1973 Lancia Beta 1600
(Featured on 9th July 2013)
Registration: TPB 609M
Sellers original description:
Unique and quite spectacular Lancia Beta 1600 series 1 berlina (saloon).
Unique in many ways.
Firstly, he is thought to be the only surviving 1600 S1 on the road in the UK.
Secondly, he is unrestored. Never welded anywhere, and with no need of any welding, he is a joy to behold. The seams are all factory fresh, the inside of the wheel arches still have their original factory paint and the underside is unmarked and like a nearly new car.
Thirdly, he is also believed to be the oldest known Beta in the country, and is totally as launched in specification, with the early features that made the Beta such a critically acclaimed new car back in 1973.
So, what is the Beta?
Whilst folklore tell tales of woe, let's be realistic about the model.
When launched, the motoring press raved about Beta. It was lightyears ahead of the opposition, and is still very able to hold its head high in today's cut and thrust traffic.
1600cc belt driven twin overhead camshaft 100bhp engine.
Close ratio 5 speed gearbox.
Dual circuit servo assisted disc brakes all round.
All independent suspension.
Front wheel drive.
Spacious beautifully trimmed cabin.
Beta regularly won its road tests, coming out highly on handling, roadholding, performance and driver enjoyment, and these qualities remain today.
Registered in August 1973, this Beta saloon is one of the first Betas into the UK. With a known, and mostly documented history from new and the original sales invoice, he has been cared for and looked after all his life.
Undersealed from new, he has covered just 35,000 miles, over 2500 of which I covered last year.
Being a series one, he has the desirable earlier 1592cc engine, and the higher waist and boot line - all changed in the later cars, arguably loosing some of the Italian character and individuality of the styling.
This Beta has been featured in many classic car magazines over the last few years, as well as having been shown at the NEC classic car show on two occasions, and winning it's class in the Lancia Motor Club concours on the two occasions he has been shown.
I have owned it for 7 years, but now, with many other Lancia projects to look after, something has to give, and so I have decided to offer it to the market.
You won't find another in this condition, with this history and with this early specification in the UK. It is truly unique!
In my ownership, no paintwork or rectification has been carried out, although there are one or two small areas which suggest localised paintwork over its 40 year life (possibly from the odd parking ding caused by its original elderly owner!). I have serviced it (oil, filters, cam belt, carb overhaul etc), but haven't need to do any major repair. a testimony to the original quality of the Lancia Beta.
So, what you have here is a stunning, incredibly rare, yet useable classic Lancia. He would look at home in a private collection, in a museum, or as a car to use and enjoy on high days and holidays.