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A legend in rallying, the Lancia 037 marked the tip of an period. It was concurrently the primary automotive to win the legendary Group B constructors’ championship, but in addition the final non-AWD automotive to win an general WRC title. And, it did so by defeating the juggernaut of Audi’s VW-backed, all-wheel-drive Quattro, a feat few thought achievable. Now, the originator of that historic victory, the primary Lancia 037 prototype, is up for public sale.
Chassis 037-001 could not appear like the 200 or so homologated 037 Stradales, however beneath the cobbled-together styling, awkward panel gaps, and package car-like management panel, it has the fundamentals that made its successors world champions. Energy comes by way of a mid-mounted, supercharged 16-valve 2.0-liter 4 driving the true wheels via a 5-speed transmission. Primarily based (very) loosely on a Lancia Montecarlo (AKA Scorpion within the U.S.), the the entrance and rear sub-sections are tube-framed, and the engine rotated 90 levels for a longitudinal orientation.
This explicit automotive was constructed by race automotive constructor Dallara, however you may discover an Abarth badge on the rear deck. On the time, the Fiat tuning division was was answerable for Lancia’s rally program, so it bought some branding featured on the prototype that did not make the ultimate lower. Different stylistic variations on this prototype that did not make it to the race automotive embody its squared-off wheel arches, staggered headlight placement, and spherical taillights.
The prototype was initially purple however ultimately Lancia painted it within the white and blue Martini livery of the race vehicles, utilizing it on reconnaissance runs. The present proprietor, Sergio Limone, restored it again to its authentic colour and spec.
The 1983 WRC battle between the 037 and the Audi Quattro is the stuff of legend. Lancia stretched the rulebook to its restrict to seize the win, focusing its efforts on the rounds it knew it might achieve, flooding them with 037s to field Audi out of the rostrum (and factors), whereas fully skipping rounds the place it knew its RWD could be at an obstacle. Satirically, it was one other German, Walter Rohrl, together with Finland’s Markku Alén (Finland was one of many skipped rounds) who delivered Lancia their WRC title.
In 2019 a Lancia 037 highway automotive bought for about $867,000 at public sale. Whereas not as driveable, this prototype is arguably extra vital, traditionally talking. We’ll know its true worth when it crosses the block at an RM Sotheby’s public sale in Milan on June 15.
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