The Lancia Delta was first revealed at the 1979 Frankfurt Motor Show where it was immediately admired as a handsomely styled premium mid-sized (for Italy) front wheel drive car. Its target market was the buyer seeking a sensible and economical car with a premium feel and features. Initially available as a 1.3 liter, a 1.6 liter version was introduced, and the first performance variant appeared in 1983, the Delta HF. This added a turbocharger to the 1.6 liter engine, along with various other upgrades. A 4WD version was introduced in 1986, at which time the engine was replaced with the 2.0 liter turbo unit from the Thema, creating the Delta HF 4WD.
During the same period, Lancia was engaged in fierce competition in the World Rally Championship, fielding its S4 against competition from Audi, Peugeot, and others in Group B. Homologation requirements necessitated only 200 road cars be sold within a 12 month period, allowing the race cars to be obscenely fast, focused, and in many cases lethal. As a result, for 1987, the FIA banned Group B in response to a series of tragic accidents during the 1986 season, replacing Group B with the more mild Group A. Homologation requirements of 5,000 road cars meant that the Group A cars had to be streetable and reasonable priced, and it was Lancia who was ideally positioned for the new rules with the Delta HF AWD.
The Delta HF AWD won the World Rally Championship handily in 1987, and early in the 1988 season, the car received mechanical upgrades to essentially every system, creating the now legendary Integrale. The Integrale went on to win the World Rally Championship in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992, for a total of six championships.
The Martini 5 edition was built to commemorate what was at that time their fifth consecutive championship. The car is fitted with the iconic Martini stripes running down each side and around the tailgate, which is also fitted with a World Rally Champion badge. Inside, the Recaro seats and interior trim were finished in a beautiful dark grey Alcantara with red stitching in the centre sections, and red seat belts.
The example offered here is one of the most iconic and sought-after road-going Integrales produced, a Bianco ‘Martini 5.’ This numbers-matching vehicle is number 360 of 400 built, and recently underwent a mechanical restoration to ensure it is ready to be enjoyed by its next owner.