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rossocorsa
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« Reply #40 on: June 23, 2017, 04:14:33 PM »

I imagine that after that trip it'll run so well better than ever before, you can't beat a bit of use to get a car running well.

How right you were Alan (yes, I know you usually are!). By the time I got to Italy, 800 miles in two days, the car was running better than it ever has in my four years of ownership. 38 years of accumulated crap burnt/blown out of the engine and carb no doubt.
Cheesy sounds like ' just nipping to Torino to give the car a test drive' is the ultimate service! I try to not always be right as I often get told off for it  Roll Eyes
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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2017, 08:34:08 PM »

By way of rounding up this thread I'm giving the 'Boyz' a sneak preview of my VL article on the trip, and a couple of photos;

My son Jack started his degree in Spanish with Italian at The University of Bath in September 2014. From the off part of the course would involve spending up to six months in Italy during his third year (2016/17). Early on this generated a spark in my mind that this would provide the ideal opportunity for me to undertake the European road trip in my Beta Coupe that I had always hankered for.
At that time I had owned my current 1300 Coupe for less than a year, having swapped it for my similar, pre-facelift Coupe in October the previous year. In fact, I’d retained the pre-facelift car to be used as a winter hack up until April 2014. Something that no doubt contributed to its subsequent demise as a road going car with future owners. In fact the facelift Coupe was to get off to a less than auspicious start in my ownership, suffering from ongoing fuelling problems largely connected I believe to a long period of under usage. The car was not fated to be underused in 2017.
As 2016 arrived Jack set about arranging his time away. He obtained an internship with a PR Company in Barcelona for his spell in Spain, but Italy was to prove a harder nut to crack, even in spite of some enquiries kindly made for him by Club members. Indeed, it wasn’t to be until December 2016, as he prepared to return from Spain, that he heard that he had secured an Erasmus scholarship at The University of Trento starting in February 2017. Well I don’t know about you, but despite considering myself to have a reasonable grasp of geography, I wasn’t immediately aware of where Trento was? A quick check on the internet however confirmed that it was just North of Lake Garda and South of Bolzano, the former home of Lancia’s truck factory, so well within striking distance!
Planning in earnest began in January 2017, with my daughter Elena, who was to accompany me on the trip, researching hotels on the rough route that I had calculated via the AA website. We had settled on leaving the week after Elena’s summer Medical School exams concluded in Bristol, so Monday 12th June was selected for the off, with the ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge being chosen as our route across the sea, as despite the £300 return fare, it knocked 600 miles off our trip, and as it came with a cabin both ways, saved on accommodation too.
I pause here to return to my car, a 1979 facelift 1300 Beta Coupe in Lancia Blue. A car which spent its first twenty five years in the ownership of LMC member Mr. B. Power of Stockport, and was clearly cherished and well looked after. However as the years went on the MOT Certificates told a tale of declining use which was not remedied in the hands of its second owner from 2006. By the time I bought it in October 2013 a major fuelling issue had reared its head culminating in the car spending several weeks broken down in my works garage that winter, somewhat to the mirth of my colleagues! A strip and clean of the carburettor was to get the car moving, but it never seemed to quite progress smoothly throughout the rev range as well as my previous Beta had, and was always happier higher up the rev range. “This car is an eager beaver” as Elena once said, grumpy when going slow.
So preparation of our sometimes reluctant steed commenced this spring. I replaced the fuel pump as a precaution, and put together a pack of spares including an auxiliary belt, ignition unit and coil (thanks again Tim Weston) and (another) fuel pump. I had wanted a spare pair of coolant hoses, but failed to source any OE rubber ones. I also packed oil, coolant, Radweld and fuel additive. On top of this I arranged a European Breakdown & Recovery policy through my insurers. I also bought my first Sat Nav…..
So, the 12th June arrived, the car was packed and we set off on the straight forward cruise down the M62 to Hull. The ferry was pretty much full, so the loaders placed us in a line of smaller cars which we were able to drive up the three ramps to the small upper car deck. We were in the company of a larger than usual contingent of motorbikes, swelled by some of them returning from the TT Races. The Pride of York, despite some recent refurbishment, is an older ferry, and although we had a pleasant crossing, a recurring vibration disturbed our sleep a little. We went on deck early the next morning to watch our arrival in Belgium, as a sea breeze masked the baking temperatures that awaited us.
