Another day, another 1980s rally legend heading to the auction block. After learning about an Audi Sport Quattro en route to Villa Erba in Italy for RM Sotheby’s May 27 sale, today we get to talk about the iconic Lancia Delta S4 aka “Stradale” set to be sold at the very same event. As it was the case with the Sport Quattro, Lancia had to build at least 200 road-going cars for homologation purposes to take part in the fascinating Group B. Precisely 200 were made and now is your chance to own one.
Built in 1985 and driven for less than 1,600 kilometers (994 miles), this Delta S4 is in exquisite condition and it’s highly unlikely you’ll find one in a better shape. The metallic red example with a beige Alcantara interior was actually registered for the first time in 1989 and it hasn’t been used much since then given its extremely low mileage. It comes bundled with a significant amount of documents, including all of the original manuals, service books, and Lancia’s certificate of authenticity.
The road-going model remained pretty much faithful to its track-only sibling and featured the same 1.8-liter turbocharged and supercharged inline-four engine. Needless to say, the mid-mounted unit was de-tuned for the street model and produced 250 horsepower (184 kilowatts) and 292 Newton-meters (215 pound-feet) of torque.
The track car was officially rated at 450 hp, but in reality the race-spec engine pushed out somewhere in the region of 550 hp. As a side note, legend has it Henri Toivonen drove an 800-hp version of the race car back in 1986 for two test laps in Portugal at the Estoril track and was only a few seconds slower than the pole position time of an F1 car.
Featuring a fiberglass body over a chrome-molybdenum steel spaceframe, the Lancia Delta S4 ‘Stradale’ was a wonderful piece of engineering and came with a five-speed manual gearbox sending the twin-charged engine’s power to a four-wheel drive system. It tipped the scales at a low 1,200 kilograms (2,645 pounds), so you can easily imagine it was an absolute rocket and it's still very fast even by today's standards.
RM Sotheby’s estimates this pristine example will be sold for at least €450,000 ($495,000) or as much as €550,000 ($605,000).
Photos: Cymon Taylor / RM Sotheby's