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1984 Lancia 037 Rally Evo 2 Group B

by The News Desk | Sep 04, 2020

John Champion Collection


We love the Lancia 037 and if we had bottomless pockets, we would have snapped up this beautiful 037 EVO II offered up by Girardo & Co. as part of the John Champion Collection well before it was sold. Read about this very special car below and check out more of the Lancias from the collection for sale at Girardo & Co.

You can also read about the 037 Stradale in Volume Nine of Retromotive magazine. Click here to find out more

The Lancia 037 Rally and the World Rally Championship

For the 1982 World Rally Championship the FIA, motorsports governing body, introduced new regulations called Group B. To comply with these regulations manufacturer now needed to produce an all-new car, with Lancia producing the 037 Rally.

Development of the Lancia 037 Rally was overseen by Chief Engineer Sergio Limone, who called upon Italian automotive giants including Dallara, Pininfarina and Abarth. The result was spectacular, successful and dominant. The mid-engined raced with subframes mounted to the chassis front and rear was powered by an Abarth-developed, supercharged 1,995 cc, 16-valve, four-cylinder, longitudinally mounted Abarth 232 AR4 engine with drive delivered through a five-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.

The earliest competition 037s started life with a Weber carburettor, the same as the standard Stradale (road) variants, then after much development, Lancia launched the Evo 1 which was fuel injected. However, the ultimate and final step in development was the Evo 2 which was designed for the 1984 World Rally Championship and featured an enlarged Abarth engine, now with a cubic capacity of 2,111 cc. Other enhancements included a new exhaust system as well as new inlet and exhaust manifolds to increase airflow to a newly designed supercharger housing. The mechanical improvements led to a power increase of 20 bhp with the Evo 2 now producing 325 bhp at a staggering 8,000 rpm. On the exterior, the Evo 2 development led to the removal of the rear bumper, which Lancia had found was dragging too much mud and debris into the engine compartment, which also provided a weight saving. As per homologation regulations Lancia produced only 20 Evo 2 specification 037s, the ultimate specification two-wheel drive World Rally Car.

For the 1982 World Rally Championship the FIA, motorsports governing body, introduced new regulations called Group B. To comply with these regulations manufacturers now needed to produce an all-new car, with Lancia producing the 037 Rally.

Development of the Lancia 037 Rally was overseen by Chief Engineer Sergio Limone, who called upon Italian automotive giants including Dallara, Pininfarina and Abarth. The result was spectacular, successful and dominant. The mid-engined raced with subframes mounted to the chassis front and rear was powered by an Abarth-developed, supercharged 1,995 cc, 16-valve, four-cylinder, longitudinally-mounted Abarth 232 AR4 engine with drive delivered through a five-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.

The earliest competition 037s started life with a Weber carburettor, the same as the standard Stradale (road) variants, then after much development, Lancia launched the Evo 1 which was fuel injected. However, the ultimate and final step in development was the Evo 2 which was designed for the 1984 World Rally Championship and featured an enlarged Abarth engine, now with a cubic capacity of 2,111 cc. Other enhancements included a new exhaust system as well as new inlet and exhaust manifolds to increase airflow to a newly designed supercharger housing. The mechanical improvements led to a power increase of 20 bhp with the Evo 2 now producing 325 bhp at a staggering 8,000 rpm. On the exterior, the Evo 2 development led to the removal of the rear bumper, which Lancia had found was dragging too much mud and debris into the engine compartment, which also provided a weight saving. As per homologation regulations Lancia produced only 20 Evo 2 specification 037s, the ultimate specification two-wheel drive World Rally Car.

This Rally-Winning Lancia 037 Rally Evo 2 Group B

This Abarth Classiche-certified, Lancia 037 Rally Evo 2 Group B, chassis no. ZLA151AR000000411, was built by Abarth in late 1983. On 02 November 1983, this 037 Rally was first registered to Fiat Auto Spa in Turin, Italy where it was assigned Italian registration ‘TO W67780’. Accompanying this Lancia are copies of its Italian registration documentation linking the chassis number to the registration plate, which is important in helping confirm the race history of any rally car. This is the eleventh of only twenty Evo 2 specification Lancia 037’s built with the larger 2,111 cc Abarth engine from new, this is the ultimate specification rear-wheel drive World Rally car. 

Chassis 411 made its debut ahead of the 1984 Rally of the 1000 Lakes where World Rally Champion, Markku Alen, used its as a recce car, allowing him to become familiar with the Finnish roads before the competition. This pre-event recce clearly worked, with Alen finishing second overall in the rally.

This 037 Rally was then assigned to the satellite works team, Jolly Club, who refinished the car in the livery of title sponsor, ToTip. In 1985, Dari Cerrato was a promising Italian talent driving for Jolly Club. He was assigned this 037 Rally Evo 2 for round five of the European Rally Championship, Rally Costa Brava in Spain from the 22nd to the 24th February. Cerrato confirmed him status as the newest rising star and finished second overall, being beaten only by the sister Jolly Club 037 Rally driven by future World Rally Champion, Miki Biasion.

Rally RACE in Costa Blanca hosted round eight of the European Rally Championship, where once again Cerrato and co-driver, Giuseppe Cerri, competed with chassis 411. Wearing race number 8, this 037 Rally again finished on the podium, in third place, a mere fifteen seconds behind rally winner Miki Biasion in an 037 Rally. Dario Cerrato went on to win the 1985 European Rally Championship, undoubtedly helped by the two podium finishes achieved with this Lancia 037 Rally.

As the season progressed, this 037 Rally was refinished in blue and white ‘Starter’ livery and maintained by Tam Auto, entering three further rounds of the European Rally Championship, and ten rounds of various 1985 Italian Rally Championships. Over these events, this 037 Rally was driven by future double European Rally Champion, Enrico Bertone, future Italian Rally Champion, Gianfranco Cunico, and father of nine-time Motorcycle World Champion Valentino Ross, Graziano Rossi. The highlight result was victories in the Rally Colline Oltrepo in August, and Rally Citta di Mantova in October. It is important to note that this Lancia 037 Rally Evo 2 is still accompanied by its Passaporto Tecnico, no. 03017. This document was used to enter the car in many events from 1985 onwards, and as such documents much of this car’s extensive race history.

In 1986, this Lancia 037 Rally Evo 2 made it debut in the World Rally Championship, being driven by Stefano Rossina in the Rallye Sanremo in October. Victories throughout the season came at the Rally de Pane, Rallye della Marche and the Memorial Bettega at the 1986 Bologna Motor Show where this car was once again driven by Gianfranco Cunico.

Winning ways carried over into 1987, with Cunico piloting this 411 to victory at the Rally Mille Miglia in March. In May, European Rally Champion, Jean-Claude Andruet took to the wheel of 411 at the Rally Citta di Torino. The 1987 rally season marked the end of competition for this Abarth Classiche certified Lancia 037 Rally Evo 2, and in December it was bought by Giuseppe Zonca for 118,000,000 Italian Lire. A year later the car was bought by Lancia rally car specialist, Giuseppe Volta, whose company, Preparazioni Volta, had prepared and competed with many 037 Rallys in period. It is understood that during this ownership, this Lancia 037 Rally Evo 2 Group B was re-shelled. This is a common practise with competition cars from this era. Volta maintained ownership of this Evo 2 Lancia 037 Rally from 1988 through to 2013, at which point it joined The Campion Collection.