1986 Lancia Delta

€788,800 ($949,321)
Sale Price
€600,000 - €800,000
Est. Range
5 February 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Competition restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 227. White with Martini graphics over dark blue. 1759-cc turbocharged and supercharged four, 5-speed, all-wheel drive, Sparco seats, Sabelt harnesses.

Evaluation: Finished second at the 1986 Memorial Bettega rally with Miki Biasion, but Group B was banned shortly after. Then bought by Bruno Saby and campaigned in the 1988 French Rallycross Championship. Later restored to its works Lancia Martini livery. Since used sparingly during its time on museum display and will need recommissioning. The interior looks largely original and the engine bay is a bit dirty, but a rally car shouldn’t be too shiny, anyway.

Bottom Line: Lancia’s Delta S4 was perhaps the most extreme and the most clever car of the Group B era. The first Lancia rally car to embrace all-wheel drive with a state-of-the-art three-differential rear-biased system, it also features a twin-charge system for the engine that combines a Volumex supercharger for boost at lower rpms with a KKK turbocharger for boost at higher revs. Legend has it that during testing for the Rallye de Portugal, an S4 lapped Estoril fast enough to qualify in the top 10 for that year’s F1 race. The S4 is also the car that effectively killed Group B, as Henri Toivonen’s fatal crash at the 1986 Tour de Corse was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

On the collector car market, the Delta S4 was the first Group B era car to sell for seven figures, with a like-new road car selling for €1,040,000 ($1,166,000) at the RM Sotheby’s Essen sale in 2019. Otherwise, though, high six figures has been the norm, and this result looks like a very strong number given the car’s limited competition history and all the attention that it needs. For reference, the S4 that won the 1985 RAC Rally sold for £764,375 (about $979,000 at the time) at RM Sotheby’s London in 2019 and the car that won the 1986 Halkidiki Rally sold for €770,000 ($885,115) through an RM “Online Only” auction last year.

by Andrew Newton
12 February 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.