A thoroughbred racing car clothed in the classic Martini livery is a beautiful thing. Six of them together? Well, we might have to have a little sit down.
John Campion, the Irish-American founder of the company that provided portable generators to the likes of The Rolling Stones, U2, Kiss and AC/DC, was also an avid collector of racing cars. He famously said he didn’t have time for it himself, but spent plenty of cash assembling a list of cars that did.
Of those, perhaps the most notable are these six outstanding race-bred Lancias. All are Martini-liveried and all have seen top-level use either in rallying or track racing. For these six to be for sale at the same time is an opportunity like no other, presenting a Group A Delta HF Integrale (of course) alongside a Beta Montecarlo Turbo, an LC1, an LC2, and two more rally machines in the shape of a Group B Delta S4 Corsa and a 037 Rally Evo 2.
It’s a jaw-dropping assembly worth around $7.5 million according to a Hagerty article on the cars that has now been taken down. It’s also worth noting that the seller, Girardo & Co, have been in touch with us since this article was published to say that the valuations we previously used here - sourced from the aforementioned Hagerty piece - were inaccurate. To be fair, a collection this rare is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
This big, broad Beta Montecarlo scored a class win at the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans and every round of that year’s World Endurance Championship, securing the title by a huge margin. Amazingly the Pininfarina-designed beauty weighed less than 800kg, partly thanks to using a mere 1.4-litre four-pot Abarth engine.
Helpfully it’s fed by a KKK turbocharger the size of an Imperial Star Destroyer, so it musters around 500bhp. Quick? Yes. This very car may have sold publicly previously, albeit with a different livery. Either way, an identical one sold for £230,500 ($300,000) in Monaco in 2007.
This is one of just four examples ever built of Italy’s first ground-effect racing car. The super-slippery design, with an open cockpit and enclosed rear wheels beneath a regulation fixed rear wing, was enough to secure the win in the 1982 Nurburgring 1000km in the hands of Teo Fabi and a certain Riccardo Patrese.
After that win, this 450bhp car elsewhere went on to score two second places and a pole position. It’s likely to be one of the priciest components of the collection, too.
Replacing the LC1 as the company’s flagship Le Mans racer, the LC2 had the unenviable task of trying to beat the all-conquering Porsche 956. It, err, didn’t, but chassis #1 did pretty well all the same. It raced at Le Mans in 1983 and later did well at the 1984 Kyalami 1000km, securing pole position and an eventual second place.
It’s also pretty damn stunning, and what’s more, it’s still eligible to race in the Peter Auto Group C Championship. We might need to extend that little sit down. Imagine taking the wheel of this 2.6-litre Ferrari V8-powered stunner, with 800bhp and a top speed of 240mph, on charismatic circuits around the world. Sign us up, please.
Another achingly beautiful design comes with this rally-spec 037, in Group B trim. It was used by WRC champion Markku Alen as a reconnaissance car before the 1984 Rally of 100 Lakes before being allotted to the Jolly Club racing team and then falling into the hands of European Rally Champions Dario Cerrato and Enrico Bertone.
The 037 wasn’t as competitive as hoped, lagging behind the Audi Quattro S2 and, towards the end of the 1984 season, the mighty Peugeot 205 Turbo 16. That year proved to be its last as it was replaced by the Delta the following Spring. In October 2019 a replica 037 in Martini colours, built up from a road-spec 037, sold for almost £349,000 ($453,897). This genuine article is surely worth much more.
After a Group B pummelling at the hands of the French and Germans, Lancia fought back hard with this, the rear-engined Delta S4. The longitudinally-mounted engine faced backwards and used both a supercharger and a turbocharger for the first time ever. The result was a compact hatchback that packed 550bhp and could do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. On gravel.
Chassis #0208 here was initially a test car used ahead of the Monte Carlo and Swedish rallies in 1985. After that it went to the Jolly Club racing team where it won the 1986 1000 Miglia. Dario Cerrato drove. Chassis #0202 sold in October 2019 for over £760,000 ($989,865).
Winning its debut rally in Portugal, this 1988 Delta HF Integrale was an instant hit, beating those pesky Audis and Peugeots at their own game. Lancia Martini Racing soared to new heights thanks to its combination of balance, drivability and power. It accumulated 36 stage victories that year in just the two rallies it raced in in the hands of Miki Biasion.
The Campion Collection car was the only example of the 1988 HF to win two rallies; Biasion’s other three event wins in his championship-winning year coming in three different Integrales. That gives this car a special heritage glow. Can we assume you’re buying?