The Lancia Delta S4
In the 1980’s Lancia dominated the Group B class of World Rally, winning the 1983 World Rally Championship with the rear-wheel drive Rally ‘037’. This was the final two-wheel drive car to win the Championship, even beating the fearsome four-wheel drive Audis. However, Lancia knew they had to move with the times and embrace four-wheel drive. The result was the Lancia Delta S4, considered by many today to be the fastest of all the Group B machines.
The S4 was built around a 1,759 cc four-cylinder engine, but instead of using just a supercharger as per the Rally ‘037’, the S4 was the first production car to feature twin-charging. This meant not only was the engine fed by a supercharger, but also a turbo charger, resulting in an impressive 247 bhp at 6,750 rpm in Stradale form. This power is fed to the tarmac through a five-speed manual gearbox and three differentials, sending 30% to the front, and 70% to the rear axle.
The Stradale, although very similar in specification to its fire-breathing Group B counterpart, did benefit from one of the most luxurious interiors ever seen in a homologation car. Elegant beige Alcantara wraps around the seats, centre arm rest, lower dashboard, door pockets and roof, matching beautifully the light beige carpets. Black Alcantara wraps around the steering wheel, reminding the driver of the S4’s competitive side.
This Lancia Delta S4 Stradale
Presented here is chassis ZLA038AR000000032, built in 1986 by Lancia in Turin, Italy. This car is understood to have passed through the Middle East before being publicly offered for sale at a Christie’s auction in December 2004, displaying less than 10,500 kms. Described in the catalogue description “For the past 10 years the car has remained in dry storage with no use whatsoever but recently it has been treated to a thorough check over which included draining and changing of all fluids, belts and spark plugs and the car now runs extremely well.” The history file even contains a copy of the invoice from Zagato Lancia for these works. Early in this car’s life we can see a Blaupunkt New York radio/cassette player and equalizer were tastefully added, with Kenwood speakers being neatly fitted to each door.
At the Christie’s auction, the car was purchased by the famed David Sutton Motorsport Museum in Northamptonshire, UK. This impressive collection also included an ex-works Martini-sponsored Lancia 037 Group B Evo 1, Lancia Stratos HF Stradale, Ford RS200 road car, Audi Quattro Sport Group B, Ford Cortina Lotus and several Audi A4 touring cars. Throughout its time in this well-known collection, the car was maintained by the in-house team of mechanics, with a UK MOT being issued in November 2006 noting the mileage as 11,386 kms.
December 2008 saw 0032 leave the David Sutton Motorsport Museum, to join another sizeable collection which also included a Peugeot 205 T16, Alpine A110 and the same ex-David Sutton black Ford RS200 along with many important motor bikes. In 2013 the car was serviced by Geoff Page Racing, specialists in the rebuild and maintenance of historic racing cars, with Geoff Page having also built and maintained many Group B cars in period. At this point the car received a full service, including a new cam belt, spark plugs, oil and filter change, tappet adjustment, coolant change, new fuel filters, new brake fluid and a change of clutch fluids. An invoice for these works in contained within the history file, totalling £2,757.83.
During its time within this collection, this S4 was taken to the United States of America, spending its time in Nevada, with the collection slowly migrating to the sunnier and drier climate. As in the UK, the collection in Nevada was maintained inhouse by a team of mechanics, before returning to England earlier this year.
Today, this car is displaying a mere 11,780 kms, only 400 more than when it was UK MOT’d in 2006! This Delta S4 Stradale is offered for sale with a UK V5, and will be freshly serviced by famed Lancia specialists, the Baldi twins in Turin, prior to delivery to its next lucky owner.
Classic Driver recently drove an S4 Stradale and summed it up beautifully “In reality, the S4 Stradale is not the intimidating and excessive monster it appears from the outside. What it is, is a beautifully resolved sports car in which you can feel the technology beneath really working with you.” – Now it’s your turn!
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