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Italian Couger

7 Jun

Lately I’ve been looking lovingly at some of the great race cars of the 70’s. What I like best is that they resemble what comes mind when I think of what a modern race car is, yet they do so with a raw, seat of the pants flair. They were purposeful looking, and the 70’s were a time where the manufacturing processes finally began to catch up to the engineering knowledge base.

So, here is today’s entry – the Lancia Beta Montecarlo. Lancia’s have always been a bit of an eccentric marque, and despite all the nightmare stories of ownership, who wouldn’t want one of these in their garage? I’m also a sucker for that Martini Livery, as it’s just looks so damn good on just about any sports car.

Don’t let all the wild bodywork fool you. Underneath lurks a 4 cylinder engine. This tour-de-force packed a whole 7:1 compression ratio – pretty standard for the day, as this was the infancy of turbochargers in full competition use. The weighed less than 1800 lbs, and power ranged from the mid to high 400’s….wheeeeeee !!! Later versions developed by Abarth made over 500 hp.

Just listen to the engine wail – heavenly!

This is an awesoe in-car video I found from last years Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Now I’m going to hunt online for some Group 5 Books/DVD’s to grab up before F1 starts! If anyone knows of any good ones, let me know!