Lancia Beta Montecarlo, 1978
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Updated: 24-May-2024 15:07

Lancia Beta Montecarlo, 1978

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Lancia Beta Montecarlo, year 1978. Colour red (Lancia L 152) combined with a beige brown cloth interior and beige carpet. This gorgeous Lancia Beta Montecarlo was sold new in the Netherlands, and it still features its original registration number 49-XE-98 which was registered on 4 July 1978. This Lancia Montecarlo is in an excellent, and super original condition. The odometer shows 45.007 original kilometres! After the first owner passed away in 1995, the car was garaged for 25 years. As his wife passed away the car was sold by the family. The Montecarlo was purchased by a Lancia enthusiast who had the car brought up to date completely. The engine was removed and rebuilt by a company named Arrows. They checked the engine over completely, renewed the gaskets, renewed the timing belt, hoses, clutch etcetera. The brake system was overhauled, including the fitment of a new master cylinder, brake servo, and discs. Finally, brand new Vredestein 185/70 R13 tyres were fitted on the wonderful original alloy wheels (including the spare wheel). This Lancia Beta Montecarlo is an excellent, and super original example for the Lancia enthusiast and collector. The car looks a picture and it drives delightfully.


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The Lancia Beta Montecarlo was one of the ‘showstoppers’ of the 1975 Geneva Motor Show. Years earlier the project for a mid-engined (X1/8) project started at Fiat. After extensive modifications, the sports car project went ahead under the designation X1/20. In 1974 the X1/20 participated in the Giro Italia under the name Abarth Pininfarina 030 where it finished second behind the Lancia Stratos. The 030 was fitted with a tuned V6 engine derived from the Fiat 130 producing 285 HP. A year later the road version of project X1/20 was presented as the Lancia Beta Montecarlo. The Montecarlo was available as a Coupé and a Spider model. The mid-engine car was powered by a 2-litre version of the excellent Lancia Beta 1800 four-cylinder twin cam engine. The suspension, gearbox and other mechanical components were advanced Lancia Beta hallmarks as well. All independent suspension with anti-roll bars, disk brakes around, a five-speed gearbox were all part of this sporty package. The first series was built from 1974 until 1978. In total 3835 cars were built of which 2078 Coupés and 1757 Spiders. In 1980 The Lancia Montecarlo 2nd series was presented with some styling and mechanical modifications. The front now featured the corporate Lancia grille and the ‘flying buttresses’ of the tunnel-back at the rear were now glazed. Induction was now by petrol injection instead of a carburettor and the wheels were enlarged from 13 inch to 14 inch to fit larger disc brakes. Production ceased in September 1981, but the Lancia Montecarlo was presented in the Lancia model programme until 1984.

Technical data*:

Four-cylinder in-line engine (DOHC)
cylinder capacity: 1995 cc
induction: 1 vertical double barrel Weber 34 DATR/200 carburettor
capacity: 118 bhp at 6000 rpm
torque: 168 Nm at 3400 rpm
gearbox: 5-speed manual
top-speed: 119 mph – 190 km/h
brakes: servo assisted disc brakes around
drive: mid-engine, rear wheel drive
weight (unladen): 1040 kg.

*Source: All the Lancias 1906 – 2008, 3rd edition 2008

Lancia history

Lancia & Co. was established in the year 1906 in Turin, Italy.
Vincenzo Lancia founded his firm in cooperation with his friend and colleague Claudio Fogolin. Vincenzo Lancia and Claudio Fogolin both worked as technicians and racing car (test) driver at the Fiat motor company.

The first Lancia prototype was damaged completely by a fire in the factory so the first Lancia automobile was presented a year later; in 1908.
The first Lancia was the "tipo 51" which was named Alpha (The "A" in the Greek alphabet). In the following decades Lancia would be naming lots of cars with capitals out of the Greek alphabet. The Lancia Alpha was fitted with a cleverly constructed small four cylinder engine with a capacity of 58 bhp. Those days an enormous capacity!

The Lancia automobiles were known for being extremely fast and characteristic by design. Between the years 1910 and 1920 Lancia primarily built fast middle class tourers. The firm was an active innovator and always ahead with technical and mechanical solutions.
One day Vincenzo Lancia found himself on a ship in a monstrous sea. Seeing the ships hull fighting the demonic waves he stated; a car should be as firm and strong as a ships hull... This wet experience and the idea of the ships hull inspired Vincenzo to develop a car with a unitary bodywork structure... This car, the Lancia Lambda, was presented to the public in the year 1922. This was the first car ever built with a unitary body structure; body and chassis finally merged...
Mechanically the Lancia Lambda was also far ahead of the contemporary competitors. The car featured a unique V4 engine with twin overhead camshafts, independent front suspension and brakes all round.
The Lancia Lambda was extensively tested in the Alpes.
The light car with stiff bodywork and powerful engine proofed to be blessed with excellent road holding capabilities!
The Lambda was built with several bodywork variant until 1931 as it was succeeded by the Lancia Dilambda.
The Dilambda was a step back in time concerning the concept; the car was constructed with a separate chassis again. Those days it was common to buy a rolling chassis on which specialized firms created the bodywork for customers. The Lambda came too early, the industry was not ready so Lancia returned to common ground with the Dilambda... The Dilambda was fitted with an eight cylinder engine. Up to 1936 Lancia built the models Augusta, Astura, Arteria en Ardea. These cars were bodied by the famous Italian bodywork specialists.

