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m4ff3w GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/25/10 11:19 a.m.

As yall know, the Biturbo bug has bitten me HARD. But I won't be able to fund the purchase of one until my employeer tuition reimbursement comes back in January.

In the meantime, I've got the itch for something new. I really like my Milano, it has a/c, runs well, and drives great.

However, I've got the itch for something new. AADD (automotive attention deficiet disorder).

I posted a quick and dirty ad on CL as a trade fro the Milano and someone replied with an offer for a Lancia Beta Zagato.

I'm typically adverse to FWD cars, but I think my urge for somethint different might possibly win me over, knowing that I will have a Biturbo in less than 6 months.

The smart thing would be to keep the Alfa until then, but when have I ever been known to be smart?

What say yall on the Beta (too bad it isn't a Scorpion)

nutherjrfan HalfDork
9/25/10 11:32 a.m.

no help here, but here's a Zagato that's been listed on CL for a while. http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/1964753861.html

96DXCivic SuperDork
9/25/10 11:36 a.m.

I heard it was decent to drive if it hasn't rusted away. I imagine it will be significantly less reliable then the Alfa.

nutherjrfan HalfDork
9/25/10 11:39 a.m.

didn't Bryce from here own one way back in the day?

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/25/10 12:00 p.m.

Betas are neat.. supposedly one of the best driving front wheel drive cars about. Very neutral.

The problem will be finding on that is not rotted away. I would go for a Facelifted model about an or an 81 (when they pulled out of the US) as they are the newest and generally best sorted cars.. and look less dated with their better bumpers and interiors.

I almost got one this summer.. but things did not pan out

Woody GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/25/10 12:01 p.m.

A guy I used to autocross with had a Zagato. I don't remember it as being particularly fast, but I do remember his friend standing over him in the starting line in the rain, holding the removable roof section, because he couldn't fit inside with a helmet on.

Plus, they're ugly.

Travis_K Dork
9/25/10 1:48 p.m.

I wouldnt, the guy i bought my milano from had 2 biturbos, a 164, and previously a scorpion and several betas, and he said the milano was the best. lol

wcelliot HalfDork
9/25/10 1:53 p.m.

Again, the US versions are saddled with a low hp emissions version of the engine... the Euro spec Beta are supposed to be much higher performance cars.

For a front driver, the few Betas I've driven weren't bad, just not that memorable.


ddavidv SuperDork
9/25/10 7:08 p.m.

I've avoided owning Betas, and I like fwd cars generally. I never could develop a love for them though. Clunky shifter, vague steering, lackluster performance, rust prone, and the engine bay is an absolute nightmare to work in. The loyalists who have them adore them, of course, but I'm maybe a bit to practical for one (which is why I wouldn't take a Biturbo if it were free, because it will still cost a fortune). The Zagato has a lot of unique parts, and they are all expensive. Like the Bitrouble, be very careful and educate yourself first.

ditchdigger HalfDork
9/25/10 7:55 p.m.

I certainly wouldn't call them ugly.

JThw8 SuperDork
9/25/10 8:54 p.m.

Ok, I've actually owned a Zagato, and a Beta coupe and well most of the beta series.

I looooved the Zagato. A good one (and that's important) is fun to drive. Its not blazingly fast but it just feels right and is a great car.

Woody GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/25/10 8:56 p.m.

Beta = Good looking.

Zagato, not so much.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/25/10 9:16 p.m.

honestly, compared to many chopped coupes.. The zagato is one of the best. The ones to jave are the early ones with the framless door glass

Travis_K Dork
9/26/10 4:42 a.m.

Arent beta zagatos way more expensive than biturbos? If i had been looking for a biturbo (well ok i was looking, but not with the intention of buying, at least not yet), i could have had a nice one for $1500. most beta zagatos are close to $5k when i see them for sale.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/26/10 11:46 a.m.

just tells you which is the beta (sorry) car

nickel_dime Dork
9/27/10 7:38 a.m.

A friend of mine has a Zagato. He's been tinkering with it for 7 or 8 years. He'll get it running (kind of) and it will be okay for a month or so them another problem pops up. The brakes have been giving him fits. Finding parts has been a night mare for him.

racerdave600 HalfDork
9/27/10 7:54 a.m.

I never could warm up to them either, and I'm a big Italian car guy from way back (numerous Alfas and Fiats). They're mainly Fiats at this point anyway, and to me, the 124 is simply a better car; more sporty and reliable, and without FWD. I've driven a few, and although they were OK, I never felt they were all that special compared to other Italian choices. I'd much, much, much rather have your Alfa.

Raze Dork
9/27/10 8:15 a.m.

You get my stamp of approval for anything Lancia and considering we share just about the same taste in 'interestingly flavored' cars, I have to say besides a Biturbo, anything Fiat, or Alfa, a Lancia Beta or Zagato is up there on my list of cars I would love to personally own.


slantvaliant Dork
9/27/10 8:28 a.m.

Off on a tangent: I've had a minor thing for Lancia Scorpions since, well, Herbie went to Monte Carlo.

m4ff3w GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/27/10 8:57 a.m.

I'd really love a Scorpion.

It may have all been moot, the person who proposed the trade has not contacted me back.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/27/10 9:11 a.m.

I've owned a couple of Beta HPEs (the station wagon version) in the dim and distant past. I loved it, but I obviously had the Euro versions.

The problem is that these things can rust for Italy and the spare parts situation was iffy 15 years back so I'd think it's even worse now.

ddavidv SuperDork
9/28/10 6:01 a.m.

To me, if you're going to suffer with a Lancia that's hard to get parts for, is fwd, and suffers from typical Italian body rot get a awesome one. The hp to weight ratio on these is just incredible. And, you don't have to be a contortionist midget to work under the hood.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/28/10 9:27 a.m.

I agree on the Fulvia coupe.. I am ashamed to admit I passed on one years ago that i could have afforded to buy.. but I was looking for a Fiat 124 Coupe' instead.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/28/10 9:41 a.m.

Actually, I'd rather get a Fulvia Zagato (hotlinked for your viewing pleasure):

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/28/10 9:44 a.m.

the zagato was very neat.. what else can you say of a car with a hatchback that lifts electrically and can be opened slightly for airflow through the cabin

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