The number 037 is infamous in both Lancia and World Rally Circles. Built solely for the FIA Group B World Rally Championship, this was the last rear wheel drive vehicle to win the championship. Group B regulations required 200 road going models to be built for sale. Some might notice a resemblance between this 037 and the Lancia Scorpion featured a few days ago, and that's no coincidence. The 037 shares its center section with the Scorpion/Montecarlo, while the front and rear ends are steel subframes with kevlar body panels. As for the engine, in true Lancia fashion, the road less traveled was taken. Lancia fitted a supercharger to the Fiat 131 rally car engine developed by Abarth, as they were seeking to improve throttle response. Most of us are used to seeing 037s in Martini or other racing livery, so this red example brought to the US in 1990 is quite a unique find.
1983 Lancia 037. This amazing original example was purchased new by Ana Traub of Germany in 1983. Purchased December 12, 1989 by Manfredo Lippmann of Guatemala, then imported into the USA on January 08, 1990. Mr. Lippmann brought the car to his Denver, Colorado home for his son, Guillermo. Introduced at the Turin Motor Show in 1982, the Lancia Rally 037 is a light and powerful touring-car, studied in collaboration with Lancia races department, Abarth and Pininfarina study center. Planned for a high level employment in the rallies, it has been realized in a series of 200 samples, in order to obtain the homologation in the group B, the maximum rally category where cars purposely elaborated raced and, in any case, derived from production-model cars.
Powered by its original Supercharged 4 cylinder 1995 cc engine with 205 horsepower. Also comes equipped with its original ZF 5-Speed manual transmission. It is still equipped with its Speedline wheels and original Pirelli tires. The body is Kevlar-reinforced with glassfibre. 0-60 MPH in less than 6 seconds! Top speed is over 140MPH. It would be extremely difficult to find a better original example!
The asking price is not for the faint of heart but I can't remember the last time I saw an 037 for sale. These are beastly cars with a very notorious reputation in motorsport, as rally driver Attilio Bettega lost his life in an 037 in the Tour de Corse on May 2, 1985. In a very eerie twist of fate, fellow rally driver Henri Toivonen died in the exact same race on May 2, 1986 in an all wheel drive Lancia Delta S4, which replaced the 037 and was an evolution of that car. The S4 had a twin charged engine (supercharged and turbocharged). It produced roughly 480 horsepower and was reported to have acceleration from 0 to 62 in under 2.3 seconds. Toivonen had complained that the car was too powerful and twitchy at the limits for this particular race but nevertheless pressed on, when suddenly he lost control of his car and went off the side of the road where no guardrail was present and plunged down a cliff. The car exploded killing Toivonen and his co-driver, Sergio Cresto, instantly. These events sealed the fate of Group B and the series would be banned by the FIA following the 1986 season.
For a taste of what it's like to ride in an 037, here is a clip of Stig Blomqvist demonstrating one on a dirt track: