Cheap Mid-Engine Exotic? 1977 Lancia Scorpion

1977 Lancia Scorpion

This is quite a unique vehicle that you can purchase for the asking price of $6,500. Up for sale is a 1977 Lancia Scorpion. The car has 72,577 miles on the odometer and has a VIN listed as well as a claimed clear title. It is located in Salinas, California and can be found here on craigslist. To sweeten the deal, the seller has a 1977 Lancia Beta that is included with the purchase for a parts car. Thank you, Roger, for the tip.

1977 Lancia Scorpion

This mid-engine Italian has a 1.8 liter, double overhead cam, inline 4 cylinder engine from factory, connected to a 5-speed manual transmission. Mechanically, the starter motor was replaced recently and the car was started 6 months ago. The master cylinder has been replaced, along the clutch cylinder and slave. Other things are the brake booster and most of the shift-linkage has been replaced.

1977 Lancia Scorpion

The cars interior is quite astonishing. The carpet still seems to still have some lusciousness to it. The plastics on the dashboard all seem to be in good condition and not cracked. There is not a whole lot of information about the interior listed so thankfully there are a few photos to give us an idea of what it is like. The car has been housed in a garage for over 36 years, so that has helped both the interior and exterior.

1977 Lancia Scorpion

Due to being in that garage, the listing says there is hardly any rust on it at all. The geographical location helps that as well, I’m sure. They say that the parts car however was not stored indoors and should only be used for parts. Another note is that the seller has rewritten the ad since being on sale starting on June 4th, 2019. Hopefully the rewrite, along with this write up will help this unique Lancia go to a good home.


  1. Eli

    Never got high marks in the reliability dept. Underpowered and somewhat quirky. If you want something different for cheap money this is it. I remember when they were new in showrooms and interiors were cheaply made and quite fragile. Fun to drive. Just don’t drive too far from a mechanics shop!

    Like 4
    • LotusS7

      I had one of these for several years and it was really dead nuts reliable, never an issue. I even let the kids drive it to high school, which certainly qualified as cool stuff. The sail panels say 76 on this one, so I don’t know what’s up with that. It did need about twice the HP to go with the looks.

      • SubGothius

        Solid buttresses and all-red taillights both say ’76. The ’77s had glassed-in flying buttresses and amber turn signals in the rear, though it’s possible to retrofit both to the ’76 style (albeit not so easy to update a ’76 to the ’77 flying buttress style).

  2. Poppapork

    This car uses the fiat parts bin, the engine is a Lampredi and the smaller 1.8l was used in the States, also tge US version was fitted with taller springs to meet the height requirement and it messed up with the car handling…
    If you can use the internet you can get parts for this and if you know someone with Fiat experience he will feel like home under this cars rear side openning hood…

    Like 1
  3. Tirefriar

    Has a rather hard hit to the rear, rt quarter panel and rear body panel damage. The right tail lamp looks to be positioned down, another indication that the rear body panel was twisted. Not worth the asking even if the car is rare and pretty good looking in my book. There is virtually zero brand recognition in the US so the next owner would most likely be an enthusiast

    • grant

      You can see where it’s taken a bumper hit on the right, looks to be a little crumpled there.

  4. Victor Anderson

    I bought one of my many X1/9’s from a guy that had one of these. Reason he was selling the X1/9 was to finance his new project — which looked exactly like this one — even same color. He was putting a 6 cylinder Maserati bi-turbo motor in it. I remember thinking it would be plenty fast enough — but between Lancia and Maserati you’re not exactly going to have something too reliable lol.

    Like 2
  5. Rube Goldberg Member

    I remember these from the short mid-engine car craze. Fiero, X1/9, whatever that Toyota one was, etc. Never really caught on. Guess Americans didn’t want a motor in their back seat. Cool cars, I think you’d be nuts to own this today.

