Lancia Beta Spider / Zagato


1977 Spider 2000 (Mark Grant)
The Spider was based on the Beta Coupe, but restyled by Pininfarina with a targa-top, fold-down rear hood behind the roll-bar, and a new rear end with a more traditional trunk.

The series one cars were the best in terms of open-air motoring. With the roof removed they were essentially a fully open car with a roll-bar, whereas the series two redesign added frames around the windows and two bars between the windshield and the roll-bar to increase the rigidity of the bodyshell.

Despite their desirability, the early cars have several disadvantages, primarily rarity and the fact that they were only sold with 1600 cc and 1800 cc engines (only 1600 in the UK), while the later cars were also available with two liter engines (and fuel-injection in the US). A hard top to replace the rear hood was sold as an aftermarket accessory by Zagato, but was only available in the US.

Although designed by Pininfarina, the bodies were actually converted from Coupes by Zagato (hence the Zagato name used for the US cars). As previously mentioned, this was a rather long and complicated process, resulting in quite a high price differential compared to the Coupe. Most of the parts used on the car are identical to the Coupe or HPE from the front bumper to the dash, and doors can be replaced with those from the Coupe or HPE if you replace the glass and frame with those from the Spider. The rear panels are completely different, as are the taillights, which are notoriously difficult to get hold of these days.

Two special versions were produced. Five hundred 'Limited Edition Lancia Zagato' cars were sold in the US painted black with gold stripes, and fitted with black and gold wheels and a black leather interior. A number of cars were finished in white with yellow stripes, and sold as a special edition endorsed by Jody Sheckter (who was given one of them).

Production (approx) : total 9,400, US 2,100


Maintainer: Andrew Cliffe
Last update: 1st April 2001