The very first Lancia Rally 037 to be built is going across the auction block next month.
The Lancia 037 is one of the most iconic rally cars ever produced, being the first vehicle to win the World Rally Championship under the new Group B rules in 1983 – and the last two-wheel-drive vehicle to win the WRC manufacturers' title.
A collaboration between Lancia, Abarth, and Pininfarina, the earliest design sketches for the 037 were created in April 1980, with this prototype being built and undergoing testing at an Italian airfield by Christmas of the same year.
The central part of a Lancia Beta Montecarlo chassis formed the basis for the 037, powered by a mid-mounted 2.0-litre supercharged four-cylinder engine producing 198kW – though later versions saw displacement increased to 2.1 litres and power upped to 242kW.
While lead drivers Walter Rohrl and Markku Alen took the car to victory in the 1983 season, the extra power wasn't enough for the Lancia, as it struggled against the adoption of all-wheel drive among its competitors – namely the pioneering Audi Quattro.
Extensive documentation accompanies chassis SE037-001, as this vehicle is known, and it will be auctioned by RM Sotheby's Milan auction on 15 June 2021. You can view the listing by clicking here.