The 13th of June was always going to be a long hard slog. 420 miles through Belgium, The Netherlands, then Germany to Schwabisch Hall, a small picturesque town just to the North East of Stuttgart, all via motorways. Belgium went well, I’d hoped to avoid the Brussels Ring by going via Antwerp, but the Sat Nav sent us the other way. As it happened the Ring was OK, but it was to have its revenge later in our trip. The smooth run continued into Western Germany and we stopped for fuel and refreshments a couple of times as the temperature rose and rose. My car always seems to run hot on motorways, so this began to niggle in the back of my mind as the water and oil temperature needles repeatedly strayed into the second half of their gauges, but they recovered whenever we went down a hill, and really I should have grown some and ignored this, or even stuck some duct tape over them?
The only real hitch of the day was some road works near Mannheim. We drove past mile after mile of HGVs, dutifully parked in the slow lane until we hit the ‘car’ queue, which then stopped and started for about half an hour until we entered the coned off outer lane for a couple of kilometres. Near the end of this a couple of workmen appeared to be drilling a series of small holes into the concrete road surface, watched by several colleagues. It was somehow vaguely comforting to know that raging incompetence with regard to the timing of road repairs is not restricted to the UK! After this we did then have a small treat as the Autobahn passed the Auto & Technik Museum at Sinsheim. An amazing spectacle to see both a real Concorde, and a Tupelov T144, on stands as though they were 1:72 scale models. We both had a small regret that we hadn’t planned another day into the trip to stop and have a look around this amazing place. We were then soon on to our destination, my odd outburst of verbal abuse towards the Sat Nav leading to Elena christening me ‘The Captain’ in her Facebook post that night, then a pleasant walk into a very quiet Schwabisch Hall for something to eat.
One observation arises from my first long drive on the Autobahn for many years. I’m the first to applaud those wanting to make some progress, but in Germany it seems to have become something of a religion, where many drivers seem unhappy unless they are driving as fast as absolutely possible at all times. My consequent routine for passing lorries therefore became; check nearside mirror (which I fitted a couple of years ago thank god!), enter fast lane nailing the accelerator, accelerate up to 80/90 mph, dive into the next gap in the slow lane to allow annoyed driver of Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, (Motorhome!) to pass.  All a little unnecessary really….
After a warm night spent in our hotel, Landhaus Wolf, we started another long drive to Trento itself with a break from the motorway on the back roads to Aalen. The winding roads through the cuckoo clock meadows of Southern Germany were a nice change before we hit the Autobahn again to reach the Austrian border. Once into Austria we decided to skip the Autobahn (despite me having successfully ordered and purchased an Austrian ‘carnet’ the previous day entirely in German!) and take in the scenery as we followed an eager pair of Dutch motorhomes for much of the way.
Whereas the Autobahn takes you to the Brenner Pass we headed for the ‘Passo Di Resia’ after a lunch stop at the Austrian ski resort of Nauders, where the chairlifts were transporting walkers up into the hills. The Passo features a man-made lake/reservoir where a village was demolished when it was built. The church tower was left however, and we stopped at the adjacent carpark for the photo opportunity. We then started our decent into the homeland of Lancia. I am not a person who is very emotionally attached to my cars, but I did catch myself a little at the thought of the Beta’s wheels riding on the roads of Italy for the first time in 38 years, and at how much the world has changed in that (short?) time. It was after this period of reflection however that I hit a wall! Over 700 miles in two days suddenly caught up with me and my peripheral vision started to grey out. We stopped for petrol and Red Bull and I miss operated the measuring cup on my Millers fuel additive, spraying it all over the pump. The owner came out with a wad of clean up paper shouting at me in German! Anyway, the Red Bull pepped me up a little as we passed Bolzano and we were soon embracing the son and heir outside The Grand Hotel Trento, our home for the next three nights.
The next day was one of only two scheduled non driving days, and as the Beta cooled off in the underground car park of the hotel, we explored the sights of Trento, a small picture postcard medieval city that likely I would have never visited but for Jack’s sojourn there. It is promoting itself as a tourist destination at present and is definitely worth a visit.
