Radwood NorCal spoiled us with its wide variety of rad machinery and socializing with car friends across the industry. One of those machines was the Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione, the car with the world’s longest name. We did a quick video on it where I stumble through the meager facts I know about this car!
Admittedly, I’m a bit more useless in this video than our other cool videos which you should definitely check out, but I somehow managed to deliver some info about the car. I wasn’t exactly sure if it was an Evo 1 or an Evo 2 in the video, but I have come to find out that Evo 2s got a red-painted valve cover. That means our Martini-liveried specimen here is an Evo 2!
The lineage of this car is actually long and gradual, with the car starting life as a basic 1979 Lancia Delta, an Italian economy car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. In 1983, Lancia decided to make a performance version called the Delta HF, HF being their performance pseudo-brand with the most adorable mascot in the car world: An elephant. It’s honestly my favorite part of any HF. If you’re wondering what HF stands for, it’s about as nonsensical as the elephant mascot (“High Fidelity”). I wouldn’t blame normal people for thinking that Lancia made speakers.
That Delta HF then grew into the Delta HF Turbo, then the Delta HF 4WD. That one used an eight-valve engine with serious technologies like sodium-filled exhaust valves, bronze valve guides, and tri-metallic bearings all in 1986. That same year, the legendarily dangerous Group B rally regulations were eliminated in favor of a new set of rules called Group A. Famously, the Delta was never made with rallying as a design consideration but it happened to fit the Group A bill well so Lancia entered the HF 4WD, and it won the 1987 WRC championship on its first attempt.
That car evolved into the Delta HF Integrale, which then became the Integrale 16-valve, which then became the 1991 HF Integrale Evoluzione. With this consistent improvement, Lancia went on to win six world titles. Six!
So this car, the Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2, is one of a few cars truly born from rally racing, distilled for road use. It also has a ridiculously long name that is very fun to say. The cultural impact and significance of this car exists to this day, a quintessential icon of the ’80s and ’90s, and a classically gorgeous Italian car. It’s so unbelievably cool that contemporary music artist Tyler, the Creator owns one and seems to drive it a lot. I saw him at the Malibu Cars and Coffee once in it.
So please, enjoy my ramblings on the car in the video, and give us some love on YouTube. I’ll just be in the other room watching old footage of Juha Kankkunen rip an HF 4WD like a lunatic.