- The 57th of only 217 examples produced
- Highly original, showing less than 6,600 km, and offered from its third owner
- Originally delivered to L.M. Gianetti, component fabricator for the 037 program
- A remarkable and unique Works-converted corsa-spec example, built with factory upgrades
- Documented by Abarth with upgraded Evo 2 engine internals and mechanical components
- Likely one of the most special stradales extant
In the summer of 1979, the FIA announced a radical change in the racing-car classification system. With a newly created Group B scheduled to begin with the 1982 season, manufacturers were left with little time to develop cars for rally competition under the new rules. Group B homologation would only require 200 examples, so production would not present a major problem, but Lancia determined that there would not be time to start their new rally car entirely from scratch.
Instead, Lancia would turn for help to Abarth and Pininfarina, as they had with the endurance-racing Beta Montecarlo Turbo. Like that circuit racer, the new rally car, code-named Abarth project SE037, would be based on the central monocoque of the production Montecarlo road car, but with the engine and suspension carried on tubular subframes front and rear. Unlike the Montecarlo Turbo, the new 037 would have its engine mounted longitudinally and fitted with a Roots-type Volumex supercharger for more instant throttle response. As with the Montecarlo road cars, Pininfarina would build the body shells, and final body development took place in their wind tunnel. The new car’s official model name reflected its singular focus; it would be called simply the “Rally.”
The Lancia Rally formally debuted in March 1982, and homologation was certified on 1 April 1982, by which time 207 examples had been constructed. The 037’s first competition test was the Tour de Corse in May 1982. Although the new car finished a promising 9th overall, Lancia recognized that the 1982 season would be used for intense development rather than a championship run. The year ended with Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki taking their 037 to a strong 4th-place finish on the RAC Rally. The following year, 1983, saw Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén lead the Martini Racing Lancia team to wins at Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse, Acropolis, New Zealand, and Sanremo on its way to the 1983 World Rally Championship—Lancia’s fifth championship and the last WRC title by a two-wheel-drive car.
Finished in the traditional Rosso Corsa, chassis 0057 was delivered to Giancarlo Gianetti, who was one of the main contributors to the 037 program and a well-known collector of rally Lancias and Alfa Romeos. Giancarlo’s firm, L.M. Gianetti, in Torino, was an engineering and fabrication firm that developed and produced engine and suspension components for the 037 program. Through Gianetti’s connection to the 037 development program, 0057 received very special performance upgrades directly from Abarth. Accompanying documentation, dated 15 November 1984 and signed by Giorgio Pianta, the legendary Lancia test driver and rally team technical director, outlines the transformation of the car to corsa specification. The stradale 1,995 cc, 205 bhp engine was upgraded to 2,111 cc Evolution 2 specification, with special crankshaft, pistons and rods, enlarged head, rally camshafts, and large valves, as well as alloy pulleys and lightweight flywheel. In this form, the engine saw 249 bhp at 6,800 rpm on the test bench. To cope with the extra power, 0057 received a reinforced clutch and special hardened gear sets. Rounding out the work, the car received reinforced rally wishbones with adjustable rod ends, adjustable competition-type front shock absorbers, special tarmac springs, and modified front subframe with Evolution 1 radiator. Finally, stopping power was upgraded with Evolution 2 brake discs and calipers.
This remarkable and unique Works-converted corsa-spec example, built with factory upgrades for one of the grandfathers of the 037 program, must be one of the most significant Lancia 037 Rally stradale extant. The sale comes complete with books, tools, and a large dossier of original documentation. Highly original and showing under 6,600 kilometers from new, 0057 represents an unrepeatable opportunity to acquire a very special example of a definitive Group B rally homologation car.