LANCIA SCORPION (Montecarlo, X1/8, X1/20, Type 137)
- Condition: Used
- Make: Lancia
- Model: Beta
- SubModel: Scorpion
- Type: Mid-engine
- Trim: Spider
- Year: 1976
- Mileage: 36,240
- VIN: 137AS101358
- Color: Silver
- Engine size: 1.8L Twin Cam
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Power options: Power Windows
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: Red
- Options: CD Player, Sunroof
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1976 Lancia Beta Scorpion
I'll be bringing this Lancia Scorpion to this year’s Fiat FreakOut Conoursa event at the Inn at St. John’s (https://www.fiatclubamerica.com/ffo2016) in Plymouth, MI this Saturday (7/30)......
I’ve decided to sell my Scorpion because, with my growing family, it just hasn’t gotten the seat time it deserves. Rather than let it atrophy in my garage, I hoped another Lancisti (or a future one) would like to take it over.
I bought it about 5 years ago and I'm the third owner. It currently has only 36,000 miles and it’s mostly stock with few exceptions. Though it certainly isn’t a show car, it doesn’t need much to make it so or, like I have been, you can use it as a semi-commuter/weekend driver. I have only driven it on the nice summer days here in Michigan (which is about 1,000 miles a year) and it has always remained garaged, even in the summer, but never sees the light of day once the seasons get cold.
It’s fun to drive and it looks great (just please don’t say it reminds you of a DeLorean). Regarding the finish, I’d say it’s a good 10 footer. The paint has several blemishes, some chips and a bit of crazing that’s obvious only when up close. I looked to see if it had been repainted, and though it looks like it just might have been touched up over the years, I can’t find much overspray (other than the engine compartment, which the previous owner inexplicably painted flat black).
When it comes to rust, the car is very clean. After lifting up the carpets and inspecting the underbody, the only minor corrosion I ever found is in the all too common place in the underside of the hood around the fresh air vents. However, it seems to be surface corrosion and is not noticeable from the exterior (see pics) and has also not gotten worse in the 5 years I’ve owned it. But, I do have an extra hood (primered) in great condition that comes with the car, if you want it (pick up only).
The interior is about a 7 out of 10. It’s in good shape and there are no major rips or blemishes, but the seats aren’t the original color (original seat cushions need to be reupholstered, but they are included, if wanted), the carpet is a bit frayed and the console vinyl condition is in fair to good condition.
It’s a reliable car, and to get it so I had to make some repairs/modifications after I first bought it. I made all the repairs/modifications on this vehicle myself. I’m an automotive engineer that previously owned a Fiat 124 Sport Spider with the same twin cam and I can say that, in many respects, the Scorpion is an easier car to work on due to the cavernous engine bay.
First I had to attend to a badly needed suspension overhaul. When I first got the car, it just didn’t handle nearly as well as I heard these vehicles should, so I began by replacing all aging soft goods and now it handles really nicely. Some of the changes include:
Rebuilt steering rack.
Front A-arms including ball joints have been replaced.
Front suspension bushings have been replaced.
Front and rear anti-sway bar bushings replaced with polyurethane.
Front and rear struts have been retrofitted with the much more common Fiat X1/9 style KYB GR2 gas struts.
Secondly, though I wanted to keep the car as stock as possible, I wanted to utilize a tire size that enhanced handling and braking safety:
The current wheels have been upgraded from the stock 13” to 16” Ford lightweight aluminum wheels. To mount these wheels, I had adapter/spacers machined that convert the 4x98 PCD wheel bolts to the much more common 4x108 wheel studs. What’s important is that these adapters retain hub-centricity to the Fiat hub as well as the Ford wheel. The spacer is designed to adjust for the wheels increased offset and to clear the new X1/9 struts. Therefore, the total offset between the hub and the wheel center is only 10mm out from stock in order to clear the slightly wider tires against the X1/9 struts. The original Cromodora “bow-tie” wheels are included with the sale (see shipping note below).
New Nexen Nfera 195/60-16 summer tires (~1,000 miles on them).
Then I needed to sort out the electrical system, as half of the accessories didn’t work when I first received the car:
The entire electrical system had been checked, overhauled and/or repaired back to stock with the exceptions of installing relays on the ignition switch loads, headlights and electric windows. A lot of time was spent studying the wiring diagram in order to route the relay circuits to keep as close to the original wiring layout as possible. All added relays route through the stock fuse panel (which was replaced), so there are minimal changes to the original shop wiring diagram. I have documents for all wiring changes that will be included with the shop wiring diagram. As such, all accessories on the car work from the intermittent wipers to the fog lights, to all the instrumentation. Though every now and then a ground must be cleaned after long storage to get a circuit working again, this is very rare. The only accessory that doesn’t seem to work is the clock.
