1983 Lancia 037 Group B Evolution 2: ready to fight for victory in the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship, the Historic Tour of Corsica, etc.
The Lancia 037 was the first true queen of Group B, with a perfect combination of clean lines and technical elegance
It was the result of collaboration between the genius of racing mechanics, Abarth, and the prince of haute couture in the automobile field, Pininfarina. Flash back.1982. After several months’ negotiation with the manufacturers, the International Automobile Federation revolutionized its Sporting Code: its "Appendix J" dedicated to the classifications, definitions and specifications of competition cars, also called "the green pages" (being the color of the paper they are printed on) put an end to the former Groups 1-8 in Categories A and B, replacing them with categories which were identified by letters.
As regards rallying, a few lines written into the regulations in Article 256 were the starting point for a veritable automobile legend: the Group B legend. From 1982 to 1986, five seasons of extremes and fury, with machines and men at fever pitch. Five seasons and five world crowns which remain to this day the most prestigious ever awarded.
The technical revolution in Group B
The Group B regulations were the result of pressure from manufacturers who had long been demanding more freedom. Previously, to receive the official stamp of approval, the cars had to be based on production models manufactured in at least 1,000 units between January 1st and December 31st. This obstacle disappeared with Group B: initially, two hundred units per year were sufficient and thereafter manufacturers could develop a new model each year, of which they were only required to produce twenty units.
The racing departments of the major manufacturers who had negotiated the new regulations took full advantage of this new opening and dreamt up the most fantastic rallying machines in the history of motor sport - genuine four-wheeled prototypes. The rules were wide open.
Abarth and Pininfarina: 2 midwives for the birth of the Lancia 037
Project No. SE 037 was assigned to the ingegnere Sergio Limone, who set up a team of engineers from Lancia and Abarth (which had been acquired by the Fiat Group in 1971). They opted for the concept of a two-wheel drive car. And to make up for the loss in road-holding capabilities (the championship took place mainly on dirt, gravel and snow), Limone optimized the car’s overall architecture: mid-mounted engine - with compressor supercharging added at a late stage - and a low centre of gravity (the car is only 1.24 meters high). For its part, Pininfarina did a beautiful job in managing to mask these technical constraints by creating a body line which was both fluid and aggressive and which was never spoilt by any subsequent aerodynamic extension or technical change.
Named simply the “Lancia 037”, the car was unveiled on April 21st, 1982, at the opening of the Salone di Torino dell'AutomobileI, by Cesare Fiorio, the ingegnere Claudio Lombardi (the Technical Director), the ingegnere Sergio Limone and whole of Lancia’s top brass.
The Lancia 037 crowned winner of the 1983 World Rally Championship
The 037 was immediately entered for the rallies still to be raced in the 1982 world championship. It showed its competitive qualities right from the start. When the 1983 season began, the Martini Racing team, the official representative of the Lancia works in the world championship, logically held out high hopes. They were met in full.
While the 1982 world championship had simply been a warm-up year for the Group B cars, at the end of which Audi finished first ahead of Opel, the 1983 season was the theatre of a fantastic duel between the Lancia and the Audi drivers. After twelve months and ten championship races, Lancia beat its German rival by five wins to four. The Lancia 037 was awarded the 1983 World Rally Championship Constructors' title. It was the first and last time in the Group B era that a two-wheel drive car won the title. Thereafter, the crown went each year to AWDs. But what did it matter, Lancia had proved its point in sumptuous style.
The Lancia 037 chassis No. 68
The Lancia 037 which Ascott Collection is offering for sale is undoubtedly one of the finest and highest-performing of the existing models.
It has the 68th assembled chassis of the series of 200 stradale cars built in 1983, and was delivered to its owner in Spain, where it was entrusted to a preparer who converted it for racing. It led the life of a racing car in a private team before being put away in a garage when the FIA put an end to the Group B regulations.
It went back into service in 2003 in historic racing and in 2011 it was acquired by its current owner who then undertook a complete restoration of the car followed by an outstanding technical preparation -the most perfect we have seen.
The body was completely stripped down for re-treatment and all the car’s organs were refurbished before work started on configuring the car as an "Evolution 2" model, the most accomplished and highest-performing version of the Group B Lancia 037. During the preparation work, No. 68 was fitted with an FIA approved roll cage (there are fewer than ten 037s fitted with one), a sine qua non condition to be authorized to race in the European championship in which the car has been distinguishing itself for four years now.
Prepared and maintained by Patrick Canavese’s firm Milano Racing, this 037 with chassis No. 068 is now the only true Lancia 037 Evolution 2 VHC J1 to hold an FIA Historic Technical Passport. With a completely refurbished engine and a revised gearbox, it is ready to fight for victory in the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship in the best possible conditions of performance and safety.Information and price coming soon.
: 037 Group B Evolution 2
: Monocoque and tubular
: Glass fibre
: 2,111 litre - Compressor
: 330 hp
: 960 kg