Coming to auction this week are two very special cars in their own right. Italians value the aesthetics of a car just as much as its drive and these two examples are no different – the 1993 Lancia Delta Integrale and 1974 Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior. These are both great cars to drive, let’s see what they’re all about.
Boy racer good looks… 6x WRC winning pedigree… Italian… quite the combination I think. The Evo 2 was the final instalment of what proved to be a very very successful hot hatch for Lancia. A 2.0L turbocharged 16-valve engine produces 212 bhp at 6500 rpm and sits on 18-spoke alloys that just look stunning. Unlike its predecessor, the Evo II was not included in the FIA GroupA homologation special. This allowed Lancia to not only pay homage to the rallying success but also to make a driver-friendly and more civilized car.
The Evo came with II with a smaller turbocharger that resulted in less turbo lag and far more friendly and pleasant experience to drive. Driving one today still feels every inch as fizzy, as potent as it would have back in the ’90s. This is not some delicate classic that needs to be driven with care. This is still an aggressive, exhilarating thing that gets about the place, looking for corners to stay firmly placed in.
The car is signed off in true Italian style at every aspect. From the bulging flares and vents to the exquisite Alcantara interior that is complemented with the military-like dials on the dashboard. This car is surely the one to own proudly, with a high smiles per miles ratio.
Prior to its arrival in the UK, there are a number of service records charting its life in Japan. These provide an almost complete picture of the cars life.
The Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior was introduced in 1972, to plug the gap between the GT 1300 Junior and the larger-engined 2000 GTV. Imported from South Africa 3 years ago by the current owner, this cute Italian coupe offers a quick and nimble drive that will feel thrilling around corners, even when you are not really going that fast.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, this Alfa has become some sort of an icon over the years – a true classic shape! The 14″ Alfa Romeo aluminium offers a glimpse of the past that is lost in modern design, but certainly not forgotten.
For a car that’s design is now over 50 years old, of course, there are flaws that come with it. But just to get a sense of what driving was like back then, or to relive for some, is a reward that greatly outweighs the price.
If you have an itch for a classic, the GT 1600 Junior offers a pure driving experience that you only get with these small Italian cars.
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