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  •   Richard Meaden reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    1984 Lancia Delta HF Turbo £7495. This well-presented Delta is a fascinating piece of hot-hatch history. Ben Wanklyn checks its condition.

    The roadgoing, turbocharged Delta HF was launched to capitalise on the success of the Lancia 037, following its 1983 World Rally Championship victory in Martini colours. This car was one of 20 examples in the Lancia press fleet, and features heavily in the collection of press photos and magazine road-tests that accompany it. There’s also an HF Turbo launch press pack, dated June 25 1984, plus receipts stretching back to 1987.

    Since then this Delta has covered 80,000 miles and had a thorough body restoration in 1994. The respray still looks fresh, aside from some small paint runs on the tailgate. The striking Martini Sportline stripes were re-applied and these sit perfectly on the flanks without flaws or air bubbles; same goes for the ‘Turbo’ script on the tailgate and rear quarters. The original Lancia press fleet numberplates are still fitted, but the headlamp wipers are missing their blades.

    The leading edge of the offside rear door is chipped, but all doors fit well and are free from corrosion bubbles. There’s a small rust bubble on the offside front wing, but typical Delta rot-spots such as windscreen pillars are still sharp and rust-free. A scuff to the front bumper rubbing strip’s nearside corner and a crack to the rear bumper’s offside corner let the side down. Aside from light surface rust to the exposed jacking points, the straight-looking underside is clean.

    A turbocharged eight-valve, 1585cc Fiat twin-cam engine sits in the well-presented engine bay. It’s the correct spec but a receipt in the bulging history file suggests this isn’t the original unit. Regardless, the engine starts eagerly and settles quickly to a slightly lumpy idle. It revs keenly, pulling hard from rest, with the Garrett T3 turbo providing a noticeable kick above 3000rpm. However, a low boost reading on the dashboard gauge says otherwise so investigation is required. There’s no smoke from the exhaust and the engine is free from oil leaks. The lubricant is golden in colour, following a recent service and cambelt change.
    The gearlever wobbles noticeably, although the five-speed ZF gearbox works without fault. The clutch is light and precise, and the brakes pull the car up quickly and in a straight line. The suspension feels taut and reassuring.

    This Delta has the optional Executive equipment pack, which includes hip-hugging Recaro front seats; only the driver’s seat upright shows signs of wear.

    The grey headlining and carpets are unmarked, and the futuristic stack-display instrument cluster all functions as it should.
    Although overshadowed by later four- wheel drive Integrales, this example’s history makes it special. As such, the asking price seems reasonable, although the suspect turbo boost needs looking into.

    ► Giugaro-penned Delta 5dr hatch unveiled at 1979 Frankfurt show. Fiat-sourced MacPherson strut underpinnings, plus 1301cc or 1498cc 4cyl engines driving front wheels through a 5sp box. European Car of the Year in 1980; on sale in UK that year.
    ► 1983 Delta HF uses Garrett T3 turbo to extract 140bhp from 1585cc twin-cam engine. 1.6 GT is normally aspirated.

    ► Mid-engined, rally-bred Delta S4 of 1985 paves the way for road and race HF 4WD, launched 1986; 165bhp from 1995cc, plus all-round disc brakes and advanced Ferguson TorSen torque-splitting four- wheel drive. 1988 Delta HF Integrate 8v with 185bhp has larger turbo and bulging wheelarches.

    ► HF Integrate 16v takes over in 1989, offering 200bhp. Wider track, bigger wings, ABS and additional cooling grilles for 1991-on homologation Integrate Evoluzione. A Delta wins the 1992 World Rally Championship for the sixth consecutive year. In 1993, full-house Integrate Evo II has more power and new 16in wheels.

    ► Replaced by second-generation Delta in 1993.

    Car 1984 Lancia Delta HF Turbo Price £7495
    Contact Panorama Bay (, 01202 709407)
    Engine 1585cc dohc in-line 4-cylinder
    Power 140bhp @ 5500rpm
    Torque 141lb ft @ 3500rpm
    Top speed: 121mph;
    0-60mph: 8.5sec
    Fuel consumption 27mpg
    Length 3894mm
    Width 1621mm

    INSURANCE £125
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