The next day my bucket list started to get ticked off in earnest with a visit to Vittoriale Degli Italiani, the preserved home of the writer, poet and fascist Gabrielle D’Annunzio on the Western shore of Lake Garda. I have been fascinated by the life of D’Annunzio since reading the excellent biography of him by Lucy Hughes-Hallett; ‘The Pike’. After his exploits in the First World War he was gifted many exhibits by the state, including his biplane, a torpedo boat, and most spectacularly the ram ship/light cruiser ‘Puglia’, which was dismantled, hauled up the hill and installed at great cost, all paid for by the then government. Again it was a blisteringly hot day, and the slow drive there and back down the narrow, busy Western shore road induced the only poor running on the car with some fuel vaporisation induced hiccups on acceleration.
Saturday 17th June brought the second phase of the trip with all three of us undertaking the long hot drive from Trento to Turin. This included a stop off at Chivasso, where we took pictures of the car outside the industrial park that now largely covers the former Lancia factory. There was actually some current demolition and building work taking place. The Beta wasn’t going home anymore, it was home!
We then drove the short distance through town to our Hotel at Lingotto Tech. The iconic Fiat Factory is now a shopping Mall and hotel, and we were to thoroughly enjoy our two day stay there. There was even a pristine white Series 1 Fulvia Coupe in reception to greet us, supplied by FCA who still own the site, bitterly ironic some might say! Sunday was Father’s day so I was due yet another treat. The three of us got up early and drove to Bourg San Paulo and Via Vincenzo Lancia while the streets were still quiet to photograph the Beta in the shadow of the ‘Grattacielo’. Again some development work seems to be going on in the area and on the tower itself, but we were unsure if this was current. The Grattacielo certainly lived up to its promise though, such a beautiful building. We all wore our ‘Tour Tee shirts’ for the day, which Elena had thoughtfully ordered before the trip. After an enjoyable day around Turin the outbound part of our trip was done.
After dropping Jack off at the railway station the following morning the homeward leg of our trip began. The tour was a success now come what may, we had crossed Western Europe, breached the Alps, crossed the burning North Italian Plain, seen my distant child and taken the Beta back to its home town, the place of its construction. Perhaps this was in our minds as the Alps rose again before us. One of two lapses in my planning visited us this day. My first had been not to update the Sat Nav after I bought it, leading to several navigational glitches. The second was not to properly research my planned route up to the Mount Cenis Pass. We left the Autostrada where we thought we should, but with the Sat Nav and small scale map couldn’t confidently plan our way. Rather than get lost we chose to exit Italy via the relatively short Frejus tunnel, unaware of the eye-watering £40 toll!
However things picked up as we descended into the blistering heat of the French interior. Elena plotted a D Road route to our destination of Dijon and a most enjoyable days driving ensued. The roads were sweeping, well maintained and away from major towns, utterly deserted, perfect for the nimble smaller engined Beta. We arrived at our last hotel, the converted monastery of ‘Les Cordeliers’ hot, thirsty but content. By now the car was running like a dream, despite the almost overwhelming heat. However, while downing an ice cold Grimbergen at a nearby restaurant, we were told that on Mondays they only served Pizza. For once in my life I couldn’t face another Pizza!
On the next morning we faced our last (we thought) big drive to Brussels where we would stay with our friends the Revill family. The day was split between more pleasant D Roads to Nancy, then the motorway through Luxembourg to Belgium. A crash near Luxembourg forced us off the motorway for a break and some cheap petrol, then onward to Brussels for a pleasant final night in Europe with our friends.
The last day should have been a short cruise of 80 miles to Zeebrugge, but the last time I left Brussels I almost missed my Eurostar, and I was eager to get off after we met up with my friend Nick for lunch in town. Shure enough our slip road onto the Brussels Ring was closed for repairs without the slightest hint of a diversion sign, requiring some heroic navigation from Elena using map, Sat Nav and Google Maps on her phone all at once! Once on that dreaded road though it wrought its revenge for the previous week’s easy passage, with a 9 mile queue under the burning sun. The queue continuing for some miles even on the motorway towards Ghent, with the queue in the opposite direction stretching all the way from there back to Brussels! I was pleased to drive onto the dock, hot, but with an hour to spare. We were then quickly loaded onto the much quieter ferry for our voyage back to the UK and our short drive home to West Yorkshire the next day.
So there it is, our Lancia trip of a lifetime, a Grand Tour, a pilgrimage. No breakdowns to report, 1.25 litres of oil and £235 of fuel consumed, 2058 miles covered. Heartfelt thanks of course to Elena for accompanying me, and for days of spot on navigation while managing the fractious relationship between ‘The Captain’ and the (satellite) ‘Navigator’.
That’s one way to get your Beta running nice and smooth….

