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1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale

Just three owners from new and still accompanied by its original owner’s manual

Displaying fewer than 20,500km on the odometer

Benefitting from a fresh service from the renowned Lancia specialists Elio and Giovanni Baldi in Turin

The most special and technologically fascinating road-going Group B homologation special

Chassis no. ZLA038AR0 00000129

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The Lancia Delta S4 Stradale

What is there to say about the Lancia Delta S4 which hasn’t been said before? In its full-fat Martini-liveried Group B guise, it took fearless and charismatic drivers such as Henri Toivonen and Markku Alén to another dimension of performance. And as a road car, it pioneered twin-charging, an innovation we take for granted nowadays, and proudly showed that road-going Group B homologation specials were not the poorly-built bodge-jobs they’d earned a reputation as being.

It might be an alumni of the ‘form follows function’ school of thought, but the S4 Stradale is a beautifully built object, both above and below the surface. Its mid-mounted twin-charged four-cylinder engine sent its ample power to all four wheels via a five-speed gearbox and not one but three differentials. And its Alcantara-strewn, air-conditioned cabin is honestly one of the best we’ve ever sat in.

Because Lancia didn’t build the required 200 S4 Stradales to homologate the road car (we reckon as few as 70 left Turin) they’re shrouded in mystery and, as a result, attracting the interest of more and more collectors with every passing day. Another by-product is that these cars are commonly misconstrued to be intimidating and scarcely-useable turbocharged monsters. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

This Lancia Delta S4 Stradale

The ninth Lancia Delta S4 Stradale we’ve handled, this humdinger of an example is chassis number 129. It was bought new on 28 September 1992 by a company called Locat Locazione Attrezzature S.p.A. in Bergamo, which paid the princely sum of 119m Italian lire – that was five times . The car was assigned the local registration ‘BG B44304’.

Chassis 129 remained in Bergamo until February of 1996, when it was acquired by its second owner, one Stefano Lanconelli from Lugo in Emilia-Romagna. Lanconelli kept the Group B homologation special for over a decade, during which he obtained attestation for the car from the Automotoclub Storico Italiano. In September of 2007 the car was bought by its third and final owner, another Italian collector by the name of Carlo Astorino from Cosenza.

Astorino clearly cherished this rare and special Lancia, keeping the car for 14 years. In July of 2021, we inspected the car and, satisfied with its provenance and originality having shown just 20,500km on the odometer, negotiated its purchase and subsequent sale. We had chassis 129 delivered to the renowned Lancia specialists Elio and Giovanni Baldi in Turin for a service and detailing.

Accompanied by its rare original owner’s manual, this car is a fantastic example of the mighty and mysterious Lancia Delta S4 Stradale, arguably the most special and technologically fascinating road-going Group B homologation special, of which we reckon as few as 70 were built in 1985 and ’86.

 

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