There’s some intrigue with imports that were seen on occasion in America but are quite a rare sight today. What about a Renault 15/17? Rover 3500? Our Pick of the Day is a vehicle in a similar vein, a 1975 Lancia Beta Berlina listed for sale by a Florida dealer on ClassicCars.com. (Click the link to view the listing)
The Beta was introduced late in 1972 and produced through 1984. Equipment was rich and contemporary for the time: DOHC inline-four, five-speed manual, rack and pinion steering, fully independent suspension with MacPherson struts, and four-wheel disc brakes. The Beta was produced in both FWD and RWD configurations depending on the body style, of which there were many: four-door Berlina “fastback” sedan, Trevi notchback sedan, Coupé, Spider/Zagato convertible, HPE three-door shooting brake, and the mid-engined Montecarlo/Scorpion. The latter was the only RWD Beta of the bunch.
All Betas save the Trevi were imported in the U.S. from 1975-82 at various times. Of course, this being post-1973, all featured ungainly federalized bumpers that affected the Beta’s clean looks, especially the Berlina’s. A 1.8-liter with 86 horsepower was initially offered, then upgraded to a 2.0-liter in 1979. The Berlina was last imported in 1980, with the Zagato being the sole American offering in 1982 before Lancia left the American market.
Based on the trunklid badge, this Lancia Beta Berlina is equipped with the 1800 engine. Interior shots show the five-speed manual (a positive sign for a U.S. import) and sunroof. Seller states this “very rare and stunning Lancia” comes with “extensive documentation and records of the vehicle” including “repair receipts documented since 1979” and “original books and documents.”
This unusual Italian can be yours for $17,999. Hungry for some brio for the new year? Maybe this 1970s near-luxury saloon is the answer to the question you’ve been asking.