Lancia Beta Coupe


Pictures of a Lancia Beta Coupe
US-model '77 Beta Coupe 1800:  
(Daniel Cogswell)

For a given engine, the coupe and Montecarlo vie for the top performance out of all the Beta models, the top prize going to the Montecarlo-derived 037 (cheap ones sell for about $ 40,000 these days), followed by the Volumex Coupe at a more affordable $ 3,000-10,000. Lower down the range the 1600 Coupes are respectably quick, and even the 1300 model will just scrape over 100 mph. Visually, the coupe resembles the earlier Flavia 2000 HF coupe, a fairly typical seventies three-box, two-door, two-plus-two coupe design. Although the early cars look somewhat dated today, the 'face-lifts' that occurred during production resulted in the later cars still looking quite modern despite being out of production for ten years (though somewhat less aerodynamic than the current 'jelly-moulds').

In 1981 Lancia UK released a special model based on the 2000 Coupe, called the 'Hi-Fi' Coupe, with spoilers (for looks rather than aerodynamics), an expensive sound system, and metallic paint with gold 'go-faster' stripes along the sides. Only three hundred were produced, and few survive. They are actually quite good looking cars if you don't mind being mistaken for a boy racer...

The Volumex cars were fitted with stiffened suspension, a new hood with a second-level power bulge to clear the carburettor (the original two liter cars had the center of the hood raised to clear the engine, later fitted to cars of all engine sizes), front and rear spoilers (claimed to reduce drag by about 15 %), a higher ratio gearbox, and in most cases Recaro seats. The exhaust is also different, though a standard coupe exhaust can be used in a pinch.

In the UK, a few Volumex Coupes were sold fitted with a special bodykit, from 'Stratton', a company who made bodykits for Mercedes. As with the 'Hi-Fi', the resulting car was quite good looking, but it made no real improvement to the aerodynamics (probably the opposite in fact).

In addition, Zagato produced several Coupe variants that were considered for production. The first was the pink 'Coupe Competizione', based on an 1800 coupe with spoilers at front and rear, and GRP hood, door skins, trunk lid, and wings (it's not known what effect these changes had on performance). The second attempt was the 'Coupe 2000 HF Zagato', the original fuel-injection two liter Coupe fitted with spoilers, skirts, and wide wheels, painted in metallic black. A later version had a two-tone paint scheme with nave-plates covering the wheels, and a large rear wing. The final Zagato variant was the 'Coupe Martini', with a more conventional bodykit, a Volumex power-bulged hood (but a normal fuel-injection engine), and a Martini paint scheme of red, blue and black stripes. None of these special models made it into production.

Finally, the 'FF Lancia Spider' was based on 1300, 1600 or 1800 cc Coupe mechanicals, styled by Michelotti as a two-seater open car with aluminium bodywork and roll-hoops behind the seats. Apparently a number of these cars were sold, however I can find no more details.

Production (approx) : total 111,800, US 6,700


Maintainer: Andrew Cliffe
Last update: 1st April 2001