Lancia 037 Rally
Many people consider the Lancia Rally, usually known by its Abarth project code: 037 to be one of the most graceful rally cars ever built. The history books also mark the 037 as being the final two-wheel drive car to win a world championship and to provide any form of consistent challenge to the pioneering Audi Quattro with its four wheel drive system.c
The cars were unusual in that they used supercharging techniques rather than the more common turbochargers, but they benefited from an instant throttle response, whilst the other cars suffered from turbo lag. Lancia fitted superchargers to its road cars - the Beta Coupe, the Beta HPE and the Trevi.
Homologation requirments meant that 200 road cars had to be made. Total production was 257 including 20 Evolution 1 cars and 20 Evolution 2 cars. The road cars produced 205bhp.
The 037 was loosely based around the Lancia ß Montecarlo, but with spaceframe front and rear chassis sections. The 1995cc mid-mounted Lampredi designed Fiat/Lancia twin-cam engine was reworked by Abarth and fitted with a 16v cylinder head and the cars originally gave 260bhp until the 1st Evolution version was ready in August 1982 which gave a much needed increase in power and gave 305bhp.
Homologation regulations permitted further evolution versions to be built (10% of the original production run), and there were two Evolution specificiations, which incorporated many changes, including revisions to the supercharger, fitting fuel injection systems, increasing the engine capacity to 2111cc and fitting water injection systems as well. These cars also made extensive use of advanced materials such as titanium for mechanical parts and Kevlar for bodywork. Power went up to 325bhp for the Evolution 2 version.
The cars excelled on tarmac stages, and with Markku Alen won the Tour de Corse back to back in 1983 and 1984, but also won in Montecarlo, Greece, New Zealand and at the San Remo Rally.
The 037 won the World Rally Championship for makes for Lancia in 1983, and also enabled Massimo 'Miki' Biasion, Carlo Capone and Dario Cerrato to win the European Rally Championship in 1983, 1984 and 1985. Miki Biasion went on to greater things with the Delta Integrale.
In November 1985, Abarth project 038, the Delta S4 was homologated and the chapter on the 037 was closed.
Debut - Rally of Corsica, May 1982
Finale - East African Safari, March 1986
World Rally Champions in 1983, 2nd in 1984, 3rd in 1985
European Rally Champions - 1983, 1984, 1985
© 2001: Andrew Cliffe www.lanciaracing.co.uk