Remember the BMW I posted a few days earlier? Here is his other car. The guy who built this car is Dieter Verboven and as you can see has a real passion for cars. He lives in the south of Holland and has the pleasure to drive these cars on a daily basis… how cool is that?
I’m not sure how this car is regarded in the USA or anywhere outside of Europe for that matter. But for me personally this car has been in the top 3 of ‘must have’ cars for as long as I can remember.
It’s funny because I can’t explain why I like this car so much, it is just something that makes my blood run faster everytime I see it, at least that is how it feels. It’s the same feeling I get when I’m at the club and they play a certain song I really like at the moment, at first I’m at the bar but then I’m right in the middle of the dancefloor making my moves and soaking up the energy. But enough about myself…
The Lancia Delta Integrale became famous because of its rally history. It won the Constructors Championship in the World Rally Championship six times in a row from 1987 till 1992 and scored a total of 46 victories overall. I think that everybody who likes Rally will remember the Martini sponsored Delta Integrale ripping up the different rally stages throughout the world. Here is a cool tribute video where you can see it in action.
The car itself is a true ‘80’s icon with its square looks and racing pedigree. It’s hard to find nice examples of the Delta Integrale and when you do find one it’s often in a sorry state. Luckily Dieter found one and immediately began dismantling the car. After that he carefully restored the car and upgraded it where needed. You could ask yourself in what way a car like this could be made even better? Well, let’s have a look at all the things Dieter improved and then you can be the judge of whether he did the right thing.
The car looks pretty much stock, except for the ride height and the wheels, but looks can be deceiving. In the front, Dieter has cut up the bumper to allow more air to pass through the engine. The same thing goes for the inner headlights — they have been removed for the same reason.Dieter has also incorporated the larger oil cooler into the front bumper that reminds me in some odd way of the Bosozuka style cars.
It is really hard to find aftermarket parts for a car like this so Dieter had to make things specifically for this application. For the carbon used on the car, Dieter resorted to a small company in France that made the hood, sideskirts and the rear spoiler.
The first thing I noticed are the red Sparco anti roll bars. I always love these kind of details that you can spot from a distance. Dieter has also blackened the rear lights.
These old school wheels are a set of Compomotive TH2 in 17″. They are used primarily on rally cars but they can also look good on a true street car as this example shows. With all that power — more on that later! — you need to have a good brake setup. So Dieter opted for a set of AP 330mm rotors in the front and mated them to a set of Porsche Turbo calipers. In the rear he perforated the rotors and used Ferodo brake pads. The tires are Michelin Pilot Sports in 205/40/R17 on all four corners.
The standard brake lines have been upgraded to braided ones.When cars are used on a circuit and they use the standard brake lines they can expand and lose braking power. So it is always a wise decision to go for braided lines to ensure you’ll have enough stopping power.
The ‘funny’ thing is that this car is lowered on an airbag suspension system. You would think that it doesn’t help in the performance or handling departments, but apparently Dieter thinks outside of the box and has mated the BBS airbag system with adjustable dampers from Koni in the front and Reiger in the rear.
There is a lot going on in the interior but let’s start with the Sparco rollcage. The seats are also made by Sparco and the four point harness from TRS is there to hold you in place.
Behind the seats we see a NOS system and the tank for the airride system. The dash houses several different dials to monitor the engine vitals. I love the steering wheel again made by Sparco. Do any of you US tuners use stuff from Sparco?
A close up shot of the custom made carbon hood, let’s have a look what’s underneath…
The car is powered by this 2.0 liter 16-valve engine but off course it couldn’t stay standard for long after the restoration of the car. The car now delivers 361bhp instead of the standard 200bhp. This is done thanks to forged pistons, driveshafts and more aggressive camshafts. The turbo has the original housing but it has Group A specification propellers.
The fuel is injected thanks to enlarged injectors and a bigger fuel pump ensures that the engine doesn’t starve. The Motec ‘stand alone’ ECU makes sure that everything works properly. Dieter didn’t do all of this work himself but entrusted his engine to Kempower in Belgium to build this engine to his specification.
Did you know that the engine is placed in such a way that it is almost in front of the front wheels?
This really is one of those defining cars that changed rally history. It is also one of my all time favorite cars. Dieter also mentioned to me that the car is for sale. if I had the money to buy this, I would already be on my way to the Nürburgring and run it until I ran out of fuel.
Thanks to Dieter Verboven for his insights and Kevin Reakelboom for his pictures.