Rat Look & 300hp: A One-Of-A-Kind Lancia Beta HPE

Ultrace is the most eclectic event I’ve ever attended. But building something that stands out from the crowd at the largest modified car show in Europe is not easy. However, it was impossible to miss an Italian-American-Japanese fusion at this year’s show.

Francesco Besana’s 1976 Lancia Beta ‘HPE HF Turbo’ does not play by any rules.


Lancia developed the Beta HPE (High Performance Estate) shooting brake on the back of the success of its other Beta models – the first created under Fiat ownership. Francesco bought the car for less than $200 after discovering it on a farm where it had been sitting for 15 years and then set about creating something unique.


The transformation began at the heart of the car with a 1.6L Lancia Delta HF Turbo engine swap. It’s not stock though, having been upgraded with a Garrett T4 turbo sourced from a Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo 2, sitting on a custom exhaust manifold. Furthermore, the factory-carbureted engine was converted to fuel injection using Lancia Thema Turbo parts, Audi RS3 injectors, and a custom ECU with features including anti-lag and launch control. Italian engine builders Dickers made all the custom engine parts and did the final tuning to reveal an impressive 300hp.


The suspension system is equally unique. Starting with the original shock absorbers, Francesco cut, customized, and converted them into airbag-equipped coilovers. Preferring an analog feel, he opted for a manual button-operated system rather than digital management. Modifications by East Garage Customs, allow wide camber adjustment for precise fitment and stance. The brake system features new lines and a hydraulic handbrake, ensuring easy 180-degree turns on twisty Italian roads.


Whatever is left of the insides in the Beta HPE is purposeful. A full Sparco roll cage provides safety and rigidity, while Sparco seats, a five-point for Francesco, and a Sparco steering wheel offer comfort and control. The dashboard features a functional race ignition plate with various controls including engine start. Data from the engine is displayed on a tablet connected directly to the ECU, adding a touch of modernity to the Lancia’s classic design elements.


Francesco’s attention to detail is most visible in the wheels, which are of his own design. Inspired by the Lancia Stratos, these custom 5x98mm PCD, 3-piece wheels measure 15×11-inch with a -60 offset. Toyo Proxes R888 semi-slicks in a 225/45R15 fitment provide plenty of grip.


American cars are big in Italy, so it does not surprise me that a Lancia built in rat rod style was born in this Mediterranean land.


The original Lancia patina and rust tell its life story. A Volkswagen Golf Mk1 front lip and a customized BMW E30 ducktail spoiler enhance its aggressive look, Triumph Spitfire side mirrors add a vintage touch, while Japanese cues in the exposed oil cooler and fender flares complete the Lancia’s distinctive appearance.


The scratches and rust spots are not imperfections; they’re what give this Lancia character. In transforming the forgotten into the unforgettable, Francesco has breathed new life into a classic, making it a standout in the European stance community.

Vladimir Ljadov
Instagram: wheelsbywovka



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I like it. In 1991 I had a stock one. Was working for barely above minimum wage. Getting 4 Pirelli tires for it was almost as much as the initial cost. Decently powerful for the day, it had a cracked exhaust manifold that made the engine note loud but unappealing. Handled well. Factory air horn.
225 on an 11 inch wheel is truly stupid, though. 245 on an 8.5 or 9.0 would be much better.


I saw this project born. Francesco did a great job. He managed to create art on wheels. At the next Need for Speed we want Beso's Beta as the final boss !!


Now that's a sick build a Lancia done differently

This is something that's truly unique I love the style


Wheel and tire fitment are absolutely useless but I’m so used to seeing this now from street guys I don’t even care. I like this car other than that because the whole build just screams this person doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. It basically looks like a clapped out POS that accelerates like a missile. I dig it. Haha.