Car & Driver Turbo Test Car: 1977 Lancia Scorpion

This 1977 Lancia Scorpion is a rare example of a well-preserved car that was featured in Car & Driver magazine in 1984. Bolting a turbocharger to the mid-engined Italian was likely in response to what many felt were major performance shortcomings of the car as the factory outfitted it for U.S. consumers. I can’t say I disagree with the sentiment, and amazingly, the Lancia has survived with its period turbo system intact. Find it here on eBay where bidding is over $15K with the reserve unmet.

The Scorpion is making me feel warm in all the right places, with its awesome modern-retro Ronal wheels, lowered stance, clean bodywork, and obviously, a much-needed injection of performance. To my mind, that’s a major reason why these cars could never overcome their reputation for poor quality among enthusiasts: the driving experience didn’t reward you enough for the inconvenience.

The interior is in mint condition, and exactly the color we would order if outfitting an Italian slingshot with all the right features. The seller notes the interior is completely original while the exterior has been totally stripped and repainted. The cabin is super clean with minty door panels, uncracked dash, and nicely aged floor mats. The originality speaks to how well the car has been preserved since its C&D feature.

The turbocharged mill has been updated mechanically, along with all other major mechanical systems. The seller notes the brakes, front and rear suspension, transmission, and clutch have all been rebuilt, while the A/C has been upgraded with a rotary compressor. This Lancia isn’t for everyone, but it’s likely one of the best to come up for sale in recent years – and for the subsequent future.


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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    I think that there is a need to read the description in the eBay auction VERY CLOSELY. And then, ask some very pointed questions of the seller.

    The wording does not specify that it is this very exact car (as in the same one) which was the subject to the C&D massaging. OR, that this is the same engine, even if it was. According to the seller’s words: “added to the original 1800cc engine”. Yet the description states the engine to be “2000cc turbo-charged, fuel injected twin can ” It appears to me as though this is NOT the same (original) engine, and very likely not with the mentioned 1984 era turbo system. Those things could be good, IMO, if the installation and upgrades are more recent, including a modern fuel/ignition/turbo pressure management system.

    The whole story is not being told here whether deliberately or by accidental omission.

    I do see this as being a potentially great and fun car to have. But I strongly disagree with Jeff regarding the attractiveness of the “awesome modern-retro Ronal wheels”.
    To me they look terrible on the car, and going with a taller aspect ratio tire on the rear adds rake and a boy-racer look which just is wrong for a sports car.

    The seller needs to at least fix one glaring issue in the description:
    “Body stripped and repainted to correct original spider-webbing.of paint.” should at least be: “Body stripped and repainted to correct original color, due to spider-webbing of the factory paint.”

    I like the car, yes. But the listing misses the mark by not explaining the engine properly, and those wheels/tires would just have to go!

    Like 6
    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      I struggled with how to describe the listing accurately, and did look to see if I could find any record of the car in C&D’s archives. I didn’t.

      You’re correct to question it, but I’ll leave that up to the court of public opinion and actual potential buyers to suss out.

      And I should also clarify, I do like the wheels – but would love them in a 15×7 or similar dimension. Agreed they are about two inches past ideal.

      Like 2
  2. Neil G.

    Add Gullwings, squint your eyes and you will see the car that inspired the DeLorean.

    Like 8
  3. Rodger

    I had a 77 several years ago, and I still like they way they look. It was very reliable and handled great, but sloooow. Seems like everyone tries to make them faster. Part of the problem is that they look fast as anything else that really is fast, but they are about like an old MG for go, which was a contemporary back then. It was my son’s daily driver for high school for awhile even. I made some fiberglass bumpers to replicate the 037 look, made it really look faster than it was.

    Like 5
  4. Skorzeny

    I have always loved the styling on these, and this looks like it would be a great weekend car. I do agree with Jeff though, I think the wheels look great. Look what they do nowadays, they put a wheel about sizes too big on it lower car so you can’t even see it. Yuck. I’d keep them! Different strokes…

    Like 1
  5. SubGothius

    Interesting addition of side scoops from an X1/9, wonder if they’re functional? I would have mounted them higher, in line with the stock black side stripe (which was put there to help visually lengthen the somewhat stubby proportions), and if necessary make that stripe a bit wider to match the scoop height.

    Like 1
  6. Mark Mitchell Member

    These cars were touted as being a future collectors items from day one. That never really happened, and they have been a dud in the marketplace ever since. Other Lancia’s have made tremendous gains in value, but not these. I have owned a few of these including two which were used in a Herbie movie (Herbie’s love interest!).

    Like 2
  7. BobbyLongshot

    Just look at her, she is gorgeous. Nothing else matters.

  8. t-BONE BOB

    Currently at $18,994 after 79 bids with less than 8 hours to go. Reserve not met

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