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http://www.betaboyz.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=4080.0
 
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Author Topic: New Member - Lancia Beta Coupe  (Read 6380 times)
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Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« on: October 16, 2017, 01:32:20 AM »

Hi Forum members,

I have just joined the forum to get with the strength as it were when it comes to Lancia Betas! I was waiting for the email notification that approval had been granted to post after registration but decided to try anyway hence this test posting.

I live in Adelaide, South Australia and at present am custodian for my 91 year old father`s 1979 Lancia Beta Coupe which he has owned for the past 25+ years.

Dad also owned a red 1984 Lancia HPE for many years which he sold to buy a Fiat 124 Spyder, something he had always hankered after since he first saw one on a trip to America many years ago. The red HPE was his every day car because it had power steering and was a bit more comfortable to drive. The Beta Coupe was strictly for occasional fine weather only use and on historic registration to lower the ownership cost! The Spyder has now been passed onto my elder brother who has done a lot of cosmetic and some mechanical refurbishment work on it (including new leather upholstery and carpets). Prior to the 84 Red HPE Dad also owned another lovely series 2 HPE (metallic blue/gunmetal grey colour if that makes sense) and an early Berlina 1800 which was one of those remarkable second hand finds with negligible mileage and with the protective clear plastic still on the door trims and passenger seats!

His first foray into Italian cars was by way of a Lancia Fulvia 1.3S followed by a second one a few years later which led to him starting up an informal Lancia Register in Adelaide and organising Lancia owner social events and weekend runs. But that is straying from Beta territory!

I have previously owned and used a 1981 HPE as my everyday transport for 10 years so I too am reasonably familiar with their charms and idiosyncracies! I purchased it as a 4 year old trade in from the then main local Fiat Lancia dealer in Adelaide (Champion Motors - now defunct). There are many tales to be told about these cars some of which might surface in future posts. I hope to get a bit of advice about a few issues with parts availability and sourcing as well as tap into the experience and knowledge of other Beta owners when it comes to servicing and repairs. Dad is also a great source of knowledge having owned a number of Beta cars and had parts manufactured and imported in years past for both Fulvia and Beta owners, even with a memory that is starting to show the effects of his advancing years.

Cheers,
Andrew

I am not sure how to insert pictures of the 79 Beta Coupe but I have included four photos of the car as attachments FYI.



* 1979 Lancia Beta Coupe 1.jpg (208.19 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1354 times.)

* 1979 Lancia Beta Coupe 2.jpg (217.51 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1084 times.)

* 1979 Lancia Beta Coupe 3.jpg (126.48 KB, 800x510 - viewed 902 times.)

* Lancia Beta Coupe 4.jpg (176.11 KB, 800x600 - viewed 1290 times.)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 01:58:17 AM by Gromit » Logged

Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
HFStuart
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 10:00:34 AM »

Hi and welcome - you're one of a growing band of Aussie members. Winter Betameta anyone? Ideally to coincide with one of the test matches.

Nice looking car and great to have so much of its history known too.
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Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 08:31:27 AM »

Thanks for the welcome Stuart. Smiley

The Coupe is entirely original body and trim wise, with the only customised bits of Dad`s being the after market Italian steering wheel, (it caused a lot of headaches for the auto-electrician to fit and get the horn working), and the cheeky stainless steel Jaguar XJ6 style exhaust pipe (which looks great).

The car was purchased in Melbourne, Victoria by my father around 1990 from the people who serviced it - a workshop called Alphamotive. It was run by a pair of Greek brothers, at least one of whom (Kym) trained as a mechanic in London, so there is a UK connection of sorts. I can remember seeing his automotive mechanic`s diploma certificate proudly displayed on the wall when I took my HPE there for some work, (I used to live in NE Victoria). He was an excellent mechanic with Italian cars and loved working on them. He had bought the car off the owner and had it in his mini sales yard out the front of the workshop and needed a quick sale. It turned out to be a great buy.
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Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
peteracs
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 10:42:07 AM »

Hi

Welcome to the forum and nice looking car.

It looks like you are missing the plastic piece which directs the cooler air from the front of the car to the air intake, currently you must get a fair amount of hot air from the radiator taken in. See below. They should be easy enough to find.

Peter


* enginebay.jpg (250.17 KB, 1600x1067 - viewed 1121 times.)
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
Ammy
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 10:47:39 AM »

Isn't  the missing duct meant to bring warm air from the exhaust manifold in cold weather until the "in built" deflector in the housing closes on warm up.
 
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peteracs
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 11:06:12 AM »

Isn't  the missing duct meant to bring warm air from the exhaust manifold in cold weather until the "in built" deflector in the housing closes on warm up.
 

