Group B Fever: 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B For Sale

Works Martini Racing 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B

Images via Girardo & Co

This Works Martini Racing 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B is the first Delta S4 to enter a European Championship rally and was used heavily in progressing the development of the iconic and unstoppable Group B legend. It’s up for sale at Girardo & Co.

Abarth built the car, chassis 205, in late 1985, delivering it in time for some promotional activity and a test run in the Rali Lois Algarve in November, 1985. In the week leading up to the event it was demonstrated at the Stadium de Restelo by Markku Alén. Then, because the Rali Lois Algarve was scheduled to kick off on the 31st of October, it was given an advance homologation by FISA. This made it the first Works Lancia Delta S4 to compete in Group B and the first to compete at an International Championship event.

The rally itself would be used as a testing opportunity, with the car again driven by Markku Alén and co-pilot Ilkka Kivimäki. On the first day of competition, the 205 won every stage. The combination continued to dominate the following day’s competition. Day three, however, would present teething troubles. The transmission shaft failed and the resulting delays and penalties dropped them out of contention.

The S4 entered the World Rally Championship a few weeks later, joining the competition for the final round of the 1985 season – the RAC Rally.

Works Martini Racing 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B

Chassis 205 was then devoted to development work. It went almost immediately from the Rali Lois Algarve to the Nardo test track in late 1985 for endurance testing of the chassis, returning early in 1986 for a test that aimed to simulate the Acropolis and Safari rallies. It then went to the Fiat wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing, Mandria to test a new Michelin gravel tyre and back to the wind tunnel for testing that would lead to the Evo 2.

205’s next brush with competition would arrive in the second half of 1986, with Alén using it as a test car for Karkkila and the team allocating it to Kalle Grundel and Benny Melander as a spare.

It was kept by Fiat Auto Spa until 1991, when it was sold to the Jolly Club. Rasini Leasing Spa would take ownership of it that same year before selling it to Michele Papaleo in 1996.

Works Martini Racing 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B

 

 

Papaleo took the car to the United Kingdom, but it would return to Italy when Massimiliano ‘Marco’ de Marco took ownership of it in recent years, competing in historic rally events like Rallylegend. When preparing the car for sale, de Marco entrusted it to the Balti twins in Turin, ex-Group B works mechanics, for inspection and service. This process led to engine, gearbox and compressor servicing as well as a new Ferguson differential. After the service the car clocked 480 bhp and 516nm of torque on the dyno. De Marco sold it to its current owner in 2012.

An opportunity to own an excellent example of one of the most legendary cars of rally’s most iconic eras, this 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B has an interesting and significant history, and would make a great addition to any collection or, more importantly, be welcome at historic events around the world. It’s up for sale at Girardo & Co and you can find the full details on their website here.

Images via Girardo & Co

Works Martini Racing 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B

 

The post Group B Fever: 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Corsa Group B For Sale appeared first on Motorsport Retro.

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