1984 Lancia Delta GT
One of my favorite dealers is offering up more rarities. This one is a classic two-box design from the 80s, Italy's take on the Volkswagen Golf: the Lancia Delta.
Most Americans don't remember Lancia. They were officially sold here from 1975, until they withdrew in 1982. Some automakers, like BMW and Mercedes, were able to make enormous strides in the 1980s. This wasn't the case for Lancia. Like a lot of Italian automakers at the time, Lancia struggled to forge an modern identity in the 80s. Although once a maker of luscious little coupes and convertibles in the 50s and 60s, they were never really able to build on that, and instead retreated into compact front-wheel drive economy cars.
The 1979-1994 Delta is one such car. But that doesn't make it a bad car.
Styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro is quite nice. European automakers owe so much to Giugiaro. He is one of those few designers who can embrace sports cars (Lotus Esprit, Delorean) economy cars (VW Golf and Scirocco) and sedans (Eagle Premier, Maserati Quattroporte). All wear his distinctive clean, no-nonsense, form-over-function lines. His Golf basically set the template for compact economy cars. Simplistic front-wheel drive. Clean-cut angles and hard corners. Hood, windshield, roof, then hatchback and taillights. That's it. The Delta is basically the same thing, with some minor changes.
The Delta was powered by a range of four-cylinder engines that powered the front-wheels.
The dealer states this is a "GT" model, which would suggest a 1.6-liter four banger is under the hood, giving the car just 104 horsepower. They state it's mated to a manual transmission. They also say it has 118,500 miles on the odometer. Other than that, they give no specifics. It sure looks pretty in yellow, and seems to have no major visible damage. This dealer is located in New Hampshire, and yet the Delta was never officially sold here, and the photos show the car with European plates, presumably in Europe. They are the same folks who advertised this super rare BMW E30 Touring that COTC also spotlighted. How do they get these cars? Are they in Europe, and the buyer has to import them over? Or maybe the importation is included in the price, which would explain why it is so high. So many questions, so few answers. I really ought to give them a friendly call one of these days...
Available here in Plaistow, New Hampshire for $11,595.