Hi

I think you are mixing up the two photos.

The original photo by Gromit shows the pipe to the exhaust which is for cold start/cold temp running, but from the photo I posted, that shows the plastic piece fastened to the front rail which feeds the external air to the air filter intake for normal running. On Gromit's phot that is missing.

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 03:48:10 PM »

Thanks for the welcome Peter and well spotted re the missing cold air intake duct.

I can`t recall why that is the case but I`ll check with my father and report back. I think the support bracket off the battery tray is also missing. If I can find a replacement air intake duct, I guess that it would also require the fabrication of a new support bracket. Sounds like a job for my elder brother who is very talented when it comes to making things from scratch.
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Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
Ammy
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 05:09:02 PM »

Isn't  the missing duct meant to bring warm air from the exhaust manifold in cold weather until the "in built" deflector in the housing closes on warm up.
 

Hi

I think you are mixing up the two photos.

The original photo by Gromit shows the pipe to the exhaust which is for cold start/cold temp running, but from the photo I posted, that shows the plastic piece fastened to the front rail which feeds the external air to the air filter intake for normal running. On Gromit's phot that is missing.
You're correct,  I should have noticed change in colour.  Put it down to my age.
Peter

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Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2017, 12:08:37 AM »

It turns out my father still has the cold air intake plastic duct. He took it off to do some servicing or repair work in the engine bay and never put it back on! Apparently it was easier to work on the car with it permanently off according to him. I gather it is not uncommon to leave it off in this neck of the woods although presumably you would get slightly better engine performance with colder (denser) air being fed into the engine. I think I shall rummage through the box of Beta spare parts and quietly reinstate it in due course...

I was talking to Dad yesterday about the Coupe and feedback from this forum. He retold me the story behind the "Heath Robinson style" flexible concertina pipework arrangement to pick up hot air from the exhaust for cold starts which just terminates above the manifold without attaching to a heat shield shroud. Many years ago the exhaust gasket blew and he took the car to what he thought was a competent and reputable exhaust repair workshop. They managed to break a manifold stud whilst attempting to replace the exhaust gasket. Angry Roll Eyes

The attempted fix - roughly welding on a new stud of dubious provenance from the local auto spares retailer down the road buggered up the manifold (no longer a tight precise fit) and the new gasket blew again soon after fitting it. He decided that the exhaust manifold was damaged beyond repair and being unable to source a new Lancia one in Australia, ended up buying a new equivalent Fiat 2L motor exhaust manifold. It fitted perfectly but being designed for N-S engine bay installation, did not have the location points for a heat shield cast into it as the Lancia Beta one did. So he could not refit the shield to optimise the hot air collection arrangement.

 
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Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
ChosenByBetas
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 04:45:26 AM »

Hi Andrew,

I am 100% sure that I know your Dad. He lived only minutes from me in Canberra. I bumped into him one day at the local shops and started chatting as he had the red 84 HPE with him. We got to catch up a few times before he left Canberra.  He invited my wife and I around to see the HPE in more detail and the coupe.  Both lovely cars.

The HPE is now with a guy I know out at Bungendore - still in great condition I believe.

As you stated, your Dad had sold it to buy the 124 Spider. He drove around to our place to show us the Spider after he got it. It looked brilliant. I have some photos of it with him in it. I'll see if I can dig them up.

Please say hello to your Dad from me (James) - the guy from Mawson with the two rough red HPEs!

Great to see that his cars are in the family still.

Cheers,
James
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Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 03:11:12 PM »

James,

I saw dad today and passed on your greetings. It put a smile on his face Smiley He remembered you well and your enthusiasm for all things Beta!

He was pleased that his old 84 HPE is going well. It must be about seven years now since he sold it to your friend.

Dad still drives a bit. He has a red 2007 Fiat Punto which looks the part and maintains that Italian automotive connection! It also has a higher seating position than the Betas (much easier to get in and out) and (electric) power steering which makes it easy to drive and park etc.

We are taking the Beta Coupe and Fiat 124 Spyder to the local Auto Italia day here in Adelaide next Sunday so I might post some pictures of that event on the forum with special emphasis on Betas of course! Although to be honest the majority of cars there will be Alfas with the usual smattering of Italian exotica and plenty of Fiat Spyders. Lancias are usually a bit thin on the ground mores the pity.

The Auto Italia venue is just down the road from where I live in Adelaide - NE of the city centre in post WW2 Italian migrant territory (an old market garden suburb that has since sprouted houses!).
 
