Sunday, November 2, 2014
San Francisco Street Sighting - 1981 Lancia Zagato
Toyota Celica Sunchaser, a targa-topped coupe with a soft, fold-down rear roof section. For the US market the car received a fuel-injected 1.6 or 1.8 liter four and a five-speed manual transmission. This one is kind of rusty but still runs, and it has some cool details. Admittedly it all goes a bit bland toward the rear end, but I like the styling for the most part, and the dashboard design is interesting. The most awesome thing about it is that the black and gold paint and stripe package indicates the Special Edition with the higher-performance 2.0 liter engine, leather interior, air conditioning and power windows. I can't be 100% certain it's the real thing, since the wheels are not the correct black with gold lip and the Lancia badge on the front grille is chrome instead of gold. I like the bilingual notice on the gas cap that tells French-Canadians to use unleaded fuel only, and to check the oil level at every fill-up. Do these cars really burn that much oil?
Eddins Moto in Berkeley about this car. He said Lancia Betas are just about "sale-proof" because nobody wants the headache of a car with severe rust-out risk and difficult parts availability. And this is coming from an Italian-car enthusiast who collects and repairs Lancias for a living! I knew these cars were rare, with only 9,390 Spyders/Zagatos built. But the '81-82 Zagato accounts for only 791 cars (worldwide!), and the Special Edition is the rarest of all with only 75 made worldwide. That's pretty cool. Even if it's not a real Special Edition, it's still exceedingly rare.