This Lancia was first registered in Japan in late ’95, though it’s reckoned to be among the last of the ’93 build cars, it was specifically a Japanese market car – the push-button starter and the lower-placed indicator repeaters are a giveaway – and was imported to Dubai in April 2008.
Dubai D 70326 has been sensitively modified to cope with our climatic conditions – there’s a stainless steel exhaust, a rewired fan and larger capacity air intake system and a few other cosmetic adjustments, such as the repainted wheels and the final-edition front grille, painted to match the lurid body colour. But otherwise, the Integrale is pretty much as it came out of the box. Even the detailed yellow-on-black instruments are original!
This little Lancia is a stunning performer and looks every bit the archetypal hot hatch. With performance matching even the latest offerings around the new car market, it can easily keep up with today’s requirement for acceleration. And with a top speed of 220kph, it’s certainly no slouch given that the basic version of the 2.0-litre motor is almost 30 years old.
A true classic – even for a youngster!
The story of the Lancia marque is a chequered one, in more than just the sense of the winner’s flag. As one of the ‘Red Stuff’ manufacturers, Lancia has been around since 1906 – much longer than Ferrari – and indeed, the Ferraris which won the early Grands Prix were originally Lancia-Ferraris. The company’s early days were fraught with overspending on motorsport and the racing cars had to be sold to Ferrari in 1956 in order to keep the company afloat.
Little known facts about the marque include quite a few motor industry firsts. Lancia was the first manufacturer to introduce the monocoque body (back in 1922 with the Lambda), the 5-speed gearbox (1948 in the Ardea), the V6 engine (1950 in the Aurelia) and as early as 1913, was offering for the first time in a motor car a fully-integrated electrical system. However, by the late ’60s, the development costs and high standards of manufacture, all at the expense of cost-effective production, left the company in dire financial straits and Lancia accepted a bid from Fiat to take it over in 1969.
Onno le Roy, the owner of the featured car, is a true Lancia aficionado. Together with his father he runs the Lancia Register of New Zealand and has access to no less than twelve Lancias of varying vintage back home, but this Giallo Ginestra version of the second series of hot Deltas is the one that lives here.
The background to these cars is that whilst the Evolution 2 units never had any motorsports success, they were steeped in the heritage of the Evolution 1 cars, which wiped the floor with all the competition in the World Rally Championships six years in a row, up to 1992. The Evo 2 models were introduced in 1993 with a slight increase in power output, presumably to compensate for the additional weight of a road car, but identical torque and performance figures to the outgoing first generation cars. There were a number of special edition models created as the car came to the end of its production run, with the featured car being one of them. Giallo Ginestra cars were all yellow and had the yellow-stitched black Recaro seats you see here.
In terms of rarity, le Roy’s car is one of only 220…rare whereever you are in the World! Let alone in the desert of the UAE.
Our thanks to CAR Middle East