Living WRC Lancia Delta Integrale legend sells for $400,000
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If 2017's classic car segment is going to be remembered for anything, it's going to be the wild and prolific success of two very specific kinds of car — Porsche 911s, and WRC heroes. One could possibly even say that we've experienced something of a boom period for '80s machinery.
Things were different in the '80s. Mobile phones were these bloody massive bricks everyone awkwardly lugged around, Bill Cosby's comedic career was in excellent health, and a car brand named Lancia ruled the World Rallying scene.
Throughout the '70s and '80s the Italian marque were a force to be reckoned with. Between 1987 and 1992 they won four driver's championships, and six constructor's championships. One of these came from Juha Kankkunen in 1991.
Having claimed back to back titles with Peugeot, Kankkunen joined Lancia in 1987 and immediately won the title — doing so in their Delta HF. He'd have to wait another four years to repeat the process, this time taking victory in the now famed and lusted after Integrale. His greatest rival over the course of the season was Spaniard Carlos Sainz behind the wheel of Toyota's potent Celica GT-Four. Between the pair they won 10 out of the 14 events on the calendar — five a piece.
It was Lancia's last ever driver's title, and as such the car in question caused quite a stir when it came up for auction over the weekend at Silverstone's Classic Race Car Sale. Initially the auction house expected the car to sell for a maximum of around £150,000, however when the dust settled it eventually sold for a much meatier price of £225,000 (or NZ$397500).
Even considering the pricing premium, the value of a car like this is unlikely to do anything but go up. And it's the same for the road-going equivalent, too — a car with reasonable popularity in New Zealand thanks to a healthy number of Japanese imports leaking into the talent pool.
And the Martini stripes are just the icing on the cake.