CAR Online reader Pagani1zonda takes a trip down memory lane in a 1976 Lancia Beta Monte Carlo. Read about his first drive from Perranporth to Playing in a classic Pininfarina design…
My favourite garage was called Lancia Playing Place situated on the main A39 road from Truro to Falmouth in Cornwall.
One day in 1976 I was driven from Perranporth to Playing Place by a friend as I was to take delivery of Pininfarina’s newest: a brand new Lancia Beta Monte Carlo. My return journey was across country using minor roads to try out the handling and roadholding.
So from Playing Place I drove like a fiend via Carnon Downs, Bissoe and Twelveheads, and then downhill into Scorrier crossing onto the A30 and Blackwater passed Skinners Bottom to Mount Hawke on the B3277 with the 2.0-litre twin cam wailing away.
I made my noisy entrance into St Agnes on the B3285 and snuck into second, making the engine bellow even at 20mph. Then wailing down to Peterville past Paul’s Garage on the B3277 to Trevellas and up the hill to Barkla Shop screeching around corners.
I quickly discovered the Lancia was overservoed on the brakes and I was locking up at every corner, then off the brakes again, keeping the tail in check and on to the Perranporth clifftop road and once again screaming into Perranporth at 30mph in third. On arrival at the beach, the red-hot twin cam was ticking away as it cooled down.
A journey never to forget and I don’t think the Lancia did either. And the brakes? The dealer took the servo off for me and then nirvana was attained.