1981 Lancia Beta Zagato Spider Rare Unique 26K Miles Pininfarina Fiat Alfa Romeo
Price: - Item location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
- Condition: Used
- Make: Lancia
- Model: Beta Zagato Spider
- Type: Convertible
- Year: 1981
- Mileage: 26,867
- VIN: ZLAFS00C0B0202935
- Color: Red
- Engine size: 2.0-Liter Twin-Cam
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Power options: Air Conditioning, Power Windows
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- Drive type: FWD
- Interior color: Black
- Options: Cassette Player, Leather Seats
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1981 Lancia Beta Zagato SpiderThis particular Zagato is a survivor and one of the nicer ones in existence. Enjoyed sparingly from new, it has accumulated just over 29,000 miles in 35 years. The car stickered for around $13,000 which is about $40,000 in 2016 dollars.
The car is in great condition. The body is straight and there is no sign of rust, which is most atypical for these cars. The finish on the car is original I believe. All the glass is original and in good condition. The removable hardtop section is in good shape, as is the original rear folding roof section. The plastic rear window is in like new shape. The original alloy wheels have no curb rash and new tires, and only have a few hundred miles on them. All the plastic lenses, lamps and parts on the exterior are in good shape. It has power windows that work just fine. Seats 4 adults
As you'd imagine and can see from the photos, the interior is in terrific shape! The leather on the seats has held up very well. The dash is free from cracks. The car has not been smoked in - no odd smells or stains. All the lights, gauges and accessories operate as they should including the clock. It would be very difficult to find another Zagato with an interior in this condition. The car is equipped with a rare air conditioning option. I have not taken the time to explore making it work but all the parts appear to be there waiting for the next owner to get it operating, if desired. The heater, defroster, fan, etc. all work as they should.
Under the hood is the legendary Lampredi Lancia 1995cc twin-cam inline 4-cylinder engine with dual carburetors mated to a 5-speed manual transmission which shifts smoothly. It runs, rides and drives well
This Lancia is a joy to drive! It makes all the good engine and exhaust noises that it should. The unique top arrangement allows you to have open-air feel without the midday sun beating on you. The hard targa top easily comes off and stows in the trunk for a more convertible-like experience. The structure of the car feels much more solid than a traditional convertible.
This is a rare opportunity to own one of these rare Italian sports cars that has been loved and meticulously cared for over many years. So few of these cars survive today in original condition. Values are on the rise for this model. Hagerty estimates the current value of the '81 Zagato in #3 condition to be $8,100. I have enjoyed owning it but space and time constraints force me to find its next owner.
In the pics you can see the right front tire is a little low and that is because it has a small bead leak and I forgot to fill it before I took pics. The finish on the trunk and hood have some sun degradation but I wanted to leave the finish original. I got a quote from a local body shop of $500 to repaint the panels in case I decide to have it done. I also found a hood and trunk lid in factory red for $350.
After 2,100 Zagatos had been imported to the U.S. out of 9,600 built, Lancia departed America in 1982. No surprise to any enthusiast is the fact that rust was the main enemy to these cars even when they were new, and those looking today should not pass up a rust-free example if they can find one, as a well-sorted Beta in any guise is a fun drive.
History of the Lancia Beta Zagato Spider:
In 1979 Lancia added an open car to the Beta line-up of models offered in the US. They called it the Zagato 'Spider' and it was unique to be sure. Equipped with a 1995cc engine the car featured a hard lift-off roof panel and a fold-down "convertible" rear that provided a targa-type configuration. The Spider was, and is, so much fun to drive. Although built by Zagato, the Spider was actually designed by Pininfarina and Beta Coupe body shells were transported from Turin to Zagato in Milan where their transformation to Spiders took place.
History of the 1972-1984 Lancia Beta
Upon assuming control of Lancia in 1970, Fiat tasked the storied marque with replacing its aging Fulvia line with a high-volume product. In response, Lancia introduced the four-door Beta Berlina in 1972 with a 100-inch wheelbase, and shortly thereafter came the Beta coupe, which sat on a 93-inch wheelbase. Both cars were smart looking, styled in-house, and affordably priced.
The Beta used a Fiat-sourced transverse 1.4-liter DOHC I-4 engine that was slanted 20 degrees rearward and mated to a five-speed transaxle that drove the front wheels. Though the motor was based on Fiat's 1.3-liter I-4, Lancia's version of this Lampredi-designed motor had its own hemispheric head and all the Beta models had suspension componentry that was Lancia's own and not Fiat based. Engine size increases followed for all models (1.6 and 2.0 liter) as well as the HPE being introduced in 1975, this being an estate-type three-door hatchback that was based on the longer 100-inch wheelbase of the sedan, but with the coupe's forward bodywork delicately blended with a hatchback rear.
All three of these cars were available in America throughout the 1970s with the limited production and range-topping Pininfarina styled Beta Zagato Spyder arriving in 1979 (odd nomenclature yes, but so named in deference to the fact that Zagato completed the bodyshells for Lancia), this time with a 2-liter version of the motor making 83 hp in U.S. trim. What this car lacked in performance was made up for in road manners as well as the fact that open-air motoring could be enjoyed with a unique roof that placed a Targa panel in front of the integrated rollover hoop and a convertible section behind the hoop over the rear seats. No cars were imported in 1980, but the car returned in 1981.