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With the variety of cool classics we have listed at any one time being quite vast – with different shapes, sizes, eras, colours, engine capacities – it can be difficult to find clear links between each, beyond the fact they are cool cars. But as we write this post in the month of March 2024, we’re delighted to be offering two European automotive icons for sale, both which have more in common than you might think. 

These are the Alpine A110 1600S and the Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8V. Designed twenty years apart, these two vehicles fall into very different design camps. The former being the curvaceous era of the sixties where every car had to have excessive hour-glass hips, while the latter saw a shift to conservatism and angular forms – the era of the wedge began in the seventies and continued onwards well into the 1980s. 

Italian Design Heritage: 

Now both these vehicles may not have been designed by the same individual, but they were Italian. 

The Alpine A110 was penned by Giovanni Micholetti as early as the fifties, restyled for the sixties to achieve more expressive sporting styling to align with Alpine’s motorsport ambitions. You may be thinking, but how does this connect to a Lancia Delta designed almost 20 years later and launched when the Alpine A110 had been phased out? 

Well, Micholetti, an esteemed designer, also penned many Lancias during his time, including the wild Lancia Mizar concept which featured gulwing-esque doors for both front and rear passengers. This Lancia painted a picture of the future, perhaps even inspiring one of the most famous designers in the world – Giorgetto Giugiaro – the man behind the Lancia Delta Integrale, the De Lorean, De Tomaso Mangusta and so many more. 

These two designers were prolific, and no doubt well acquainted – with Giugiaro commenting in an interview in 2009

‘’I looked to his work with the same admiration that I had for the Italian design greats of the time, such as Bertone, Pininfarina and Ghia.”

And herein the connection between these two icons lies. Italian design spirit. Would the A110 1600s or the Integrale had been as famous had they not possessed distinctive Italian flare? We think not. 

Rally Provenance:

The next connection is perhaps more obvious, but it is worth restating the significance both vehicles played in the motorsport world.

Alpine A110: 

By the time the inaugural World Rally Championship kicked off in 1973, the Alpine A110 had been around for 10 years, with its Berlinette styling becoming ‘old’ in many senses, as the automotive space moved to wedge-like shapes, turbocharging and bigger and bolder mechanical engineering. Despite this, Alpine didn’t exactly pack up their bags and leave. 

Using the Renault 16 in-line four engine, Alpine tuned their A110 1600S to achieve north of 150bhp, and in some cases close to 180bhp. Paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox, disc brakes, double wishbone suspension at the front, a fibreglass body and lightweight chassis, and the recipe was made for a daringly spritely six-eyed rally car. Weighing in under 800kg, this meant that the modest performance (to todays standards), could deliver results. 

Alpine’s most famous but outlived achievements include 1-2-3 finishes at the 1971 and 1973 Monte Carlo rallies, winning the inaugural Manufacturers World Championship in 1973, beating Porsche, Ford and Lancia to the podium. As we have alluded to, the Alpine A110 by this point was in many ways outdated, which meant their successes were short-lived and Lancia would go on to dominate for many years after 1973.

White Lancia Delta Integrale HF hero shot. Capture on Russell Terrace Leamington Spa

The Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8V

While the Delta didn’t immediately succeed the Alpine, this model would go onto have more success in motorsport than the Stratos HF that took the crown in 1974, 1975 and 1976. 

Launched in 1979, the Delta family hatch back didn’t enter motorsport until 1987, engaging in the Group A class which meant that 5,000 road-going variants would have to be produced by Lancia each year. To their surprise, Lancia ended up producing 45,000 units between 1987 and 1993. 

What does HF stand for? 

HF means High Fidelity represented by Lancia’s elephant mascot that had signified fast Lancia’s for 25 years, explained by Gianni Lancia as, “once an elephant starts running, nobody can stop it.” 

And run it does. The Delta HF Integrale 8V produces 185bhp from a 1995cc balancer-shaft engine fitted with a Garret T3 turbo, and a four-wheel drive system that made it perfect for all-terrain competitions. The Delta used Torsen rear differential and an epicyclic centre diff with a viscous limited-slip system, splitting the torque by 56 per cent to the front wheels and 44 per cent to the rears.

Its clever combination of power and traction, meant that the 8V would achieve a 0-60mph time in under 6.5 seconds, making it extremely competitive in motorsport. 

Such a setup enabled the Delta Integrale to win eight World Rally victories in the remaining eleven rounds of the World Championship, with different iterations of the Delta (16V, 24V and EVO) claiming position one in the first 6 years of Group A regulations in the World Rally Championships, an achievement no other manufacturer has matched since.

Conclusion:

Lancia and Alpine had much more in common than many of us perhaps realised. Both were Italian born and bread, despite the latter being French. The combination of iconic design traits, carefully considered powertrain and handling dynamics made both these vehicles unrivalled, particularly in the case of the Lancia. Both live on as reminders that you don’t need excessive horsepower to enjoy a fast-paced drive.

When looking to sell your vehicle, there is so much provenance that you might not be aware of. By delving into the history of these two iconic vehicles we can identify some of the key pieces of information that make them more palatable for potential buyers. Arming buyers with as much inspiration and information as possible is key to a successful sale.

Want to sell your car for free? Get in touch today.

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