Lancia Beta Spider (1975 – 1982) Review

Lancia Beta Spider (1975 – 1982) At A Glance


+Stylish open-top with great handling and few rivals

-Rust, fragility

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.