Rally fans will readily tell you that the championship tends to be dominated by one manufacturer at a time. These days it's Volkswagen, which recently won its third consecutive World Rally Championship, preceded by the long dominance of Citroën. But back in the late 80s and early 90s, Lancia dominated with successive versions of the Delta, taking four drivers' titles in five years and six consecutive manufacturers' titles. To mark that sixth championship in 1992, it released a limited run of celebratory specials, building on the already outstanding Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione with the jubilant Martini 6 edition.
It was mechanically identical to the Evo, which was already at the top of its class with a 2.0-liter turbo four driving 210 horsepower through a five-speed manual to all four wheels. That may not seem like a lot of muscle these days, but consider that the 911 Turbo of the same era offered only 50 percent more at 320 hp. In those terms, the Integrale Evo was relatively more potent than the new king-of-the-hill Ford Focus RS.
With no performance upgrades necessary, the Martini 6 edition featured a special livery inside and out. Its white body was adorned with those iconic blue and red stripes, and the interior done up in teal Alcantara with red stitching. HF team decals proliferated throughout, the Martini Racing name on the special roof spoiler, and the bragging rights of a sixth consecutive world championship emblazoned along its flanks. Hardly for the faint of heart, then, but superbly emblematic of its victorious day.
Lancia only made 310 examples of the Martini 6 edition Delta Integrale. This particular example was delivered new to a customer in northern Italy, and it's been in his possession ever since, putting less than 18,000 miles on the odometer. It's now consigned to RM Sotheby's, which will auction it off at its sale in Paris come February. The auction house tells Autoblog it should fetch between €120,000 and €150,000 (the currency being worth only a little more than the US dollar at the moment). That would put it right in step with the previous Martini 5 editions that sold over the last couple of years, which according to the records at Sports Car Market, netted $138k and $125k respectively. Now if you'll excuse us, we've got a bank manager to call and a ticket to book for Charles de Gaulle.
3 February 2016
1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 1 'Martini 6'
- Chassis no. ZLA31AB000580642
- Serial no. 184
210 bhp, 1,995 cc 16-valve turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, front and rear independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,540 mm
- Single ownership from new
- One of only 310 special edition Martini 6 examples
- Complete with tool kit, jack, and two sets of keys
- The last of the non-catalysed Delta Integrales
- Less than 28,000 kms from new
Lancia celebrated their sixth consecutive Constructors' World Championship with the release of the special edition 'Martini 6' at the end of the 1992 season. Set apart from the standard Delta Integrale, the Martini 6 was decorated in the iconic rally livery with stripes running down each side of the car and around the centre of the tailgate. Inside, the Recaro seats and interior trim were finished in a unique teal Alcantara with HF logos on the headrests.
A large Lancia logo can be found on the rear of the roof, and the rear-mounted spoiler is emblazoned with the famous 'Martini Racing' across it, replicating the rally-bred version. HF decals are applied high on each rear side panel, and a 'World Rally Champion' badge adorns the tailgate along with the appropriate numeral '6' commemorating said number of championships.
Inside, a carbon-fibre trim is fitted around the gear-lever and features a numbered plaque below it with the limited edition serial number. Mechanically, the Martini 6 cars were identical to the first-generation Evoluzione Deltas, notably the final version of the non-catalysed Integrale. Furthermore, they included Teflon bushes on the gear linkage for an improved feel.
This example, serial number 184, was delivered new in December 1992 to its first owner in Northern Italy. The car remained in that very ownership, hence its remarkably original condition. The Lancia is complete with its original set of keys, tool kit, and original radio. Even the original dealer delivery stickers remain in the rear window. Thanks to careful and sparse use of this car, all of the unique Martini 6 livery is present, and the original Alcantara interior remains in exceptional condition.
The Lancia Delta Integrale is a legend on and off the road, all the more so in the much-admired Martini livery. As a road car, it is famed for its exceptional feel and nimble chassis. This car represents a rare opportunity to acquire a highly original and well-preserved example commemorating Lancia's incredible six consecutive world rally championships.