it.
    Nope, not going to happen.

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    • William

      Hi Dan,

      You’re correct with the pronunciation.

      By the way, I bought a new Lancia HPE in 1979 while living in Dallas. I loved the vehicle insofar as the styling and handling. The only problem I had was on a trip through Arkansas during July of 1980 when the vehicle started spitting and sputtering. I pulled into a service station which had a large operation related to auto repairs (engines). As I pulled in the mechanic flagged me on, saying “Keep Driving, Never seen one of those and we don’t work on those kind of cars”.

      So, I drove, or sputtered on, drove beneath a shade tree, removed the weber carbs, removed some trash stuck in the and cleaned the carbs. From that point on the vehicle ran perfectly. I eventually traded it in for a new Riviera (too bad).

      I’ve also owed other Italian vehicles. In 1974 I bought a new 1974 Fiat Spider and another Spider in 1985. Loved the Italian spirit of all three of these vehicles.

      I’ve owned lots of other vehicles, Jags, MBs, etc. and of all, I loved and enjoyed the Italian vehicles the most.

      Now that I am much older, 75, I am currently in the process of buying a 5 seater Porsche Panamera which I feel will be my last fun auto that I’ll be able to share, that is, all together with 4 friends and or family members, all at the same time!

      Best Regards,

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  2. John K

    Always like the styling on these, and it’s not that far from me. No, no, no, I must not even consider it.

    Sure hope reserve is well above what I’m willing to spend.

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  3. dj

    I must say, the car with the Euro bumpers looks rather dashing.

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    • Don

      these r actually USA spec bumpers-We bought a 131 Fiat here in 76 which had the same type n when we moved to Italy in 78 we say the same cars without the ugly bumpers n the cars looked much sleeker -we still have the 131 in storage since ’80
      it also has the 2 liter inline same as this Lancia….

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  4. Joe

    Paint looks like it will buff out. Nice looking car. There’s that box on the passenger seat again. JC

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  5. Coventry Cat

    Nice design, wonder about the primer on the windshield post, though.

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  6. Blueprint

    Always loved the styling of these! My 1980 Corolla SR-5 Liftback was sort of a tribute to this body style.

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  7. OKCPhil

    Why do you not clean the car up before trying to sell it? It’s not a barn find but just seriously unloved and rejected. I like this statement in the add, “IN WHICH THE OWNER PASSED”. Did they really? I love most things Lancia but this looks more like an unloved Chevette to me.
    Now this one would be better, http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/cto/5655165338.html

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  8. David Skulstad

    Did the mice eat the ugly front bumper? I wouldn’t touch this car unless I could get rid of the ugly bumpers. This car was parked for some reason…. what? That rat nest of an engine bay could be hiding a deep dark hole for someone’s $ to get it going. Not worth my time.

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  9. Luki

    Early VW jack in the passenger footwell……………..

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  10. Paul

    First and foremost, the original owner of this car did actually passed away last year. R.I.P. He was actually an older fellow that purchased this car new and used it for 12 years/51k miles. I bought it from an auto recycler in who bought it from the family estate sale. As with many high end cars, they are purchased by people with money who have many cars and many times they just forget about them because of time and interest. This is an example of one. This particular Lancia is a classic and much sought after. It is also probably the very last surviving “1979” Lancia Beta HPE in the USA with rare options. Fully loaded – Power windows, Sunroof, A/C, Stereo and Automatic Transmission. It is the most complete HPE that you will ever see in America. Yes, it has been neglected for some time, however stored in doors which was the smartest thing he did. It does however have very minimal surface rust. The car is complete but it appears someone was trying to diagnose an electrical problem of some sort for the reason the dash is all taken apart. No problem, It can be made better now with today’s electrical upgrades and updates.
    This car will be brought back to its former glory and probably much more reliable than back in those days. I will make an excellent example of this car. I have 25-30 years experience working with Lancias and many Fiats. These cars were never really meant to be used as an everyday car. They were very expensive to begin with and in the same price range as a Porsche, Mercedes and Maserati. In the United States, Lancias were considered to be secondary cars and not primary as it required much more than usual maintenance compared to other cars.
    The design, handling and some technological advancement was ahead of its time. The main problem Lancia had in the USA was very poor marketing by Fiat and support for the brand. Thank you for reading, Paul

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  11. Paul


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  12. Paul

    Pic #2 With just minor cleaning.7/16 More to come.

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  13. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Thanks for the update Paul!

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  14. Paul

    I specialized in all Lancia Beta car parts. So if you or anyone you know need any parts, I am here for you. Some of my rare parts are on Ebay but most in storage. New and Used rare parts… Regards Paul

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