You can view pictures of last year`s Adelaide Auto Italia entries here: http://www.autoitaliaadelaide.com/2016-in-pictures.html

Here is dad`s Coupe at the 2016 event: http://www.autoitaliaadelaide.com/uploads/1/3/8/5/13852092/pb061470_orig.jpg

And a photo of the Fiat 124 Spyder: http://www.autoitaliaadelaide.com/uploads/1/3/8/5/13852092/pb061577_orig.jpg

There is even a photo of my Dad and brother in their red Scuderia Club shirts!: http://www.autoitaliaadelaide.com/uploads/1/3/8/5/13852092/pb061706_orig.jpg

You can also access photos of all car entries to the past five Auto Italia Adelaide events at the home page here if anybody is interested in perusing them:

http://www.autoitaliaadelaide.com/

So welcome to the forum James and thanks for making contact.

Cheers,
Andrew





« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 04:14:43 PM by Gromit » Logged

Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
peteracs
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 04:44:09 PM »

Hi Andrew

Very nice looking Spyder, do you know if that is an original Fiat colour (may be original paint of course..)?

I have to say it is on my list to have one after the Beta is finished.

Peter
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Beta Spyder S2 pre F/L 1600
Saab 9-3 1.9Tid Cabrio
Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 01:22:26 AM »

Thanks Peter. I think it is an original Fiat colour. It is a lovely shade of blue and suits the car really well I think. The bonnet in the photo is a bit washed out colour wise, no doubt due to a bit of over exposure of the photo in the bright Australian midday sun. The driver side flank is probably the most accurate part of the photo colour reproduction wise. I`ll check with Dad and get back to you with the actual factory colour name.
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Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
dommorello
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2017, 07:27:30 PM »

Welcome to the forum. Nice car and great story. Look forward to hearing more and perhaps even seeing ya on the road if ever in Vic

Sent from my HTC 2PZC100 using Tapatalk
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Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 11:27:52 AM »

Hi Andrew

Very nice looking Spyder, do you know if that is an original Fiat colour (may be original paint of course..)?

I have to say it is on my list to have one after the Beta is finished.

Peter

Peter,

The Fiat 124 Spyder colour is an original Fiat factory colour: Ardesia (Slate Blue) Metallic, with Mfr. paint code #892 and DuPont code #G7919 according to the table listing on this website (second listing from bottom):

https://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/colour_swatch_fiat_1980

Here is the link to a picture of the car again:

http://www.autoitaliaadelaide.com/uploads/1/3/8/5/13852092/pb061577_orig.jpg

The car as pictured is the original paint finish I am lead to believe. There is no evidence of any accident damage or over spray according to my father (or any body filler). It has the original paint identification label in the boot so I`ll double check those paint numbers on the car at the Auto Italia day this weekend.

It was imported from America around 1990 by Michael Cipriano, (Ital Motors, Melbourne), and converted by him to RHD. He has imported many of these over the years into Australia I believe. After conversion, it was sold to and owned by the one family in Melbourne for about 20 years and serviced by Ital Motors. Michael eventually bought it back and used it for a while to commute from his home near Phillip Island to his workshop in inner suburban Melbourne. It must have been burning a bit of oil and or blowing a bit of smoke because he decided to pull the engine out and recondition it and fit a new clutch etc. Michael also fitted a replacement wooden steering wheel and did some other ancillary work on the brakes etc. Apparently the spare wheel has never been on the road! It was sold to my father in 2010, soon after the mechanical reconditioning work was done, who drove it back to Canberra where he was living at the time. So it has had a bit of a charmed life without too many changes of owner. Cool

Good luck with your search for a Fiat 124 Spyder project Peter. The Ardesia colour is highly recommended!







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Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
Gromit
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1979 Coupe 2000


« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2017, 12:28:22 PM »

Thanks for the welcome dommorello  Smiley

Victoria is a great place for Beta touring...so much more lovely rural and mountain scenery than dry dusty South Oz, (well Adelaide Hills and local wine regions excepted)! I miss the great valley and alpine scenery in NE Vic where I lived for 5 years. I did go on a Lancia Register Castlemaine rally in the early 1990`s with my S2 Beta HPE. There were some wonderful Victorian based Lancia cars on that rally. My father always reckoned that Victorians had more Lancia`s in top condition than anywhere else in Australia. A bigger population base with more wealth and a large immigrant Italian community to boot I suppose.

So hopefully I shall get over to Victoria in the Beta Coupe in the future for a Castlemaine Rally (Do they still hold them?) and our paths might indeed cross. Smiley

Cheers,
Andrew
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Family Italian car fleet: 1979 Beta Coupe 2000, Fiat 124 Spyder (and a 2007 Fiat Punto!)
dommorello
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2017, 10:27:42 PM »

You just missed the Castlemaine rally - it was on few weeks ago

Sent from my HTC 2PZC100 using Tapatalk
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