Own­ing a Lan­cia Delta In­te­grale]

Classic Cars (UK) - - Buying Guide -

An­to­nio Dami­ano, Bed­ford­shire An­to­nio runs Auto Sportivo and drives an In­te­grale Evo I he bought six years ago, ‘I im­ported the car from Switzer­land, where all In­te­grales fea­tured an eight-valve cylin­der head to pass the emis­sions laws,’ he says. ‘The car was bet­ter than de­scribed so I got it for a good price, but it needed work. I had to re­place the tail­gate and driver’s door but the in­te­rior was like new and it was in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion un­der­neath. I had to re­place the wiper arms at £250 and it took 12 weeks to get a re­place­ment for the cracked wind­screen. Me­chan­i­cally, it just needed a fresh cam­belt and full ser­vice, which I did my­self. Parts are get­ting scarce and very costly, but if you know the right peo­ple you can get most things. A mi­nor ser­vice costs £350 and a ma­jor is £500-£600; bud­get £1000 per year if you’re do­ing 3000 miles an­nu­ally. The key thing is to change the lu­bri­cant ev­ery 3000 miles and keep the level topped up – an In­te­grale en­gine likes to use oil.’ James Green­wood, Oxon James is another owner who likes to do his own main­te­nance, al­though he won’t re­place a clutch or any belts be­cause the lat­ter needs a spe­cial tool. ‘In 2000 I de­cided I wanted a car with flared whee­larches – a BMW M3, Porsche 944, Clio Wil­liams or In­te­grale,’ he re­calls. ‘I tried a friend’s Lan­cia in the rain and was hooked – I went out and bought a 1992 Mar­tini 5. Com­pared with some mod­ern high-per­for­mance cars the Lan­cia isn’t that quick but it’s still plenty fast enough and you can de­ploy the power what­ever the weather thanks to the four-wheel drive – when the turbo comes in at 2500rpm it’s es­pe­cially sat­is­fy­ing. It’s small enough to park eas­ily but it’s got a big boot and can eas­ily trans­port a fam­ily of four in com­fort. Be­cause I do most of my own main­te­nance I reckon an an­nual bud­get of £300-£500 is all that’s needed, but parts are get­ting hard to find. I re­cently needed a new boot lock and couldn’t find one any­where so I ended up re­build­ing the orig­i­nal.’ Phil Char­man, Der­byshire As a child and through­out his teenage years, Phil trav­elled around the UK with his fa­ther to watch top-level ral­ly­ing. Says Phil, ‘By the time I was 18 I’d bought my first In­te­grale, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of my dad who had re­cently done the same. I was a stu­dent and couldn’t af­ford an Evo so I bought an eight-valve model in­stead. That was in 2000 and I’ve still got the car, so it was a good buy.

The eight-valve cars have the power bias to­wards the front so it’s like an over­grown hot hatch to drive; the 16-valve mod­els have a rear bias. The 8v also has a big­ger turbo so there’s more lag but it’s more thrilling to drive.

‘My car was moth­balled for a while but in 2017 I re­built it and now plan to do around 12,000 miles each year. Po­ten­tial own­ers are fright­ened off by th­ese cars but shouldn’t be be­cause they’re tough and not par­tic­u­larly rust-prone; my car has never been garaged.

‘Run­ning costs are very rea­son­able and, while some parts are hard to find, avail­abil­ity can be bet­ter than is of­ten made out. I’ve bud­geted around £2000-£3000 per year for main­te­nance for cov­er­ing 12,000 miles, which is a bar­gain for the per­for­mance and fun that’s on of­fer.’

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