    Like 1
    • John Montgomery

      If I could throw a few facts into this conversation… The first year of the Pontiac Fiero was 1983 so that car has absolutely nothing to do with the Lancia Scorpion / Monte Carlo. The Lancia was around almost 10 years before the Fiero was even a thought.
      The Lancia Montecarlo was designed by Paolo Martin and it’s the very first car that Pininfarina actually designed the entire car including the floorplan and chassis but also built the car under contract making it a landmark vehicle for the Pininfarina company. The car has at least two significant patents the first one as the first laminated flush windshield, the second was the convertible top mechanism that folded into a compartment toward the rear edge of the roof. The sub frame was the basis for the Group B world championship Lancia 037, using a supercharged 2 L engine with 2 wheel drive. It won the world championship in 1983. Values on these cars have been appreciating very quickly which makes it a good bargain and investment.

      Like 2
    • Kim

      The Fiat X1/9 certainly caught on. The tiny mid engined sports car was produced from 1973 through 1988. 15 years in production with only one major change when the drive train was improved in 1979 with one more gear and more power. The amazing handling more than offset its underpowered power plant. They have had a resergance by hotrodders with several modern drivetrain transplants. Honda k20, Alfa v6 engines have turned the X1/9 into a very fun and formidable sports car.

  6. SMS

    When these are in good shape they are quite impressive. Ride and handle much better than the x/19. Rust like crazy and the interiors need to be taken care of.

    Parts are easy to get and there is good support out there. Not difficult to find someone knowledgeable with these to look at it with you. Was interested in a targa and asked on the forum if someone would join me to go look at one. That person pointed out several issues I would have never seen.

    Like 1
  7. Russell

    Anyone else remember the huge Lancia “buy back” program in the early to mid-70’s in Europe (especially Britain) due to extreme rust issues on the sub frame/engine mount. Shame … it basically killed the Lancia brand. From a company that gave to us the Stratos HF

    Like 1
    • Ben

      I had a ’76 in the mid-80’s that got stolen. It was exactly like this one with the exception that mine had an after market stereo. Other that that, they were alike. Loved that car… always wondered what happened to it since it was never recovered. Fun but underpowered.

    • scottymac

      Stratos and Delta never did anything for me, but loved the looks of Fulvia and Gamma coupes, or even better a 037 Stradale.

    • SubGothius

      That Euro/UK buy-back program only affected the very earliest Beta sedans, where the subframe mount design for the FWD powertrain trapped water, leading to premature disintegration soon after their first exposure to winter salted roads.

      By the time the Beta coupe and Beta Montecarlo (Scorpion in the US) entered production, they’d already revised the subframe mount to eliminate that problem in all FWD Betas. Too bad the buy-back had already damaged their reputation by then; “no good deed goes unpunished.”

      Of course, the only thing Beta about the Scorpicarlo was the powertrain, mounted in a mid-rear configuration; the rest of it was mechanically almost identical to an X1/9, and of course the body and interior were unique to the model.

      Like 1
  8. ScorionsSting

    Appears to be a 1976 as the 1977s had glass sail panels IIRC. I had a 1976 and two other Lancias, and a Fiat thrown in there as well. I never want another Lancia, they make me cringe now to look at one. Never ending mechanical and trim issues.

  9. michael

    $6500 in exchange for a rust bucket is cheap?

  10. JoeNYWF64

    I wonder if they would have sold more of these if the “phony vent window” in each door opened up, like on 60’s american cars, or was not there at all.
    & if the car had roomy traditional footwells.

  11. Steve Member

    Had one. Great looking and a fun car to drive. Never had any issues and drove it some pretty long distances.

  12. Jonathan

    I had a silver 76 with forged pistons, nimonic valves, turbocharged with koni shocks and 14 inch bwa wheels. I put hundreds of thousands of miles on it over the years …changed the motor a couple of times. I found most of my lancia fiat stock parts in Arizona or georgia back in the day. I had it for 15 years….fun car…and the only thing lacking was the brakes were a little underpowered for the added hp. Ended up selling it for 3500 dollars and felt good about selling it at the time. I was finding the treasure hunt type part availability was growing old.

    Moved onto other sports cars and always have a fond memory of that sports car.

    Like 1
  13. t-bone Bob

    These are pretty nice cars, if not somewhat underpowered. That is fairly easy to rectify, though.

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