Affordable Italian? 1976 Lancia Scorpion

Barn Finds reader Matt H. forwarded this mid-engined Italian rarity to us and I, for one, am intrigued. It’s located in Vancouver, Washington, and is listed for sale here on craigslist with an asking price of $9,400. The seller states they are selling the Lancia due to a lack of time and a need for space.

If you haven’t heard of a Lancia Scorpion before, you probably aren’t alone. The design was thought of originally as a larger brother to the Fiat X1/9, but morphed into a Lancia over a period of several years. It was introduced in Europe as the Montecarlo, but of course, Chevrolet had trademarked that name in the USA, so “Scorpion” was selected, ostensibly to call attention to Abarth’s history with the marque. In any case, with the Montecarlo having 120 horsepower and the Scorpion only 81, the car struggled in the US marketplace. Only 1,801 were sold during 1976 and 1977 before the Scorpion was discontinued. I’m pleased to see someone has already replaced the huge US-mandated 5-mph bumpers on this example which I read could save as much as 120 pounds!

We’re told that the car has been stored for several years and will require a new battery and brake master cylinder at least. Many spare parts are included with the sale such as an extra engine and transaxle. I should point out that the Fiat-derived 1.8-liter DOHC four-cylinder is a very tunable engine and can make far more than that stock 81 horsepower with the right parts. I’ve also heard of different engine swaps, including Alfa Romeo V-6s, that could make this relatively light little mid-engined delight into a rocket. After that, perhaps one could deal with the faded red paint.

The interior looks pretty nice with the classic Italian “bus driver” steering wheel angle either a feature or a detraction depending on your preferences. The seller also mentions having some interior spares which I would definitely hang on to. Have any of you ever owned a Lancia, particularly a Scorpion or Montecarlo? Tell us about your driving experience below!

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Comments

  1. Neil

    I’ve always wanted one. Even though they are slow, the design alone gets me every time. I love it!

    Like 10
  2. Charles Atlas

    I’ll stick with my 1986 Ford Escort Pony, White, hatchback, 4 speed and no radio.

    Like 9
    • qmmq

      No comments on a brothers 928?

      Like 1
  3. SubGothius

    This one’s been treated to upgrades from the Euro-spec Montecarlo version, such as the flush headlights and more restrained, smoother bumpers, also had the seats reupholstered in fabric. With any luck, we might hope the engine has also had some upgrades to bring it above the anemic 81 HP of the stock US-tuned engine, pity the seller didn’t include any pics of the engine bay.

    Like 6
    • SubGothius

      Also 14″ wheels here from a Maserati Biturbo, which are a nice upgrade from the stock 13″ bowtie alloys, stylish as those are.

      Like 4
  4. Chris Webster

    Supercharged 3.8 V6 anyone?

    Like 2
  5. Malcolm Boyes

    My buddy had one and I just loved its looks..a true baby Ferarri. He even put Ferrari tail lights and a few other upogrades on his. His biggest problem was etting the car smogged here in Ca as the engine did have some upgrades. He finally got so frustrated he sold it but misses it dearly I’m sure. With the fabric top rolled back these are just great fun and stylish cars…If only it was a pre smog 1975 model …

    Like 2
  6. Howie Mueler

    Cool, 17 photos and none of the engine?

    Like 2
  7. chrlsful

    Had many 124s (spyder) and an X one nine (this is based on). Yeah, I’m w/Chris – upgrade. Imagine my surprise if the spare was the 3.2 turbo w/something over 275 HP…

  8. Todd Radke

    I’ve owned my 1976 Lancia Scorpion (54,000 original miles/white over red) for over 30 years. It’s lowered with Euro fiberglass bumpers and aftermarket 037 style wheels. The engine has been converted to Bosch L Jetronic fuel injection, hot cams, custom headers and exhaust system. Handles like it is on rails and always get thumbs up and stares.

    Like 2
  9. JS

    My dad had a Lancia Beta which looks very similar only with the engine in the front. It was a nightmare to keep it running The electrical system was way too complex. I think it had relays to run relays.

  10. douglas hunt

    I had an X1/9, always liked the look of these, but never saw many if any in my small town……i like the round headlights of the Scorpion better that the squared off Montecarlo headlights

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