SOLD | 1986 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale
The Lancia Delta S4
In the 1980’s, World Rallying overtook Formula One as the most popular and exciting motorsport. This was Group B, World Rallying’s golden era, which saw manufacturers push the limits of both driver and machine, creating fire-breathing monsters which devoured the world’s most dangerous and demanding roads, all in the pursuit of the World Rally Championship.
Group B regulations stipulated that each manufacturer must produce 200 road-going examples of their competition brutes. However, the story is not that simple. With time, and a calculator, we have learnt that Lancia build nowhere near the 200 required examples of the S4 Stradale, instead the number is estimated closer to 70! So, we are left with one question, how much grappa did the Lancia engineers ply the FIA representatives with when it came to counting in Turin?
In 1983 Lancia won the World Rally Championship with its rear-wheel drive, supercharged Rally 037. However, other manufacturers such as Audi were pushing forwards with new technology, including four-wheel drive, which was revolutionising rallying. The Rally 037 was to be the final two-wheel drive car to win the World Rally Championship! With its huge success and lineage in rallying, Lancia knew a revolution was in motion, but wanted to leap one step in front again. Not only did they develop a four-wheel drive system for the S4, they also developed a twin-charging system, which meant that the 1.8 litre engine was not only supercharged, as per the out-going 037, but also turbocharged! The theory was such that the supercharger would ensure power at lower rpm, and the turbocharger take over for higher rpms, a theory well-proved by this car! The S4 Stradale was the first road-going car to feature twin-charging, and when coupled together with the four-wheel drive system, front, rear and centre differentials, it was the most technologically advanced car of its day!
This, the Lancia Delta S4 Stradale went on sale with the price tag of roughly 100 million Lira, five times the price of the most expensive Delta of the time, the HF Turbo! But, the Stradale was an entirely different beast, its space-frame chassis was built from steel and aluminium tubes, clothed in epoxy and fibreglass body panels. The 1.8 litre engine was longitudinally mid-mounted, coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox with a three-differential four-wheel drive system ensuring optimum traction. For many people, the interior was just as special as the parts you couldn’t see, and with its price tag, Lancia understood that they needed to make it special! Unlike anything seen before, the S4 Stradale was fitted with Alcantara seats, centre armrest, door pockets, roof lining, centre console and lower-dashboard. The a-pillars and dashboard top were black leather with the driver also enjoying a motorsport inspired suede steering wheel.
You’re sold, right?
This Lancia Delta S4 Stradale
The car we are offering here, chassis 033, was awarded it’s Certificate of Circulation on the 24th December 1986, as noted on the Italian Estratto Chronologico, which fully documents the ownership of this vehicle within Italy. In March 1987, this car was sold to its first owner, Clipper Auto Ltd in Livorno, Italy and assigned the registration ‘LI 385622’, before being sold to ACI Leasing in Vicenza a year later, with the registration updated to ‘VI 772093’.
Having passed through several further lucky Italian owners, this S4 Stradale was bought by ART Engineering Ltd in December 1998. ART Engineering Ltd (Alessandrini Racing and Technology) was owned by Paolo Alessandrini, a famed Italian rally driver who competed in the World Rally Championship with a Lancia Delta S4 Corsa, Lancia Rally 037 Group B, Audi Quattro, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 and later, a Lancia Delta Integrale.
Having been exported from Italy, this car was next seen publicly at the Christies Exceptional Motor Cars and Automobilia auction in England, April 2005. At that time, the auction catalogue notes the car was displaying 21,000 kms. The car then remained in England, where it was registered with the license ‘C39 OVX’, before being sent to the leading marque specialists in Turin. The Baldi twins are based in Turin, having worked in the Lancia Martini Racing Team and Abarth during the Group B and Group A era’s of World Rallying. In the process, they gained much knowledge, experience and respect. Today, there is simply no better workshop to maintain and restore these important Lancia’s.
During the restoration, the Baldi Twins rebuilt the engine, gearbox and differentials, but in the process also used their knowledge and insider experiences to upgrade the engine from the Stradale standard of 250 bhp, to well over 300 bhp, known as Potenziato Specification. This involved a new and upgraded clutch, enhanced engine software and new exhaust. This was a complete nut and bolt restoration, photo documented, with the car being stripped right back to the tub. All mechanical components including the suspension and brakes were also restored, with the bodywork also being stripped and repainted. The end product was a car in as-new condition, truly remarkable.
Now finished in Rosso Amaranto, this stunning S4 Stradale was sold to Timothy Pappas, real estate tycoon and owner of Black Swan Racing in the USA. In May 2016, online automotive powerhouse, Petrolicious, sent social media influencer, Ted Gushue, to interview Tim Pappas and photograph this car for a feature called ‘This is what it’s like to own a Lancia S4 Stradale’. Black Swan Racing is an IMSA race team, who also maintained this car during Pappas’ ownership. Later in 2016, the car was sold to a significant, and sizeable, Chicago-based collection, where it was seldom used, before being bought by Girardo & Co. in August 2018.
Since purchasing this car in the USA, we have imported the car to Europe, where it is now offered with a UK V5 registration. In November, Classic Driver photographed this car for yet another online feature, commenting ‘In reality, the S4 Stradale is not the intimidating and excessive monster it appears from the outside – especially in the engulfing darkness. What it is, is a beautifully resolved sports car in which you can feel the technology beneath really working with you.’
Once it’s photography sessions were over, and the admirers had gone home, we returned this S4 to the Baldi twins in Turin, where it has again been inspected and serviced, ensuring the next lucky owner is rewarded with the best driving experience possible. We can honestly confirm this to be one of the very best condition S4 Stradale’s we have ever seen, having experienced little use since it’s extensive and detailed restoration by the marque leaders. The car is also accompanied by its tool kit, jack, spare wheel and history file which includes many images of the heavily photo-documented restoration, Italian ownership documentation and current UK V5 registration.
All Group B homologation cars are special, but there is only one Lancia Delta S4 Stradale. This is the car that brought twin-charging to the road, it was a monster, it was expensive, inaccessible and dangerous, but you’ve always wanted to drive one, haven’t you! This is your opportunity.
Classic Driver Feature, November 2018 - https://www.classicdriver.com/en/article/cars/infernal-lancia-delta-s4-stradale-will-haunt-your-dreams
Petrolicious Feature, May 2016 - https://petrolicious.com/articles/this-is-what-it-s-like-to-own-a-lancia-s4-stradale
Price Upon Request
Price Upon Request