The Lancia Delta rally car. Without question, the first car I fell in love with. As a schoolboy, I worshipped the machine eagerly anticipating the half an hour of rally coverage on BBC2, hoping and praying that the Martini-clad Delta would find it’s way around the forest/desert/mountains/roads quicker than the challengers.
Juha Kankkunen was the hero as he guided the quad-headlight machine through the course. For me, they always looked better hurtling through the snow or driving through the night on the Lombard RAC rally.
For my friends, who would seemingly have a Countach or Testarossa on their wall, the Delta was a strange choice. What it lacked in sweeping curves and fellow-Italian flair, it made up in character, presence and victories.
To this day, I’ve never driven or even sat in a Delta. One day, I hope to fly to Italy and drive a factory-fresh Delta back across the continent to England. My only fear is that the reality would somehow fall short of a dream. Like a comic-book hero or sporting great, would a genuine encounter somehow shatter the illusion. I guess there’s only one way to find out…
In the meantime, this video above should help to keep the dream alive.