FWD Fun: 1976 Lancia Beta Coupe

1976 Lancia Beta Coupe Front Corner

Update – The auction for this Lancia has ended with only one bid at $2,500. The seller has already relisted the car, but they haven’t lowered their BIN price of $2,750.

The 70’s wasn’t the best eras for the Italian automaker Lancia. When Fiat took over the failing company in 1969, their first new car under new ownership was the Beta. The styling wasn’t as attractive as its predecessor, but what the Beta lost in looks it made up for in performance and reliability… Well at least by Italian standards. This 1976 Beta Coupe is located in Seattle, Washington and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding starts at $2,500 and there is a Buy It Now price of $2,750.

1976 Lancia Beta Coupe Interior

The interior in this car looks exceptional and those high bolster seats look almost like new. There are a few things inside this car that have us puzzled though. Are all those wires hanging out from under the center counsel a radio installation gone bad? And what about those red inserts in the door panels? Are those stock? Other than a few grips this cabin looks great for a car at this price range. We would probably repair a few things, install a different steering wheels, and leave the rest as is to keep the costs down.

1976 Lancia Beta Coupe Engine

The best part of this beater is the engine. Sure it’s not Lancia’s clever V4 design, but it is a 1800 cc twin cam straight four feed by twin Weber carburetors. The twin Webers weren’t a factory option for the Beta Coupe, but it was a popular upgrade, as it added considerable power. The 1800 was pulled directly from the Fiat parts bin, so parts are plentiful and relatively cheap. The seller claims the engine runs great and we hope they are right. These little twin cams can be fun engines, but tuning them can be a challenge for the inexperienced, especially with the twin carbs installed.

1976 Lancia Beta Coupe Rear Corner

The paint is oxidized, but at least we don’t see any rust bubbles forming. These cars were famous for structural rust. So much so in fact that Lancia offered to buy back rusty cars in the UK. This car looks surprisingly solid though and if it actually is than this could be a great driver. The Beta came standard with rack and pinion steering, a five speed transmission, and disc brakes all around. That is a lot of bang for your buck when you are only spending a couple grand. This one might be priced a few hundred dollars high, but the Weber upgrade and solid body may justify it. As with any Italian, watch out for the tin worm and have a good import mechanic on speed dial.

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Comments

  1. fred hunt

    Looks like it’s relatively solid and reasonable. Spiders are starting to go through the roof

  2. alfadoc

    “This one might be priced a few hundred dollars high…”Idiot. Think where a comparable Alfa GTV would be priced. These cars are so undervalued, it’s absurd. People think they’re fancy Fiats (which are also undervalued). Fact is, they’re every bit the Lancia, just with a Fiat engine. I used to go to track days with the local Alfa club, and wipe up the place with my injected ’81 coupe.

  3. Barn Finds

    Alfadoc, we were not saying that the car is not “worth” the asking price, but the fact is that it is priced higher than the market would normally pay for a comparable car. Do your research and then decide if we are “idiots”. We listed the car because we also feel they are undervalued and that this one is a good buy.

  4. fred hunt

    Yeah barnfind….it’s really sad that you can’t go anywhere on the net and have a civil conversation without some obnoxious individual waxing crude.

  5. cardog

    I’ll take the Alfa GTV thank you.Not that I don’t think these are nice cars, but I would still covet the Alfa more….of course I may be an “idiot” ………Now if we were tralking a Fulvia……….

  6. Chris

    Check for rust very carefully, then check again. Sorta clunky looking for an Italian car, but I’d rather have it than a Fiat 124 coupe. Those Fed safety bumpers sure uglified a lot of nice cars. For sure you won’t see one around every corner. The more I look at the pictures, the more I like it. Good thing I’m east coast.

  7. Frosted Flake

    The engine in the Beta rests in a cradle that is bolted to the unibody with four specialty bolts. A classic problem is rust affecting the 2 bolts at the bottom of the fire wall. Put the car on a lift and inspect this area. If this area is compromised, that is very bad news. While the car is on the lift is the best time to inspect the shift linkage. The 6″ long twin ball-joint connector is the wear item. It is behind the motor, under the manifold and above the rack. Note that the wheel bearings are cylindrical, so cannot be adjusted. If worn, they must be pressed out & in and that is the only job I took to a shop when I owned a ’76. I advise the timing belt be replaced. It is rated two years and if it breaks, goodbye valves. This is one of those pain in the poot jobs that must be done regularly. The front struts on this car are incorrectly assembled, the nose should be lower, I think 2″. I did it wrong the first time, myself.

  8. Bill Valley

    I am looking for a very good set of door panels and a grill and other trim . It sounds like you might know Lancia. I have an 81 and a 76. . Some folks never learn. If you have ever driven a Beta you will know that they are fun to drive. The electrical parts are what bother me the most. If someone wants to offer a n amount on the 76 I would be glad to consider it. E-mail me with your offer but it would have to be higher than the $2500.00 bid.

  9. Mark Clinard

    these dress up nicely and make good vintage Rally contenders. and the larger single weber is easier to tune. lose the EPA BS, add headers and you get peppy, predictable performance

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