Three of the sweetest words to many auto enthusiasts are mid-engine-Italian. But, as Nice Price or Crack Pipe has found out, those words sometimes can sting.
Bitter sweet was yesterday's vote. When the dust settled, it was 50/50 for the Opel with a ‘tude. Bitter came and went in the U.S. market leaving behind a few orphan cars scattered like Lose Weight Now, Ask Me How! flyers littering a Hometown Buffet parking lot. Another brand that gave America a drive-by, peppering the landscape with cars that began rustling even before they left the assembly line was Lancia. The Beta series, introduced here in the states after Fiat swallowed the company whole, was an attempt to create a brand that would slot between Fiat and Alfa Romeo. The Betas- fastback sedan, three box coupe and HPE two-door wagon brought Fiat levels of quality with an even smaller and more disinterested dealer base. Added in 1976, the mid-engine Scorpion shared the 1776-cc 81-bhp wheezer with its front-drive brothers, but the Pininfarina-styled body was much more appealing.