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1983 Lancia Rally 037 Evoluzione 2 Group B


Barney Ruprecht
Senior Car Specialist

1983 Lancia Rally 037 Evoluzione 2 Group B


Barney Ruprecht
Senior Car Specialist


  • One of only 20 built to Evo 2 specification
  • Extensive World and European Rally Championship history
  • Certified by Abarth Classiche
  • Ex-Campion Collection

Chassis no. ZLA151AR000000411

In 1982, the FIA's introduction of the new Group B regulations (or virtual lack thereof!) absolutely set the racing world on fire. In boxing terms, it was as though championship heavyweights Audi, Lancia, Peugeot, Ford and others had taken their gloves off in an all-out, almost shockingly unregulated bare-knuckle bout! With low homologation requirements, few restrictions on engineering and design, unrestricted boost, and the permissibility of advanced technology in incredibly lightweight designs, cars that in one racing season were producing 250 hp, were pushing well over 500 hp by 1982...and those numbers only kept climbing! With power came speed and with speed of course came more danger, as thousands of fans treacherously lined rural roads to watch the often airborne competition.

Perhaps the most legendary duel in this “Golden Era” of rallying was between Audi's four-wheel drive Sport Quattro and Lancia, which first entered its rear-wheel drive Rally 037, with which it won the manufacturer's championship in 1983. The 037 was a collaborative effort between Lancia, the in-house Fiat-Lancia performance division Abarth, Sergio Limone, and Dallara. Loosely resembling the Montecarlo model, the 037 was powered by a longitudinally-mounted mid-engined two-liter, four-cylinder engine, which was Abarth supercharged instead of turbocharged, in order to avoid turbo lag, and mated to a ZF transaxle, powering a lightweight, kevlar-bodied chassis with four-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension.

The Lancia Rally was a formidable racing car, first in carburetted form and subsequently in Evoluzione 1 fuel-injected form, racking up many wins in international competition. In an effort to stay competitive for the World Rally Championship, the Evoluzione 2 upgrade was developed for the car, which entailed a higher displacement engine to 2,111 cc with a reinforced block, a newly designed supercharger with larger outlet port, new exhaust system and, from a design standpoint, elimination of the rear bumper, which not only contributed to weight savings but helped eliminate dirt buildup.

Only 20 Lancia 037s were built to Evoluzione 2 specification (serial numbers 400 to about 420), of which this is a particularly excellent example, chassis 411. Built in late 1983, the car was first registered to Fiat Auto Spa in Torino, before participating in its first race of the World Rally Championship, the Rally of the 1000 Lakes, where Markku Alen used the car for course reconnaissance. For 1985, the car was assigned to the legendary Jolly Club racing team and liveried with the “Totip” colors of its sponsor. Competing in the European Rally Championship, Darrio Cerrato masterfully piloted the car to a second place finish in the Rally Costa Brava, which he followed up one month later with a third place finish in the Rally Costa Blanca — two outstanding driving performances that contributed to Cerratto securing the 1985 European Rally Championship for the first time in his career.

The rest of 1985 was remarkably active as chassis 411 competed in both the European and Italian Rally Championship at 15 further events, winning the Rally Colline Oltrepo with Filippo Musti as well as the Rally Citta di Mantova with Graziano Rossi, father of the recently retired motorcycle racer Valentino. Other notable drivers who got behind the wheel of chassis 411 during the season included multiple winner of the Italian Rally Championship Franco Cunico, Enrico Bertone, and the Swedish Per Eklund, perhaps most famous for his record-breaking Pikes Peak runs.

Progressing into the 1986 and 1987 season, chassis 411 continued competing successfully in numerous racing events, primarily those of the Italian Rally Championship. From Veneto to Varese, the car acquitted itself extremely well, winning the 1986 Rally del Pane, the 1986 Rally delle Marche, the 1986 Rally Autodromo di Monza (with Cunico behind the wheel once more), and the 1987 Rally Mille Miglia. The car also participated in another round of the World Rally Championship at San Remo, with Stefano Rosina behind the wheel.

By the end of the 1987 season, its continuous competition history was coming to an end and the car was acquired first by Giuseppe Zonca and subsequently by rally specialist Giuseppe Volta, in whose ownership the car is understood to have been reshelled. It should be noted that this is common practice with competition cars of the era. Volta was a particularly long custodian of the car, maintaining ownership for 25 years through 2013, before it joined the growing John Campion collection, where it shared company with many of the finest WRC Lancias in history and was displayed twice at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance as well as The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering. The car has since been acquired by an American enthusiast from whose collection it is offered today.

Chassis 411's history file is tremendously detailed, including its original period technical passport/racing log book, former Italian title paperwork, the Estratto Chronologico which confirms former ownership, former magazine articles, extensive period photography, and of particular note, a photographically detailed 40-page certification by Abarth Classiche, commissioned by Mr. Campion in 2013, which speaks to the car's originality and correctness. According to the report, the inspection entails a full analysis of the engine, transmission, suspension and exhaust system, from the engine number and gearbox, all the way to the smaller details of the intercooler and fuel pump. Without exception, the report (which is available for inspection upon request) repeatedly describes each element as “the mechanical components are fully original” and describes every component analyzed, in list form, as “compliant.”

Finished in this iconic Martini racing livery and accompanied by spare wheels and body parts as well as the aforementioned extensive documentation, this truly is one of the finest rally racing cars available for acquisition. Not only is it a Lancia Rally 037 of Evo 2 specification, but it has extensive period race-winning history in the World Rally Championship, was driven by legendary drivers, benefits from known history from new and, first and foremost, is a world-class example of a supercharged Group B contender. An icon of the Golden Era.


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