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Lancia Beta Spider (1975 - 1982)

Last updated 23 June 2013

 
4
Stylish open-top with great handling and few rivals
Rust, fragility

Introduction

The Lancia Beta Spider was launched in 1975, and proved an interesting body variation in the spirit of the classics from a couple of decades previously. The Spider was also known as the Zagato in the USA, in deference to the coachbuilder that constructed it from a Pininfarina design. The Spider used the coupé's shorter wheelbase and featured a targa top roof panel, a roll-over bar and folding rear roof, probably a reaction to the scares througout the industry that the USA was aout to ban convertibles.

The Targa-topped model demanded different door window frames and managed to look great roof up or down. It was pretty much without rivals - a four seat open-top for mass-market money. In the UK, you might consider the nearest rival - at launch - to be the much more grandiose Triumph Stag. The Spider shared its tail-lights with those from the conceptually similat (and much less stylish) Bristol 412. Sold in 1.6- and 2.0-litre form, though there’s not that much difference in performance between the two.

 

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