The Lancia Beta
I’ve always been a huge fan of Lancia, the Italian car company that has been claimed to have produced some of the best cars of all time.
The Stratos, Lancia’s most popular model, is famed for winning several competitions such as the World Rally Championship (a total of three times!). Many times, however, Lancia would come up with a car that did not have such a positive reaction, and one of them was the Beta.
The Lancia Beta, at first, was a huge favorite for petrol-heads in the early 1970s. It was famed for its performance, fantastic handling, and grip. The Beta was regarded as a true “drivers car” for these characteristics, and it managed to be the highest selling and most popular model ever, by Lancia. However, it soon got a reputation for being a rust-prone and unreliable car, and began to become extremely unpopular. A rumor started going around that the Lancia was actually made of Russian steel, which was supplied to Fiat from the Lada factory. This explained the steel problems, most likely due to poor rust-proofing techniques. In the UK, where Lancia’s main clients were, the company received a number of complaints from clients, forcing a recall of Betas. Although Lancia made so many fantastic cars, their mistakes overshadowed their greatness.