In the year 1936 the unitary bodywork structure was introduced again (14 years after the introduction of the Lancia Lambda) with the presentation of the beautiful Lancia Aprilia.
The Lancia Aprilia featured independent suspension all round (!), hydraulic brakes (!), drum brakes placed near to the differential at the rear (!) and an aluminium V4 engine (!).
Next to designing and producing road cars Lancia was also very involved in building racing cars... Lancia racing cars were very often fitted with new innovative constructions which had to prove their value on the racing track.
Amongst others the famous racecar driver Emmanuel Fangio drove for Lancia in the fifties of the twentieth century. He also drove the Pan America race in 1953.
In fifties of the twentieth century Lancia built it's most beautiful automobiles ever. These cars were far ahead of the competition with their unitary bodywork structure, V4 and V6 engines with overhead camshafts and all the innovations Lancia developed for the succeeding models.
The Lancia Appia Series 1 and II (1953-1959) was a beautifully designed compact car which was mechanically less complex than the other contemporary Lancia models. Between 1956 and 1962 various stunning specials were built, by Pinin Farina, Zagato and Vignale, based on the Appia.

In the year 1950 the Lancia Aurelia was presented to the public. The Aurelia was available as saloon model (B10, B21, B22, B12), from 1953 also as 2+2 coupe model (B20-2500 GT), and from 1954 as Spider and Convertible models (B24).
The Aurelia B20-2500 GT and the Aurelia B20 Spider are the absolute highlights in the Lancia history and both were designed by Pinin Farina!
The Aurelia series was succeeded by the Lancia Flaminia series in the year 1957.

With the Flaminia series Lancia introduced a very luxurious automobile in the top range. The Flaminia was another Lancia showcase of innovation and the cars featured beautiful designs. Because of the expensive technical and mechanical components the Lancia Flaminia was a very expensive automobile.
The Lancia Flaminia series featured: independent suspension all round, De Dion rear axle with integrated gearbox (transaxle), disc brakes all round and an aluminium 2775 cc. V6 engine. We identify the following Lancia Flaminia models:
The Flaminia Berlina (1957-1970), the Lancia Flaminia Coupe (1958-1967), the Lancia Flaminia GT/ GTL (1958-1967) and the Lancia Flaminia Sport and Super sport Zagato (1958-1967)
All Flaminia models together a little over 10.000 were ever built.

In the year 1960 a new model was born; the Lancia Flavia.
The Lancia Flavia was positioned between the Lancia Appia and the Lancia Flaminia model series. With the presentation of the Flavia model series Lancia introduced it's first front wheel drive car. The decision to use front wheel drive was made from economic point of view; the construction could be built less complex and considerably cheaper. The Flavia was also fitted with a less complex beam rear axle. The brake system was state-of-art again; disks all round with a dual circuit brake system. In 1965 fuel injection was introduced for the Flavia model series.
We identify the following Lancia Flavia Models:
Lancia Flavia Berlina (1960-1966), the Lancia Flavia Coupe (1962-1968), the Lancia Flavia Convertible (1962-1969) and the Lancia Flavia Sport Zagato (1963-1967).

In the year 1969 the financial position of Lancia was very bad. The expensive, advanced automobiles generated not enough profit to survive, there was no chance Lancia would survive on it's own so the make was taken over by FIAT.

In the year 1969 the Lancia Flavia Berlina and Coupe became available with slightly redesigned bodywork and a new engine; the V4 Fulvia engine. The modernized Flavia was built until the year 1974.

In the year 1963 the Lancia Fulvia was presented to the public. The Berlina model shows a great resemblance with the Lancia Flavia Berlina. The Lancia Fulvia was ftted with the smaller V4 engine powering the front wheels. The Lancia Fulvia series was fitted with independent suspension and disc brakes all round. In the year 1965 the show stopper in the Fulvia series was presented; the Lancia Fulvia coupe... the HF version of this car has won many, many international rally events.
The Lancia Fulvia was also available as Zagato Sport model.

In the year 1970 the unique Lancia Stratos saw the light of day. A Bertone designed futuristic show model which was chosen by Lancia to compete in the international rally championships. The Stratos proved to be very successful just like the Fulvia HF.

Between the years 1972 and 1984 the following Lancia models were presented:
The Lancia Beta (Berlina, Coupe, Spider, HPE and Montecarlo), the Stratos successor Lancia Rally 037 and the Lancia Gamma saloon.

© Marc Vorgers 

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