Restored and Parked: 1976 Lancia Scorpion

It’s not all that amazing anymore to read that a car was restored shortly before going into storage or otherwise being forgotten. That seems to at least be part of the story for this 1976 Lancia Scorpion, that received a whole host of upgrades and enhancements under the care of the seller’s father, but the car was used sparingly at spent a fair amount of time just gathering dust. It was apparently restored shortly after purchase in 1985, with upgrades including a respray, rebuilt engine, Fiat X1/9 dash swap, and more. Find it here on eBay with no reserve and bidding at $4,100 as of this writing.

The auction ends tomorrow so get in there and bid if you’re interested. The Scorpion enjoys a decent following, even if its performance wasn’t exactly scalding out of the box. Still, it’s a mid-engined Italian sports car that doesn’t require emptying your bank account of six-figure sums, and it’ll love you back if you maintain it to a respectable level. The seller’s father certainly threw everything but the kitchen sink at this car, starting with a respray featuring 16 coats of Guards Red lacquer. The paint stage also included sandblasting and undercoating the undersides of the car, a smart move considering the structural vulnerabilities of a car like this.

Now, I don’t know enough about these cars to know how or why the dash and seat swap with a Fiat X1/9 is an upgrade, but it apparently is. That’s a load of work to go through for a replacement dash, especially if the original wasn’t cracked. Regardless, the cabin still looks quite sporting today, and those seats appear to provide ample thigh and leg support. The three-spoke Momo-style wheel is a great upgrade for a car with quick steering, but you could also return this Scorpion to its orginal seats, steering wheel, and dash, and it would look just as good. The packaging of the Scorpion really did its best to emulate baby Ferrari, but a number of factors outside of Lancia’s control caused the performance potential to suffer.

Under the engine cover is where things really get interesting, as the owner didn’t skimp when it came time to refresh the engine. The engine was lifted from the Fiat Spider, so it was hardly a fire-breather when it was new, but the seller’s father went to town during the rebuild phase: ported head, BMW intake and exhaust valves, Alquati camshafts, Ansi header/dual exhaust, and high compression pistons round out the list of improvements made under his watch. It’s safe to say he had big plans for this Lancia, but hopefully, the next owner will be able to stretch its legs and enjoy the numerous improvements.

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Wow! 3 Lancia Scorpions recently discovered on BarnFinds. When I saw my first one when I worked at the Alfa dealer I didn’t expect to see others. Beautiful design without the hideous US bumpers. Unfortunately in stock form didn’t have the beans to back up the beauty. My technician friend was trying to sell his and when I asked him about buying it he said you won’t want it! I think he was referring to the lack of power. This one however with the modified engine (we hope but no way of knowing without receipts) would cure those issues. The price is right if 30 plus years of storage in Florida haven’t ruined it.

    Like 3
  2. Steve Clinton

    “Restored and Parked”. I asked myself ‘Why not drive it?’.

    Like 1
  3. OlyOop

    These did have pretty pathetic output in their US form (about 88 bhp, if I recall), but it’s very possible to find twin-carb heads in Europe and get these up to about 150 bhp or more. The greater concern with these first series cars (easily spotted because the flying buttresses are solid) is front-wheel lockup under even modestly sporting breaking.

    I’d love a Scorpion/Monte Carlo, but I’m not sure about this one. This particular example’s “restoration” leaves a lot to be desired: the dash, seats, and wheels all seem to me to be retrograde steps compared to the standard car. The red looks too pink compared to the factory color.

    Like 1
  4. Mark Mitchell Member

    I used to own a Scorpion that had been used as Herbie’s love interest in one of the “Love Bug” movies. It was still titled to Walt Disney Studios when I bought it. Here is a scene showing the Lancia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKKxknB-uV8

    Like 9
  5. chrlsful

    great company for about 80 yrs…
    I’d daily it…

  6. Big Len

    @Mark Mitchell Great scene. Never seen one that color.

