Last sold on these shores in 1982, the Lancia brand has pretty much slipped into obscurity for most Americans, but there was a time when Lancia was on top of the world. From the mid-'70s to the early-'90s, Lancia racked up an impressive tally of international race wins and championships with its doorstop-like Stratos and Montecarlo successor. With the recent Chrysler/Fiat nuptials, the Lancia brand is having a bit of a renaissance, but only as a source of future badge-engineered Chryslers. That's why it's so refreshing to come across something like the car we just found on Craigslist: A genuine Lancia LC2 Group C racecar.
In 1983, Lancia introduced the LC2, a closed-cockpit Group C car co-developed with Ferrari. It went up against the legendary Porsche 956, and later the 962, with a big power advantage courtesy of the dual-turbocharged Ferrari V8 in the engine bay. Its 720 horsepower helped the LC2 win a string of pole positions, but the car wasn't very reliable. It did win a few races for Lancia from 1983-1986, and continued to run in privateer campaigns until the early '90s, but Lancia eventually dropped out of sportscar racing altogether at the end of 1986 in order to concentrate on rallying. The Lancia Delta went on to be one of the most successful rally cars in history, but the LC2 remained the pinnacle of Lancia's rise to glory in international sportscar racing.
The LC2 available on Craigslist is chassis number 2 of just 5 ever built. It ran under the works Martini livery from '83-'86 scoring a win at the Imola 1000K in 1983 at the hands of Teo Fabi and Hans Heyer. Bob Wollek and Alessandro Nannini piloted 002 to a fastest lap after winning the pole at Le Mans in '84. It finished 8th in that 24 hour run, but followed up with a 246-mile-per-hour Mulsanne Straight clocking the following year when it qualified P3 and finished 6th. Chassis number 002 ran in more races than any other LC2 before retiring in 1986. Riccardo Patrese, Michele Alboreto, Mauro Baldi and Lucio Cesario were the other drivers who got seat time in Chassis 002 before it was sold off to a private party in 1988.
Canepa recently put 4,000 hours and $350,000 into a 100-point restoration of the car and is now offering it for sale at $1,250,000. That might seem like a lot of money for a racecar that only scored one win and never really lived up to its promise, but it's not likely you'll find another LC2 cheaper anytime soon. For fans of the Lancia marque, the LC2 ranks right up there with the Fulvia HF, 037 Rally and Delta S4 in the pantheon of Lancia racecars.