Before the Impreza WRX, before the Lancer Evo, there was the Delta Integrale. The ultimate rally weapon of its day (provided you ignored the Escort Cosworth), it’s always been a very cool car, and this is a rather dazzling example.
A last-of-the-breed Evo 2 version, it started life in Germany before being imported into the UK in 2001 by its last owner, who, it’s fair to say, lavished money, time and attention on it. It comes with a stack of receipts the size of a telephone directory covering everything from hi-fi and alarm to harnesses, Tarox brakes, Eibach springs and a bespoke oil cooler. Plus Goodridge hoses, polyurethane bushes, a hybrid turbo (including Blitz adjustable boost gauge). It’s not exactly standard. In fact the list of upgrades fills a page of A4.
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Modified it may be, but it’s also beautifully prepared with not a hair out of place. Although it’s covered over 100,000 miles there’s very little sign of that in the dynamics or drivetrain. The trim rattles and there’s plenty of cabin shake, but they did that from new. The long gearlever moves loosely, but each ratio engages and releases cleanly, and when the turbo’s blowing (giving about 300bhp allegedly) and the square snout is charging up the road, it feels pretty intense. It’s tenacious in corners and far feistier than an E30 M3.
This is a very sweet car, but if you fancy an unmodified ‘Grale, Berkshire High Performance have more, bracketed at the top end by a mint UK Evo 2 for £15,995 and at the bottom by a tidy 91/J £4995 16 valver. Italian rally passion for the price of a Perodua Nippa. No contest.
Thanks to vendor: Berkshire High Performance (01628 770031, www.bhpvehicles.co.uk)
Near perfect, no rust visible anywhere, repainted 1000km ago
Immaculate bar a collapsed seat bolster and an over-sensitive alarm system
As tough as a Delta Integrale can feel…
• Should I buy it?
Not if you want an original car. However, if you want a slice of Italian rally passion, there’s little to touch it
• FOR: Clearly been lovingly maintained, easily copes with the extra power
• AGAINST: It’s not exactly as the factory intended
|Engine||In-line 4-cyl, 1995cc, turbo|
|Max power||300bhp @ n/a rpm (claimed)|
|Top speed||140mph+ (est)|