1976 Lancia Scorpion

Ah, the Scorpion. This car had everything going for it on paper - mid engine, Pininfartina styling - but it was an utter disaster on the U.S. market.

The Scorpion was actually known as the Montecarlo elsewhere and was produced from 1975-1981. It was a reasonable little sports car, with a straight 4-cylinder engine powering the rear wheels and producing 120 horsepower.

Unfortunately, when Lancia decided to import it to North America in 1976, it was a very different automobile. The headlights were changed to inane government regulated pop-up units. The bumpers were larger and heavier to comply with 5 mph impact rules. The engine was de-tuned and strangled by emissions equipment that lowered output to just a pitiful 80 horsepower. All U.S. versions has canopy roofs that made the unrefined engine seem even louder. The bodies rusted badly. These were not pleasant cars, and they don't even sound safe to use on the highway.

This example is claimed to have just 57,021 miles on the odometer and is all-original. The seller says its always been maintained by a specialist, and has no rust. The do mention the paint is a new coat of "Verde Metelizzato", but don't mention whether that was an original 1976 color. They do say it has no rust, however.

There are just two types of Scorpion survivors I recommend buying if you really want one: either one that has been stripped of the emissions equipment and heavy bumpers, or one in extremely good and clean condition. This one seems to be the latter. They just don't seem to be worth it as projects.

Just 1,801 were manufactured and sold for the U.S. market between 1976-77.

Available here on ebay in Studio City, California with no takers at $5,000 starting bid and a $7,600 Buy-It-Now.

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