Herbie’s Girlfriend: 1976 Lancia Scorpion

1976-lancia-scorpion-side

Unfortunately, most Lancia Scorpions have long since fallen victims to rust. In fact, there is one parked under a tarp down the street and it kills me every time I drive by because I know that there won’t be much left in a few more years. I would like to save that car, but common sense leads me to believe that this one might be a better choice. The seller claims that this 1976 Scorpion has only covered 48k miles since new. It runs well, looks good, and the $4,500 asking price isn’t too bad either. Find it here on craiglist in Boise, Idaho.

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Comments

  1. Mark E

    Back in the day I somehow believed these were tweaked Fiat X19s but I know now that is not the case. These are bigger cars and probably have more power too. But if they’re like their Fiat cousins, they will rust if you look at them wrong. And there IS rust in Idaho, so that would be something to consider with this car.

  2. Rick

    Mark,
    You’re almost right..or partially right I guess is the best way to put it. These were originally scheduled to be the X-1/9 big brother, the X 1/20. Somewhere along the decision tree, they were moved to Lancia to give it a modern sports car. Like the X-1/9 they suffered from cheap steel being used and no protection for it and really were rust waiting to happen. Great cars if kept out of the rust belt though.

  3. Dolphin Member

    Altho it’s got some bits I don’t care for (the front end is a tad blunt), I like the folded-paper look, especially since it’s now “vintage”.

    I would buy this over the x1/9, and the fact that it has such low miles and looks like it has been taken care of are very big pluses.

  4. paul

    Hay what can you buy for the price, just have to find an Italian car shop to keep it going. Back in those days I owned the cheaper Fiats & would have killed to own these, like the Fiats theses were fun to drive.

  5. Stuart

    In England it was called the Lancia (Beta) Montecarlo (all one word) Srs 1 (1756cc 4cyl) !
    In America it was called the Scorpion (ref to Arbath) because GM already had a Chevrolet Monte Carlo,
    It was only sold as Scorpion for 2 years 1976 and 77
    The Scorpion was slightly different from the Montecarlo.
    It had a smaller twin-cam engine (1,756 cc) because the 1,995 cc unit in the Montecarlo did not pass U.S. emissions standards.
    Between the decrease in engine size and the addition of smog equipment, the Scorpion delivered just 81 hp (60 kW) vs. the 120 of the Montecarlo.
    The Scorpion had different bumpers to meet American crash tests and semi pop-up headlights with the 1976s having solid rear buttresses (Montecarlos had glass inserts except for very early models).
    All Scorpions featured the convertible top.
    Unlike the Montecarlo there was only one production run of Scorpions.
    A total of 1,801 were manufactured in 1976 and sold as model year 1976 and 1977 (1396 and 405 respectively)
    I had the Pullout Centrespread from the local Car mag.
    I fell in love with it, until I found out how big, or should I say LITTLE it was !
    But it did look good in RED !

  6. twwokc

    Remember looking at these when they were new at the local Toyota/Lancia/Fiat/MG/Triumph/Jag dealership. Thought they were the exotic car in the world.

  7. Chris A.

    Rust, noise, brakes, US suspension were all problem areas for these. But once sorted, and parts can be sourced (and the rust kept at bay) the Beta Montecarlo series are nice cars. Lancia developed the car into a 1980-81world class Group 5 endurance champion with both a factory team and a later Martini sponsored team. Much as I like the car, I live in the northeast and have learned the hard way about rust damage. Seems to be a fair price if solid, it would be great fun to rebuild it with the european engine and suspension if rust free.

  8. Don A

    I actually bought this car, I have repainted it as the paint was so chalked out it would buff out. it does have only 48,000 miles, the interior is very good. Supposedly this car sat in the garage for 20 years, the guy I got it from got it running. Exhaust was swapped out with header and 4 tips out, has weber carb. I don’t think the cams are stock either, car is tuned to make power from 4000-6500 rpm. it drive like a go-kart!

  9. paul

    Yes Don A the Fiats back then did rev high & the power came on up in the RPM’s, my 850 Spyder was very similar in that respect & also handled like a go- kart, I used to auto cross the thing & it was quite a screamer.

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