Considering an '81 Zagato - What should I look for?

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Considering an '81 Zagato - What should I look for?

Postby Peperone » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:14 pm

I'm considering taking on a project: 1981 Lancia Zagato. It's rumored to be a "California car most of its life" but has been in exposed parking for at least the last year and also hasn't run in probably two years. I'm a Fiat Spider guy and know what to look for in those. This front-drive targa is a different animal. The current owner picked it up on a trade and doesn't know much about it. I did a quick search on several Lancia-specific forums but didn't find anything other than the typical "beware of rust" and that the interiors disintegrate quickly. What are the weak spots I should be aware of and what are the "deal breaker" issues I should be looking for?
Peperone
Peperone
 
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Re: Considering an '81 Zagato - Never mind.

Postby Peperone » Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:55 pm

Well, never mind. After much hype and some pictures from the owner who admittedly did not know much about Italian cars I went to see the car. He said he picked it up a few years ago at a garage sale where the couple was splitting up and that it ran a bit rough but "ran when parked." He went on to say that it was a project he just hadn't gotten around to working on. I wish he would have told me that on the phone! In retrospect I should have left right then. As we walked to a shed on his property he commented "It just needs a little work. It's a barn find!" The car wasn't IN the shed, but behind it. It was immediately apparent that the pictures he sent were when he bought the car, not ones of its current condition. The car was filthy, and that's being kind. The blue body panels were sun burnt with bare spots here and there. Some had a couple of dents - nothing major and not much rust. The rest of the car was a much worse disaster. There was a small bush growing through one of the rear wheels. All the windows were rolled up but the back plastic window was shredded. The owner had made no attempt to cover the car to keep the weather and dirt out. The interior was shot and it smelled like a chicken coupe. Everything was either cracked or had a chunk taken out of it. Under the hood looked like the cleaning crews from all the hotels in Arizona had emptied their vacuum cleaner bags into the engine bay. The snorkel hose was cracked open in several places and the coolant recovery tank had a huge baseball-sized hole in it. The CV boots on the axle shafts were split open and brittle. Ironically, the trunk was its best feature - dry and no rust, but no carpet, spare, or tool kit. When he asked what I thought I told him it could be a donor car and that it would cost thousands to get this one drivable, let alone any attempt to restore it and that I wasn't going to pay him the $5K (seriously!) he wanted for it. He went silent, turned away, and walked back to his house leaving me alone in his yard. That was it. No further discussion. I left immediately. "It just needs a little work." Indeed. :x More like a lot of work and a $10K gift certificate to Midwest Bayless!

It was probably a good and easily fixable Zagato when he first picked it up. But he let it sit there, improperly stored, waiting for "some day." :bang:
Peperone
Peperone
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:13 pm


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