Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lancia Rally 037 Stradale (1982-83)

From the start of the 1982 season, the World Rally Championship was run under the newly introduced Group B regulations. The most profound change compared to the Group 4 regulations previously used was the reduction of the homologation requirement from 400 cars to just 200. These approved road racing models are called "Stradale" in Italy. Another important element in the regulations was a variable minimum weight in relation to the engine's displacement, which opened Group B to a wide range of machinery.

Among the first manufacturers to set about developing a Group B rally was Lancia. The 037 was born from the collaboration between Pininfarina, Abarth, which had become the Fiat group's competition department, Dallara and the project manager, engineer Sergio Limone. The new Group B machine was initially simply dubbed the Lancia Rally. It has, however, become famous as the Lancia 037, which is a reference to the Abarth's project number for this program; SE037.

The road version had an Abarth developed 16-valve four-cylinder in-line 2000 cc engine, with a volumex supercharger which developed 205 hp (153 kW) capable of pushing the 037 to over 220 km/h (137 mph) and reaching 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in less than seven seconds. Pininfarina production records show 220 cars built under the 'Montecarlo Corsa' name. In competition trim, it produced around 280 bhp, while the de-tuned 'Stradale' road car boasted a 205 bhp version. (ultimatecarpage.com)

Lancia Rally 037 Rally Car (1982-84)

Chassis: SE037-001

The development prototype, this very first Lancia 037 was completed in December of 1980. Due to issues with the engine development, it was run during the first tests with a naturally aspirated engine. It was subsequently submitted to the Pininfarina wind-tunnel where the 037's ultimate shape was determined. Chassis 001 was then used for tyre testing and would almost be the first prototype to be used off road. After it served its purpose, it passed to one of its creators, Abarth engineer Sergio Limone. It has since been displayed at the Museo dell'Automobile in Turin. The rare development prototype changed hands and was comprehensively restored in 2013/2014. (ultimatecarpage.com)

The Group B rules also accommodated for an evolution version of the car once the first 200 examples were produced: the race versions, EVO I, from serial numbers 000,301 to 000,320, and EVO II, introduced in 1984, from 000,401 to 000,420, or 40 copies.

Derived from a production unit was the 2.0 L, four-cylinder engine. Equipped with a supercharger, it was mounted longitudinally in the 037. A slight rise in displacement to just over 2.1 L still qualified the car for the 3,000 class but also boosted the power to 325 bhp. The Lancia Rally 037 is one of the legends of the mythical group B. This is the last 2WD rally car to have been crowned World Rally Champion in 1983. (ultimatecarpage.com)

(Photos from rmauctions.com, autowp.ru, ultimatecarpage.com, auto-class.net,
car-revs-daily.com, kitshow.net & commons.wikimedia.org)

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