All lights have been retrofitted to LED bulbs (except the headlights) including the instrument panel to improve illumination and reduce alternator running loads.
Other fixes/mods that rounded out my shepherding of this car to its daily driver status:
The brake discs were replaced and the calipers were refurbished by the previous owner (painted red). EBC Greenstuff pads are installed along with new flex lines and parking brake cable.
3 out of 4 CV joints are new (the last one didn’t need to be replaced, but new joint comes with the car).
New engine mounts were installed to replace the original collapsed ones.
4-2-1 header and ANSA quad tip silencer with new exhaust mounts (an extra hard-to-find ANSA/Abarth quad-tip silencer is included as a spare, if wanted).
New larger (European spec) 34DAT Weber carb.
Upgraded to later Fiat electronic ignition distributor with 8mm Magnecor plug wires.
The cooling system has been flushed, radiator cleaned, and two stage fan switch installed to utilize the second A/C fan for failsafe cooling (first fan comes on at 188 deg, both are on at 198 deg). Car runs cool. I’ve been caught in a couple of traffic jams in the summer heat and it the gauge never goes much past 190 (the middle).
The vacuum operated heater core valve has been replaced and relocated to trunk (for easier servicing). The car has great heat leading to some nice fall drives with the top and windows open.
New bronze accelerator pedal bushing & cable (accelerator pedal bushing was loose, a common failure).
An aftermarket Pioneer stereo that includes a CD/MP3/iPOD head unit with two speakers and an amplifier (hidden in trunk) were installed and sound great.
I installed re-upholstered seat inserts in black that I had acquired from another Scorpion owner.
An aftermarket digital voltmeter has been installed in the center console to monitor the charging system and can be switched off with a dash switch.
None of the period emissions controls are present (they were discarded by the previous owner).
The A/C system is present, but not working.
The previous owner disconnected the brake booster (which only operated the front brakes on the Scorpion), a common mod to deal with the premature front brake lock-up in wet weather. However, with the new modern pads and tires, the car stops true.
The spider roll-back top, while working well, has been modified as the original plastic top latches have long since destroyed themselves (and they’re not available anywhere). To secure the top, the previous owner drilled two small holes, one on each side, and secured the top hinge down with small bolts with black thumbscrews. It works well and is hardly noticeable. You can see the modification in the pictures of the roof. You can still open and close the roof with one person in just a couple of minutes.
All factory service manuals including A/C, electrical & parts diagrams are included.
I’ve driven the car over a 100 miles in a stretch and there were never any problems. I’ve also never had an issue commuting the 40 miles to and from work on nice days. So, I think car can be driven almost anywhere, however, some items that may need attention in the future:
Brake master cylinder needs to be replaced sometime in the near future. The car stops fine, however I have noticed some minor piston blow-by while stopped at a light after a couple of minutes of massaging the brake pedal with my foot. Strangely, the previous owner had changed the brake and clutch master cylinders (clutch has no issues and works fine).
There is small amount of coolant dripping down in the location of the #4 cylinder indicating an external leak in the head gasket. However, engine operation does not seem to be affected. It only seems to be an external leak as coolant and oil are not mixing (oil gallies are not near this location in the block) and the compression and leak-down checks on the engine indicate the motor is healthy:
10% to 40% is considered low leakage (i.e., good).
Location of air test leak
Intake valve clearance
0.45mm +/- 0.04mm (0.41mm - 0.49mm)
Exhaust valve clearance
0.50mm +/- 0.05mm (0.45mm - 0.55mm)
Spark plug condition
Cold start video:
Warm run video:
I have many parts available that will be free to the new owner if desired. Some of the bigger items listed below must be picked up unless you don’t mind paying UPS Store prices for shipping and dunnage:
Original red seat inserts are included, but need to be reupholstered first before installation (shipped with the car).
Extra windshield (pick up only).
Extra hood - primered and in great condition (pick up only).
Extra 34DAT Weber carb with various jets (shipped with the car).
Extra ANSA/Abarth quad-tip silencer - VERY rare (pick up or pay for shipping).
Original stock Cromodora “bow-tie” 13” wheels with Pirelli P400 tires (picked up or pay for shipping).
Thanks for reading. I’ll try to answer as many questions as possible as quickly as possible.
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