The hardcore Lancista will no doubt argue that a proper Lancia needs to be from before the Fiat take-over of late ’69. I’ll admit that there are plenty of sound reasons for such a claim. But personally I still reckon the Lancia badge adorned some real gems after Fiat took control.
The Beta range was broad and long-lived – despite many teething problems and serious rust issues. I’ve always been a fan of these Fiat-developed Lancias of the 70’s, and especially the lithe Coupé has always been a car I’ve dreamt of owning. But the crown jewel of the Beta range was of course the Montecarlo, with its stylish Pininfarina design and mid-mounted 2-litre Lampredi twincam engine. Yes, the Montecarlo too suffered from several issues early in its life. In fact, so much so that Lancia decided to halt production for almost two years while they re-engineered the car to get it right. But by then the reputation had of course already been damaged forever. But I just don’t care! With the exception of the Fiat X1/9 (which the Montecarlo was originally meant to succeed), where else will you get a mid-engined Italian sports car for significantly less than what a boring repmoblie will set you back? Well, you won’t.
Production of the first series – known as the Beta Montecarlo – ran from ’75 to early ’78. The second series – which dropped the Beta name – was then re-introduced for ’80 and finally bowed out in ’82, at which point a total of 7,798 Montecarlos had left the assembly line at Pininfarina. While the second series of Montecarlos must naturally be seen as the better car, I personally prefer the early series 1 cars. Their solid panelled buttresses make the styling even more special, and those early two-spoked 13” alloys unique to the series 1 Montecarlo are way cooler.
If you like me dream of having a Montecarlo in your garage, where better to find one than in Italy? This Spider – with its roll-back targa-style roof – for sale on Subito looks like a prime example. It’s a 1976 car and thereby from the first series. It also sports what I feel is the most striking of colours ever offered on the Montecarlo – Verde Metallizzato – a rare and typically 70’s metallic green. The seller seems to be a private person, and in the advert, he claims the Montecarlo is thoroughly original inside, outside and mechanically. The correct alloys are certainly in place, as is the early two-spoke steering wheel and the early vinyl seats. Even the pretty Vitaloni door mirrors used only on the series 1 cars are also still there. The seller even mentions that the car has been awarded the coveted Targa Oro Asi certificate. While any classic car should obviously always have a pre-purchase inspection, this one certainly looks and sounds like a good one.
Find it here on Subito at an asking price of Euro 11,900 which with the currently weak Pound equates to approximately £11,000
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to email@example.com