    Like 2
  7. christopher gush

    Clearly a car which merits a “eyes on” inspection having been dormant for a number of years and the fact of who knows what is hidden under the paint given these cars were prone to rust on dealers lots when new. It appears to be a home for some unknown creature based on what is visible in the engine bay, and god only knows what other dark recess has been inhabited. Multiple coats of lacquer translates to multiple cracking in the finish given these semi monocoque chassis’ considerably flexed and now with age, the paint it brittle. My best advice to any buyer is “caveat emptor”.

    Like 2
  8. Kim

    Having been and still the proud owner of the misunderstood Fiat X1/9, as all Italian cars of the era, they were not undependable cars as the reputation suggests. Not unlike like any niche car they all had personalities that were tamable if you knew the car. Fiat invented the timing belt but they didn’t perfect it, and it regrettably was not mentioned in the maintenance manual. Failure to replace that belt every 25k miles could cost a week in the shop, a new set of valves and machine work on the head. With these interference engines if you kept the timing belt fresh and the transmission topped off and seals tight these little gems would propel you through decades of road hugging fun. Still driving my all original1974 X1/9 (first new car)with more smiles to the gallon than any car I’ve ever owned. I am a min engine fan and I own MR2 turbo, 2 Fieros a Fiat X1/9 with a k20 transplant. The Lancia’s similar platform is still on my bucket list.

    Like 2
    • Mary

      @Kim, I had the Fiat bug, too! Three 128s and a 124 sedan. When I bought the first 128 new, the dealership mechanic said although the manual states every 24,000 mi, he highly recommended every 20,000 because the timing belt likely wouldn’t make it to 24,000. That car had 275,000 miles on it in 3 years, when a VW was late for class and didn’t have time for a red light!!
      I’d love an X1/9, (or X-nineteen or X-one nineth–I’ve heard both of those options!) and I love my friend’s first gen MR2!! Motor on!

  9. Kim

    Having been and still the proud owner of the misunderstood Fiat X1/9, as all Italian cars of the era, they were not undependable cars as the reputation suggests. Not unlike like any niche car they all had personalities that were tamable if you knew the car. Fiat invented the timing belt but they didn’t perfect it, and it regrettably was not mentioned in the maintenance manual. Failure to replace that belt every 25k miles could cost a week in the shop, a new set of valves and machine work on the head. With these interference engines if you kept the timing belt fresh, the transmission topped off and seals tight these little gems would propel you through decades of road hugging fun. Still driving my all original1974 X1/9 (first new car)with more smiles to the gallon than any car I’ve ever owned. I am a mid engine fan and I own a showroom preserved MR2 turbo, 2 Fieros a Fiat X1/9 with a k20 transplant. The Lancia’s similar platform requires the same maintenance points and is still on my bucket list. Of course I would upgrade the power to the more venerable Spider 2000 engine.

    • DOUGLAS HUNT

      I always liked these and the exotic stratos even more
      Unfortunately not many in my little town, but i did buy a new x1/9 in 1980
      Lot of fun but I wasn’t yet mechanicly inclined and when it developed a weird miss (intermittent coil failure) i sold it for an offer I couldn’t refuse

  10. angliagt angliagt Member

    I think that a lot of the unreliability stories come from when
    Fiats,MGs,etc.,were given as graduation presents to high school
    girls who didn’t know that you had to do periodic maintenance to
    these cars.
    The other is “mechanics” who didn’t understand that they’re
    not a Ford,Chevy,etc.

    Like 1
  11. cam richardson

    I own a Scorpion that is in great shape and can tell you it will only fetch $9 to $10k. This example is likely only good for parts and maybe $500 to $1k value.

    Like 1
  12. Araknid78

    Ended:Feb 23, 2021 , 3:32PM
    Winning bid:US $5,711.00[ 26 bids ]

    Item location:Lakeland, Florida

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.