Lancia - Beta
The Lancia Beta was the first Lancia produced by the company after it had been taken over by Fiat in 1969. The company chose the name Beta for a new vehicle to be launched in 1972. The choice of name symbolised a new beginning as it reflected the fact that the company’s founder, Vincenzo Lancia (1881–1937), utilized letters of the Greek alphabet for his early vehicles. "Beta" had been used before, for Lancia’s 1908 car and again for a 1953 bus. Lancia had previously utilized the first letter of the Greek alphabet, Alpha, but this was not chosen for the new 1972 Lancia due to the obvious confusion it might cause with Alfa Romeo.
Lancia Beta -click for a larger picture
Lancia Beta  1978
Lancia Beta Spider
Tiefenbronn by Pforzheim
Karlsruhe, Germany
click here to go to Auto Nostalgie
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Audio:radio
The Beta was available in a number of different body styles.


The most common body style was the four-door berlina (sedan), with a wheelbase of 2,537 mm (99.9 in) and the wedge-shaped appearance of a hatchback (certain models even had a rear wiper) though in fact it had a conventional boot like a saloon. 


Late in the Beta's life, with assistance from Pininfarina, a drastically reworked three-box shaped saloon variant was released as the Beta Trevi; the Trevi also introduced a controversial new dashboard layout with deeply recessed displays, which was also later used in the third series Berlina.  


The second style to appear was a 2+2 seater two door coupé with a 2,350 mm (92.5 in) wheelbase. The bodywork was developed inhouse by a Lancia team lead by Aldo Castagno, with Pietro Castagnero acting as styling consultant. Castagnero had also styled the Beta's predecessor, the Lancia Fulvia saloon and coupé. 


The next version to be launched was a two door convertible called the Spider (or Zagato in America). In brochures Lancia spelt the name with a "y" rather than an "i" possibly to differentiate the car from the Alfa Romeo Spider. The Spider used the coupé's shorter wheelbase and featured a targa top roof panel, a roll-over bar and folding rear roof. The Spider was designed by Pininfarina but actually built by Zagato.  


Then came a three-door sporting estate or shooting-brake called the HPE. HPE stood for High Performance Estate, and then later High Performance Executive. This model had Berlina's longer wheelbase floorpan combined with the coupé's front end and doors. The HPE was also styled in house at Lancia by Castagno's team, with Castagnero as styling consultant.  


The final variant was the Pininfarina designed – and built – two door  Montecarlo (note that the vehicle was named "Montecarlo" written as one word, not Monte Carlo, the capital of Monaco). This was a rear-wheel drive mid-engined two-seater sports car that shared very few components with other Betas. Montecarlos were available as fixed head "Coupés" and also as "Spiders". The car was originally designed as a Fiat, a big brother to the Bertone-styled Fiat X1/9, and was initially called the X1/20 in prototype stage; it is therefore not related to the Beta by design, but used much of its hardware.  


Source: Wikipedia.
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