As years go by, I'm always wondering what the next tasty bit of forbidden automotive fruit may be on the horizon and legal for importation to the US once it reaches 25 years old. One car that stands above the rest, for me, is the Lancia Delta Integrale. It might not appear like anything more special than a four-door econobox, but this car is a rally champion, many times over. The ultimate Integrale was the Integrale Evo 2. It featured a 2.0 liter, turbocharged engine producing 212 horsepower and 232 lb ft of torque. New alloy wheels, a Momo steering wheel and Alcantara seating helped to round off package of improvements included with the Evo 2.
This Evo 2 for sale in the United Kingdom looks sublime in its dark blue color accentuates those boxed fender flares just so, adding to the mystique of this car being wolf in sheep's clothing.
The Lancia Delta Integrale was and still is the hero to thousands, the Holy Grail, and a genuine slayer of giants. This is the car that buried the Audi Quattro, both in the World Rally Championship and on the open road. In 1986 it rolled out a remarkable 10 wins. There were only 11 races!
The first Evolution cars rolled of the production line at the end of 1991 and through 1992. These were to be the final homologation cars for the highly successful Lancia Rally Team. In order to improve the handling, the Evolution 1 had a wider track front and rear than its predecessors which resulted in the already boxed arches getting even wider. The front strut top mounts were also raised to generate more grip, which resulted in the need for a strut brace to control these new forces.
External changes included, a redesigned bonnet with new air slats and new grilles in the front bumper to further assist engine cooling, an adjustable roof spoiler to aid rear down force and really emphasize the cars aggressive lines, and new 5 stud alloy wheel derived from the rally cars.
The new Integrale retained the legendary four wheel drive layout, an epicyclic centre diff with torque splitter (47% to front, 53% to rear), Ferguson viscous coupling and Torsen rear differential. The 16V engine was carried forward from the earlier car and benefited from a re-map to increase power to 210 bhp. The results gave the desired improvements on the rally circuits with the new cars clocking times over 5% faster on both tarmac and gravel sections.
Presented in June 1993, the second Evolution version of the Delta HF Integrale featured an updated version of the 2-litre 16-valve turbo with a new water cooled Garrett turbocharger. A catalyst was also fitted to lower emissions but overall the power was increased to 215bhp. In order to underline the even more advanced engineering and performance of the 1993 version, the new Integrale was also given a cosmetic and functional face-lift including body coloured roof moldings, improved air intake grilles, an aluminum fuel cap and a red painted cylinder head. Inside the car got a new leather trimmed three spoke MOMO steering wheel and the standard Recaro seats were upholstered in beige Alcantara with diagonal stitching.
Like James Dean, the Integrale lived fast and died young. When Lancia turned off the life support in 1994, it too was at the height of its powers and there is no doubt nations wept.
Adjustable Momo leather steering wheel, Beige Alcantera Recaro seats, Turbo boost gauge, Oil pressure and temperature gauge, Electric windows, Air conditioning, JVC tape player, Factory remote central locking and alarm. Car specific registration plate 'D5 LTA'
This Evo 2 looks stunning in its deep Lord blue glossy paint. With its muscular arches and roof spoiler it really looks every part the 80's rally champion. The bumpers have recently been repainted to eradicate any stone chips and while not 100% perfect the rest of the body is presented to a good standard. The underside of the car is very solid and well kept with no damage or corrosion.
The 80's angular dashboard is awash with dials and gauges to keep the driver fully informed. Despite its reputation for slightly suspect build quality the materials feel good and it is nicely finished with matching alcantara seats, door cards and roof lining, it is also surprisingly free from annoying squeaks and rattles. The Recaro seats feel very supportive and provide an excellent driving position with the adjustable Momo steering wheel. There is some light bobbling on the bolsters of the seats but they still feel firm and supportive. None of the plastic trim is damaged, the electrics work as they should and the car still has its original Lancia over-mats.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
There is a good history file showing that the mechanics have been well maintained over the years, major work to the engine include a full rebuild at Zagato Lancia in 2008 at a cost of over £4,000. When this was done all the engine and drive belts were replaced along with a new clutch and flywheel.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The boxed arches are filled with the correct 16" rally derived alloy wheels which have all recently been professionally refurbished to an excellent standard by Lepsons in Gillingham. The front tyres are nearly new with just under 8mm of tread and the backs are about half worn with 4-5mm.
This Evo 2 was first registered in Italy in 1995 before being imported to the UK in 2001. While in Italy it was serviced at a Lancia dealer which is fully stamped in the original service book, there are also quite a few Italian service and parts receipts and a copy of the original registration document.
Since arriving in the UK in 2001 the car has been in the possession of the same owner. Throughout this period the car has been serviced at a couple of different Lancia specialists and all the invoices have been kept in the history file.
The car also has its original Italian owners pack with the service book, owners manual, spare key and the instruction book for the JVC tape player.
Supplied with a valuable car specific number plate - 'D5 LTA'
The Evo 2 is the most desirable of all Integrales, and their prices are reflective of that status. The seller is asking almost $40,000 for this car, which is certainly an eye watering sum. I'd suspect once these cars start legally trickling over to the US, considering inflation, we probably won't be too off from that figure if a clean car like this could be sourced. Like the E30 BMW M3, the Integrale Evo 2 seems to be a modern day legend that is quickly becoming a pipe dream for collectors of more modest means.