Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Spotted For Sale: 1990 (Most Likely) Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v - A rally car collector's dream

I spotted this 1990 Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v for sale at the Evolve Shopping Mall a few days ago. This is a super rare rally special. Those as old as I am would know what this car is. This is a rally car that won  46 world rally championship events, and also a run of six successive WRC manufacturers' championships which remains a world record to this day. 

The car in question is for sale at Meng Classic at the Evolve Mall for about RM100,000 plus minus. This was what I was told when I inquired. I believe it has be recently brought into Malaysia under the classic car status AP, where cars above 25 years of age can be imported into Malaysia under that approved permit. The only issue is that all Delta Integrales are left-hand-drive. But then again, this is the Integrale we're talking about. Again, no manufacturer could beat this car and the story behind it is also truly outstanding.

You see, when Lancia wanted a new works rally car after the notorious Group B rally series was terminated in 1986 due to the cars being too dangerous due to excessive power. They thing was that the whole Fiat group (which owns Lancia) did not have a proper replacement to go Group A rallying except for the Lancia Delta HF 4WD. And the Delta was a little hatchback that was launched in 1979. So by 1986, this car has been around for quite a while. 

Anyway, in 1987, Lancia raced the Delta in the Group A WRC series. It surprisingly won. I suppose this was because the car was actually quite small and agile compared to the other cars competiting. And it kept on winning till 1992. This car, first in the HF 4WD form, then the Integrale 8v (valve for the engine configuration), then the Integrale 16v, the Evoluzione and finally the Evoluzione II kept on producing wins against more newer competition from Toyota, Subaru and Ford. The then in 1989 newly launched Toyota Celica GT-4 ST185 could not keep up with a car that was first launched a decade earlier. Such was the Lancia Delta Integrale.

So what does this car have then? Let's just quote wikipedia on the Integrale 16v.

"The 16v Integrale was developed for rallying, introduced at the 1989 Geneva Motorshow and made a winning debut on the 1989 San Remo Rally.

It featured a raised centre of the bonnet to accommodate the new 16 valve engine, as well as wider wheels and tyres and new identity badges front and rear. The torque split was changed to 47% front and 53% rear.

The turbocharged 2-litre Lancia 16v engine produced 200 bhp (149 kW) at 5500 rpm, for a maximum speed of 137 mph (220 km/h) and 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.7  seconds. Changes included larger injectors, a more responsive Garrett T3 turbocharger, a more efficient intercooler, and the ability to run on unleaded fuel without modification."

So it's still pretty fast for an old girl.

Inside, there is a MoMo steering wheel and Recaro N-Joy seats as standard. The car is ridiculously small by today's standard. A Volkswagen Polo is longer than this. It is slightly wider though but when you look at it, you know its tiny. Even with those aggressive bonnet with its hump and vents as well as those fat arches where 16 inch tyres sit. 

It does not look as aggressive as the Evo models because the Evoluzione has an even wider track front and rear. But, dammit! This is still something to marvel at. I do hope it finds a good home here in Malaysia. It may be left hand drive, but that RM100k or thereabouts asking price seems pretty good to me. It also sits on period proper O.Z wheels in white! 

You're talking about the holy grail of rally specials when you speak of the Integrale. A real life unicorn here in Malaysia. The last time I saw a Delta in Malaysia it was a Singaporean registered Delta HF in canary yellow in the early 1990s. My heart fluttered after I saw this red one.

Buy this and let me try it out, somebody!!!!

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