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*Please note that this vehicle will not be sold for use or resale in California or to a non-dealer California resident.
From 1982 to 1986, the FIA Group B World Rally Championship was a time of almost gladiator-like danger for drivers and co-drivers pushed to the limits of human endurance through demanding mountain passes, desert roads, and snow-covered woodland. With few restrictions, the epoch ushered in an extraordinary period of Space Age exotic materials, turbo-boosted horsepower, and technical ingenuity. However, high-power outputs and a lack of safety precautions contributed to a number of accidents, causing the sanctioning body to disestablish the class. Today, Group B has acquired near-legendary status among rally fans.
While Lancia was a force in international rallying with its Fulvia HF, Stratos, and 037, Audi’s Quattro, the first rally car to feature four-wheel drive, won the championship in 1982 and 1984. Lancia responded with the Delta S4 in 1985, boasting a tubular space frame, fully adjustable suspension, lightweight composite bodywork, a transmission driving all four wheels, and a diminutive, twin-charged – turbo and supercharged – 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that could output over 500 bhp and propel the car from 0-60 in about two seconds. The combination was a potent one, with the Delta S4 winning its first competitive outing at the ’85 RAC Rally and handing Markku Alén a second-place finish in the drivers’ championship the next year.
For approval in Group B, it was necessary to build at least 200 “Stradale” – or street – versions of the model. Previously finished in Verde York and known among enthusiasts as the Green Car, the Delta S4 Stradale on offer is now painted in its original factory red, with Beige Alcantra interior, and it shares many of the race car’s traits, albeit with a detuned motor for reliability and a more luxurious interior that includes niceties such as power steering, a trip computer, carpeting, and air-conditioning.
This S4 Stradale is currently presenting in excellent condition after Italian marque specialists, the Baldi Brothers, comprehensively restored the body, chassis, and mechanicals while also stepping up to Potenziato specification – an upgraded clutch, engine software, exhaust, and wider rear wheels and tires – with 300 bhp recently recorded. The current owner’s in-house IMSA race mechanic recently performed a comprehensive engine service, and the car is complete with tools, jack, manuals, and assorted books and catalogues, as well as photographic documentation of the restoration.
The Lancia Delta S4 is one of the rarest Group B rally cars. Although never winning the championship, it is compelling evidence that the company retained its engineering excellence after the Fiat takeover of 1969. Presented in pristine condition with corresponding low mileage and fastidious, enthusiast ownership, this limited-production S4 Stradale represents an opportunity not be missed to own an important piece of Lancia and rallying history.