The two-seater mid-engine Lancia Beta Montecarlo came onto the market in September 1975.
Pininfarina had developed both the body structure and the exterior design for the first time in a production vehicle. The car was to be both sporty and comfortable. The Beta Montecarlo was ahead of its time in terms of simplicity, wedge shape, hardly any chrome trim and a front made entirely of black plastic. And the car was also technically advanced with its mid-engine layout. In the summer of 1976, the “Automobil Revue” praised the agile and safe handling of the car as well as the very good suspension comfort due to the modern independent wheel suspension. After the concept of the mid-engine had proven unbeatable in racing, the first mid-engine cars came onto the market in the late 1960s. Until today, the elaborate design is rarely used due to the complexity and has been reserved for only a few sports cars.
The car was powered by a two-litre twin cam engine which produced 120 PS (88 kW). The engine had been developed by the ingenious engine designer Aurelio Lampredi, who also developed the large V12 engines for Ferrari.
For the US market, a less powerful version with 88 PS (65 kW) was also available under the name “Scorpion”, which met the stricter emission standards. It can be recognised at first glance by its round folding headlights. 1801 units of this version were built.
Lancia’s successful and beautiful racing cars 037 and the Beta Montecarlo Turbo were based on the Montecarlo, and Hans Heyer’s winning of the German Racing Championship in 1980 even led to the resumption of production of a slightly modified version in March 1980 for another year.
The Montecarlo cost 27,600 DM, which was more than a comparable Porsche 924 and was aimed at a small, demanding clientele. In addition to the coupé version, a Spider version was also available as an alternative. Altogether only 5777 units of the European Montecarlo were built. Only 2577 of them were Spiders, like our vehicle. For comparison: More than 165,000 units of the Porsche 924 were built.
So even as a new car it was not a mass product and due to the admittedly poor rust prevention ex works only very few examples have survived the last four decades.
Our vehicle was apparently waxed thoroughly with Dinitrol and has thus been astonishingly well preserved. Delivered in Italy, it came to Germany in the early 1990s and stood here dry and safe in a collection for over 25 years. In 2019 it was brought back to life and extensively overhauled. Afterwards the underbody was again thoroughly sealed with wax to preserve the very good body substance for the future. The car might even still be in its first paint.
It will be difficult to find a comparable Montecarlo Spider. Ideal for fans of Italian design and collectors of rare pieces and an ideal companion for the coming season.
The car is available for an inspection by appointment only in 33415 Verl, Germany. We are happy to show you the car and the documents and have a lift available as well.
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