The turnover of inventory at self-service junkyards near major West Coast ports is extremely quick, what with the hunger of Chinese industry for scrap steel; some yards keep vehicles for just a month or two before crushing them. This steel-company-owned yard in Oakland, California, gets some interesting machinery, but a Lancia Beta? I can’t recall the last time I saw a Beta in any condition, but Volvo parts hunter David ran across this ’78 while seeking parts for his 240.
What would have led an American car buyer in 1978 to pay $8,803, about a grand more than a new Datsun 280Z and 500 bucks less than a new BMW 320i, for a notoriously rust-prone Italian orphan with just 86 horsepower and front-wheel-drive?
Speaking of rust, you don’t often see this sort of thing on California cars (unless they live within salt-spray range of the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco). According to David, who shot these photos for us, “The A pillars are shot through so badly that the windshield popped.”
Find Reviews by Make: