The Lancia Rally
The Lancia Rally is one of the world’s most iconic and successful rally cars, built by the most successful rally manufacturer in history, operating in an era with near endless budget.
To compete in the 1982 WRC Group B Championship, each manufacturer was required to build 200 road-legal examples, with the racing version carrying only minor modifications. This led to the road-legal, ‘Stradale’ version being a competitive, well-honed thoroughbred.
Launched at the 1982 Turin Motor Show, the Lancia Rally ‘037’ was a light and powerful car, built in collaboration with the Lancia racing department, Abarth and Pininfarina study centre. The car had one purpose, to win rallies, so it adopted the best design elements available. The central frame cell was fitted with tube frames at the front and rear permitting Lancia to use very advanced quadrilateral suspension, a solution which permits all the adjustment necessary, a huge developmental advantage over many of the competitors.
With other competitors choosing a turbo-charged engine, head engineer, Aurelio Lampredi, chose a supercharged system with a volumetric compressor, allowing instant power even at low engine speeds, another design decision focussing on competition. The two-litre, four-cylinder, four-valve, in-line engine was mid-mounted with a five-speed manual ZF gearbox delivering power to the rear wheels. The bodywork was lightweight fibreglass, with its clamshell design allowing instant access for mechanics in rallying’s increasingly competitive ‘service stops’ where if necessary the gearbox could be replaced in a record time of just 12 minutes!
The 037 was designed to compete, it is focussed, ruthless and efficient, and it was the last rear-wheel drive car to win the World Rally Championship! The Stradale specification allows the driver to indulge in fabulous handling, phenomenal engine characteristics and sublime looks. The steering is pin-sharp with one of the most progressive brake pedals (with four ventilating discs) in existence, this is one of the most enjoyable sports cars for the open road.
This Lancia 037
The example offered here, chassis 111, was first registered in France with Parisian license ’79 GFY 75’ in November 1983. Interestingly, the etching of this registration is still visible in the glass windows.
Later, the car changed ownership and was re-registered in France with the license ’37 XJ 74’ before entering the ownership of Madame Christiane Sacchi, an enthusiastic historic rally competitor. Whilst in Madame Sacchi’s stable, this 037 was maintained in Geneva by RS Tuning and CPL Sport in L’Ain. In October 2002, Madame Sacchi entered the Rallye de Thiers, and in September 2005 participated in the Mont-Blanc regularity rally, later displaying this 037 at the Salon Epoqu’Auto a Lyon.
The car was then sold to Mr Frederic Carrere, a resident in Tolouse, France, at auction during the Le Mans Classic event in 2012. Mr Carrere re-registered the car on the license ‘CN-539-AR’, before entering the 26th Coupe des Alpes regularity rally where it was driven by Mr and Mrs Carrere.
Since we purchased this car in 2017, it was delivered to marque specialists in Turin for a full service, with the following additional works also completed; overhauled the supercharger, brake systems, suspension and top-end engine rebuild including new valves, guides and springs. We also chose to fit two new fuel tanks, four new tyres, two new front dampers, replace the radiator, with the mechanical works totalling €21,900.
Since all servicing and mechanical works were completed we have also had the car re-trimmed having sourced the extremely rare, original material for the interior and the car extensively detailed, with great attention paid to the underside also. During this process, the paintwork was also machine polished with spectacular results.
Max has driven the car and after the recent ‘shakedown’ of the car the last few details have been finetuned regardless of cost, making it one of the best Lancia 037 Stradale’s to drive.
Chassis 111 sounds fantastic and the engine gives a real sense of power. One of the best driving features of the car is without a doubt the very precise ZF gearbox, it is a pleasure to use and allows for accurate and quick gearchanges. The Lancia Stradale is capable of 0-100km/h in less than 6 seconds and you can really feel the performance in chassis 111.
With only 207 Stradale examples built to pass homologation regulations, the 037 was a fundamental step towards Lancia claiming six consecutive World Rally Championships! A feat achieved by no other manufacturer, cementing Lancia’s position as the most successful World Rally manufacturer!
Jeremy Clarkson recently drove a Lancia 037 Stradale on The Grand Tour and its safe to say he thoroughly enjoyed it! Watch his review here.
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