29th May2015

Give Me the Works: Lancia Delta HF Integrale

by Michael Chandler

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-9

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

So, sometime last week CAM turned 5.  Yes!  We’ve been plugging away at this for five years.  Going to track days, meets, SEMA, all sorts of places to show you cool cars and events and people.  In those five years we’ve seen some exceptionally cool things, but more often than not we see some mind blowingly cool things in our own backyard.  Things like a Lancia Delta HF Integrale running about in one of the HPDE groups at the last NASA Utah weekend.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

The Delta was Lancia’s last Group B WRC monster.  It featured an insane twin charged, two liter, four cylinder engine.  It was the peak of rallying insanity!  This isn’t one of those, BUT it is a former “works” car.  The 16 valve engine produced 200 horsepower, and sent the car to 62mph in five and a half seconds.  Five and a half seconds doesn’t seem fast today, but that was faster than an E30 M3 and a half second behind a 911 Turbo of the day.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

This belongs to a fellow also named Mike.  He, like myself, is also from the Chicago area so we hit it off quickly.  He told me that this is one of two former works cars in the country, and that its sister car competes in hill climbs and ran the Tail of the Dragon.  Hopefully this car will follow in its sister car’s footsteps (tire marks?) and get into some classic rallies and hill climbs.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8

These cars are legal for import now, but you may want to think twice before having one shoved into a container.  Lancias were never really known for being rust proof.  In fact, about a third of all Lancias made in the late 80’s and early 90’s have completely rusted away*.  Also, these being performance vehicles they have probably been beat on.  Pretty hard.  And finally, while people in the States have been messing around with engines like the RB series and SR’s, not a lot of people have been messing with Lancia mills over here.  Something to think about, because you don’t want to find yourself 1500 miles away from the nearest mechanic when you start hearing a ticking noise.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2 Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

All that said, I’d bring one over in a heart beat.  Just look at it!  It’s a four door hatchback, but it’s so much better looking than a four door Golf.  The wide fenders and bulged hood don’t seem like tacked on after thoughts, they look like they were always meant to be there.  They have a purpose, but not to the point where it’s sacrificing aesthetics.  It’s definitely a child of the 80’s, but unlike an IROC Camaro it hasn’t become associated with the cheesiness of the decade.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

I could throw all the usual cliches a writer uses when describing an Italian car, but I’m not going to.  But I will leave you with a question: if you could bring over a former race car, what would it be?  It has to comply with our current import laws (that draconian 25 year crap), but besides that it can be any former race car.

 

20th Mar2015

Jalpa Means Jalpa

by Michael Chandler
Lamborghini Jalpa CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-15
Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Yup.  At least according to Google Translate.  It’s also a city in Mexico, so there’s that.  More importantly: it’s the name of a breed of Spanish fighting bull, which is perfect for a Lamborghini.  A V8 powered Lamborghini at that.

Lamborghini Jalpa CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

They made 410 of the mid-engined coupes between 1981 and 1988.  That’s 110 LESS than the Urraco P250 for those who are curious.  Why did they make so few of them?  Well, having to compete against the Ferrari 308, then 328 didn’t help.  Neither did a Porsche 911 that was coming into its own, when it wasn’t killing yuppies.  And having your stablemate being THE iconic 80’s car didn’t help matters either.

Lamborghini Jalpa CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

While the Urraco had issues with underpowered engines and generally being difficult to drive, the Jalpa had these issues solved.  The 3.5L V8 was rated at 255 horsepower, and it was generally easier to drive.  It was even offered for sale in the US from day one!  Unfortunately, the ergonomics were not the best.  The windscreen cause distracting reflections, the driving position wasn’t very comfortable, the headlights were dim and the side mirrors weren’t stable at speed.

Lamborghini Jalpa CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

None of these really matter though.  It was cheaper than the Countach, but infinitely easier to drive and live with.  The exterior design is elegant, yet still exotic and the only roofing option was a targa.  And it sounds amazing.  The 3.5L V8, while not the most iconic of Lamborghini engines or even Italian V8s, still sounds amazing after all these years.

Lamborghini Jalpa CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-9

A quick perusing of Hemming’s Classifieds has two for sale, but only one has a price listed.  A black, 1985 model with a little over 27,000 miles is listed for $119,900.  There are two Countachs listed for north of $400k.  Affordable?  By comparison they are!  And you could have an easier time driving and enjoying the Jalpa.

Lamborghini Jalpa CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8

If the thought of driving around in something that may, or may not, have been originally purchased with proceeds from sales of non-licensed South American stimulants excites you, then take a look at the Jalpa.  If that thought doesn’t excite you, consult a medical professional.  There could be something wrong with you.

*Article, words and photos are copyright of CAMautoMag and their respective owners
24th Feb2015

A Ferrari You Know and a Lamborghini You Don’t

by Michael Chandler

Italian-Trio-Michael-Chandler-CAM-3

The yellow car is the Ferrari that you know.  It’s a 308 GTB, which we all remember from Magnum PI.  You never saw Magnum PI?  For those who don’t know, Magnum PI was about a private investigator named Thomas Magnum, played by Tom Selleck, who lived in Oahu and solved crimes and such, and drove around in a borrowed 308.  The 308 GTB is a 3 liter, V8 powered Ferrari that replaced the Dino and was primarily driven by cocaine dealers.  They made them starting in 1975, and quit in 1980.  Well, sort of quit.  The 75-80 models were carbureted, and the 81+ models came with Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection and branded as GTSi or GTBi.

jalpa-c&c-2-7-Michael-Chandler-CAM-1

The white car is the Lamborghini that doesn’t immediately spring to mind when one mentions 80’s Lamborghinis.  This is a Jalpa, and you probably haven’t heard of it because A) they made them from 1981-1988, which was right in the middle of the Countach’s production run and B) they didn’t make a lot of them, only 410.  Much like the Ferrari it sports a V8, albeit a larger 3.5 liter V8, shoved in the middle of the car and was driven by a famous, fictitious person: Rocky drove on in Rocky IV (the one where he goes to the Soviet Union).  Fun Fact: this was Lamborghini’s most successful V8 powered car.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some more photos of the two of them:

Words and photos by Michael Chandler
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.