The appeal of a Lancia Delta Integrale is undeniable. And that’s why a good number of them are being secreted away into garages and kept pristine. Chris Harris, inspired by late night demons and whiskey, decided, though, that he wanted to own one and actually use it over the winter.
Although it’s now several decades old, the Lancia Delta Integrale’s four-wheel drive layout, its turbocharged engine, and its four doors make it a surprisingly modern car, on paper. It is not, however, quite as modern a vehicle to own, which is a good and a bad thing, according to Harris.
“I adore this little car. The steering is sensational!” he says in a new video for Collecting Cars. “The steering is the standout part. It’s delicate, and it’s light, but it loads up so well in a corner.”
Read: Chris Harris Goes All Gushy Over The Last Factory Lancia To Ever Win A WRC Event
The Lancia Delta in question is an eight-valve vehicle, not one of the more powerful, and more sought after, 16-valve examples. That made it a little more affordable, but it doesn’t sap away as much of the fun as you’d expect, according to Harris.
He reckons that, thanks to a rebuilt turbocharger, it now makes around 190 hp (142 kW/193 PS), which is plenty. It pulls wonderfully when you’re cruising along, and has remarkable traction through the corners. There are, however, some downsides to owning it.
“What I will say about the ownership experience is that, you have to assume everything you touch will fall off,” explains Harris. “Every screw you undo won’t go back, it’s just one of those cars. You get to an ’80s Lancia, and it really is a labor of love.”
In addition, most of the warning lights are on, the trunk floor was so rusty that it could be blown out like a birthday candle, and the turbo was initially set to make too much boost, leading to further problems in the engine compartment.
And yet, despite all of that, Harris says he doesn’t regret buying this over his second choice, which was a used Audi S3. Even though he’s had to put a lot into it, the Delta rewards him every time he walks up to it, every time he drives it, and every time he imagines himself as one of the rally legends that drove it when it was new.