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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2017, 08:39:55 PM »

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* IMG01124-20170612-1539.jpg (373.81 KB, 2048x1536 - viewed 150 times.)

* IMG01158-20170617-1557.jpg (131.01 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 175 times.)
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rossocorsa
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« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2017, 09:01:04 PM »

Impressive stuff Neil, must have been an awesome experience. It makes me feel that I need a trip to Torino! Drove there in 2006 for the 100th celebrations but in a Mitsubishi Colt as the volumex wasn't ready......hmmm that sounds a familiar story .... Makes note 'must get that car finished'😂
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peteracs
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« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2017, 10:03:05 PM »

Hi Neil

I shall wait for the VL article as always have more time to savour. Good to see you making the effort.

I am hoping to make the Turin trip later this year and coming back via Mulhouse, not in a Beta sadly, cannot see the other half wanting to go in it even if it was on the road.

Peter
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betabuoy
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« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2017, 12:01:19 PM »

That’s a great read Neil; impressive for you to have planned and executed the adventure but always nice to see someone take the trouble to write it up so eloquently for VL. 

And whilst I’m still out of the UK – and, sadly, my car remains on stands in Shropshire! – reading your story makes me wonder whether we could develop a new twist for a future BetaMeeta?  I’d be well up for a UK, or perhaps European, BetaToura in the future.   

Chris
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WestonE
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« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2017, 03:59:26 PM »

A great adventure Neil and it took me back to our Montecarlo Consortium trip to Turin last year and some great memories.

Well done.

Eric
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capriblu
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« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2017, 07:37:28 PM »

Enjoyed reading - great write up!
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!980 2.0 Coupe - Owned since 1990
rossocorsa
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« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2017, 09:32:56 AM »

Just curious Neil, what was the reaction in Italy to the Beta? I know that certainly until recently they were still thought of as little better than just an old car over there, would be interesting to know if they are moving into classic territory even in their home country.
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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2017, 06:34:12 AM »

Just curious Neil, what was the reaction in Italy to the Beta? I know that certainly until recently they were still thought of as little better than just an old car over there, would be interesting to know if they are moving into classic territory even in their home country.

A few beeps and waves on the autostrada plus a few guys looking round the car when parked up, so yes, some interest.
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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2017, 04:23:17 PM »

My write up of the trip was printed in August's Viva Lancia. Thought I would treat myself to a memento of the holiday - 3' x 2' canvas print of Coupe on Via Vincenzo....


* IMG01211-20170907-1729.jpg (142.43 KB, 2048x1536 - viewed 54 times.)
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rossocorsa
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2017, 06:09:08 PM »

My write up of the trip was printed in August's Viva Lancia. Thought I would treat myself to a memento of the holiday - 3' x 2' canvas print of Coupe on Via Vincenzo....
Very stylish Neil for some reason in a way I'd never have thought I think those steel wheels look so the part
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 07:23:49 PM by rossocorsa » Logged
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