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Low Mileage Arachnid: 1976 Lancia Scorpion

Lancia (pronounced LAHN-chya) has an extensive history with racing. Their 037, Stratos, and Delta held just about every winning title in world rally racing, and they brought that racing knowledge to their road cars, too. Motortrend has a good write-up on the history of the Scorpion, so I’ll leave that to them. You can find this US-market Scorpion here on eBay.

Under the engine cover and behind the seats is a 1.8 liter twin-cam four-cylinder designed by former Ferrari engineer Aurelio Lampredi. Since it’s an Italian car, the default model is actually called the Montecarlo and it got a 2.0-liter version of the same engine producing 120 horsepower, but because of American smog regulations, the 1.8 liter Scorpion was choked back and only made 81 horsepower, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. It won’t be fast, but it’ll be fun.

This specific car is in excellent condition, too, and that can be seen in the interior. There are no cracks, tears, rips, stains, or missing trim pieces. It looks like it’s a nice place to spend time, too. Plenty of passenger room, and nice materials throughout. Since the Scorpion was intended to be a more up-market successor to the X1/9, a luxurious cabin makes sense. Acres of beige leather, clean design, and clear analog gauges.

It’s worth mentioning an easy way to tell the difference between a European-market Montecarlo and a US-market Scorpion: the headlights. To comply with US headlight regulations, they needed to be mounted higher than the car would allow, so US-market headlights lift up from the car slightly. A creative, if complicated and expensive, way to comply with regulations. No word on if the headlights on this example still go up and down, but they’re not hidden so I don’t think they would need to, unlike cars with pop-up headlights. The seller includes no images of the undercarriage, but they mention that it spent most of its time in storage, getting driven only every so often. The miles have been kept low, and there’s little wear-and-tear. It’s lived a pampered life. If you’re in the market for an exotic, mid-engined, Italian sports car, the generic answer to that is Ferrari or Lamborghini. Think differently and buy a Lancia.


  1. Terrry

    The Scorpion and the Beta were about the only Lancia models sold in the U.S. And they didn’t sell. Not bad cars, but expensive considering you got Fiat quality (who owned Lancia)

    Like 4
  2. Hiram McDaniel

    That engine is the same engine used in the Fiat Spider, and can be easily massaged for more power. The ultimate would be a dual Weber set-up and a header with a free flow exhaust. It can be fast, it’s just not fast in stock condition.

    Like 8
  3. Oldog4tz Oldog4tz Member

    Thanx for the coat pull. I always thought “Lance”

    Like 1
  4. Gary

    I have loved these ever since my buddy Herbie fell in love with one in Monte Carlo. (of course that didn’t last. Poor Herbie, I guess for him love was fleeting) Very sharp looking car!

    Like 8
  5. Rbig18

    Looks a lot like a Deloreon from the side

    Like 3
    • Bruce

      I have driven both and they are massively different cars. The Delorean has terrible vision problems in all directions where this Lancia is a delight. Better than either of my Lotus, the Europa Or the Esprit Turbo. The stock power is not great but I have driven one as described with 120+ HP and that was a delight. The biggest problem is getting the brakes balanced on these. The fronts can lock up pretty easy. I had only one example of that and it scared the crap out of me. To the final purchaser know the limits of this car and you will be fine but do not push it over the line.
      These are very comfortable cars to drive around town or on two lane roads in the country. Very nimble with enough power to be fun. The top comes off in targa fashion and with the windows up a crisp fall morning can be an amazing treat. The heater works well. None of the examples I drove had air conditioning. This is a car that attracts attention as much as my Lotus can. It is more of a Keeper than most realize.

      Like 6
    • Rick Earl

      Rbig18, I thought the same thing thinking this was another DeLorean for sale here.

      Like 0
  6. Derek

    This was the Beta Montecarlo over here (Scotland) – and was also the vehicle upon which the 037 was based. I had a brochure at some point…

    Like 2
  7. rkirkpat

    The headlights do need to pop up to be useful. If they don’t, they’ll be aimed at a spot about three feet in front of the bumper, which won’t do you much good.

    Like 0
    • SubGothius

      I’ve always wondered if it might be possible to reaim the headlights for driving with them kept in the down position, would also help resolve some of that unfortunate “death in the family” expression it seems to wear.

      Like 0
  8. scottymac

    “…the 1.8 liter Scorpion was choked back and only made 81 horsepower…” The 2.5 liter iron duke in the Pontiac Fiero had 92hp. Guess which one I’d rather have!

    Like 0
  9. Howie Mueler

    These look cool, not sure about those wheels. At $8,000 now, with reserve met.

    Like 0
  10. Araknid78

    Located in:
    Oakboro, North Carolina

    Like 0
  11. Joe

    Leather, or vinyl?

    Like 0
  12. Araknid78

    Aug 08, 2021
    Winning bid:
    US $9,500.00
    [ 33 bids ]

    Like 0

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