1985 Lancia Delta
No registration documents
Japanese car temporary import
Customs clearance required
- Winner of the 1986 Rally Argentina
- Very rare genuine factory Group B car
- Representative of one of the most fascinating periods in rallying history
- Fantastic engineering, extraordinary power
Following on from Group 4, the Group B period, between 1983 and 1986, was one of the most fascinating in rallying history. The relatively unrestricted regulations allowed manufacturers to dream up efficient and powerful monsters that required turbochargers and four-wheel drive to stand any chance of a podium finish. The Peugeot 205 T16, Audi Quattro, Renault Maxi Turbo, Ford RS 200 and Lancia S4 were the great players during this period, giving rise to some spectacular battles between such high calibre names as Hannu Mikkola, Walter R”hrl, Markku Alen, Henri Toivonen, Ari Vatanen, Bruno Saby and MichŠle Mouton, before one too many serious accidents put an end to this incredible formula. The cars that took part in these great races have become icons today, with no equivalent either before or after their brief appearance in the history of motorsport.
It is a representative of this period that we have the pleasure of presenting. This Lancia Delta S4 was an official Lancia factory team car : registered 73073 TO, it was the car that Miky Biasion drove to victory in the 1986 Rally Argentina, with Tiziano Siviero. An outstanding driver, Biasion had won the European Rally Championship in 1983, in a Lancia 037, and the World Rally Championship in a Lancia Delta Integrale in 1988 and 1989.
The Delta S4 was designed to succeed the 037, and was a very different car. To compete against the Peugeot 205 T16 that was enjoying huge success under the authority of Jean Todt, Cesare Fiorio and Claudio Lombardi decided to start with a blank sheet of paper. Wanting to keep the weight below 900 kg, they were obliged by the regulations to limit the size of the engine to 1,759cc. They developed a new engine built entirely in aluminium, from which they hoped to extract at least the equivalent of the Peugeot's 450 bhp. To compensate for the flaws of the turbocharger (lack of power at low engine speeds, response time), Lombardi had the original idea of combining a turbo and a supercharger with a mechanical control : the result was an engine that was both versatile and powerful. To transmit the power of so many horses to the ground, four-wheel drive was essential and the Ferguson coupling allowed a split that could vary from 40/60 front/rear to 100% at the rear. Positioned longitudinally and without any overhang, the engine unit sat in a tubular chassis strengthened with Kevlar and carbon panels, covered with a fibreglass body styled to suggest the Delta production model.
With entry into the Rally series planned for the middle of the 1985 season, the Lancia Delta S4 finally made its first official appearance in November, at the RAC Rally. Proving itself from the start, the car finished 1st and 2nd in the hands of Henri Toivonen and Markku Alen. The following year, the title was a close battle with Peugeot and at the end of the season Lancia was ahead, but Peugeot claimed victory after the San Remo Rally result was rescinded. Meanwhile Henri Toivonen had a tragic accident on the Tour de Corse and the end of Group B was announced. It is conceivable that the experience gained with the S4 aided the Lancia team in the development of the Delta HF Integrale that dominated the rally scene between 1987 and 1992.
Chassis 209 that we are presenting left the factory in November 1985 and competed in rounds of the 1986 World Rally Championship. According to its FIA papers dated 4 September 2014, it conforms to the original in every respect. After its victory in the Rally Argentina with Biason and Siviero (4 to 7 August 86), this Lancia S4 was put away and has never been restored, simply maintained in order to participate in various meetings. It is therefore presented almost exactly as it was then, in its Martini livery and with period sponsors' stickers. Here is a unique opportunity to acquire one of the rare factory versions from this exciting period. The Group B cars are starting to attract serious attention from enthusiasts today. This phenomenon will only continue to grow as these cars, with their radical engineering, are symbolic of a bygone era, There is still time to buy one of the most brilliant examples.