In the summer of 1979, the FIA announced a radical change in the racing-car classification system. With a newly created Group B scheduled to begin with the 1982 season, manufacturers were left with little time to develop cars for rally competition under the new rules. Group B homologation would only require 200 examples, so production would not present a major problem, but Lancia determined that there would not be time to start their new rally car entirely from scratch.
Lancia turned to Abarth, which was now part of the Fiat-Lancia group, to create Project 037 as a replacement for their highly regarded Stratos HF. Expectations in Turin were so high that Pininfarina and Dallara were also called upon for their input.
Kevlar reinforced with fibreglass formed the 037’s race-bred body, itself designed to emulate the Beta-based Montecarlo/Scorpion. However, a lift of the bonnet and boot lids revealed a massive steel subframe, further indicating that the 037 shared little more than its silhouette with any production model. The 037 Stradale featured a 205 horsepower 2.0-litre supercharged four-cylinder based on the Fiat-Abarth 131 engine. A five-speed gearbox sent power from the mid-mounted motor to the rear wheels, which was an important footnote given the rally’s shift to all-wheel drive shortly thereafter.
Though the 037 experienced some teething issues during its first year of competition in 1982, the model roared to five chequered flags in 1983 under the guidance of Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén, earning Lancia the Constructor’s title. With this win, the 037 became the final rear-wheel-drive champion before the onslaught of all-wheel-drive models.
This Stradale variant we are pleased to offer is one of just 207 road homologated 037s built, including the initial pre-production models. This 037 was purchased from a Mr. Edoardo A. Magnone on February 15, 1990 in Italy, and remained with the same owner until 2017 when it was purchased by its current owner.
In late 2018 to early 2019, this example underwent a significant mechanical overhaul and cosmetic restoration with Autoelite Orlandini in Modena, Italy. Included in the works was a full engine and gearbox rebuild, suspension rebuild, new clutch and flywheel, brake discs and pads, and a fresh set of tyres, ensuring the car is "on the button" and drives superbly.
All 037 Stradales left the factory painted flat red, however, during the restoration, this example was treated to a colour change and is now finished in the sublime Blu Lagos as found on the Lancia Delta “Blu Lagos” editions.
It sits today in wonderful condition showing just under 10,000 KM from new and is ready to be enjoyed. This car represents the opportunity to acquire a very special example of a definitive Group B rally homologation car. Contact us now for more information or to arrange a viewing.