We photographed the Lancia Beta HPE pictured below outside of a Fiat dealership in a small village located on the outskirts of Avignon in France.
The dealership was closed so we couldn’t get find out what the story is behind this Beta. The only registration sticker on the windshield was issued in 1992 and we wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t been on the road since. We didn’t take pictures of this but the trunk was full of parts including engine bearings and – if memory serves – a cylinder head. All signs point to an engine failure.
However, it’s remarkably clean for a 35ish-year old Lancia. We’re former Beta owners so we know a thing or two about how badly they can rust even if they’re relatively well taken care of, which leads us to speculate this example has been stored indoors and out of the elements. It’s not rust-free, check out the photo of the area around the windshield, but if it was left outside under a tree it for over 20 years would have virtually disintegrated by now.
It’s interesting to note that this HPE is fitted with a hitch. It probably wasn’t used to tow a boat or an ATV, but we can imagine it regularly went to the landfill pulling a small trailer full of branches and leaves, which must have been quite a sight even during the 1980s.