When Tokyo Auto Salon weekend rolls around, Japan’s biggest city comes alive with a multitude of smaller meets and gatherings. I always try to attend as many of them as possible, regardless of what my sleep-deprived body says. Ben and Mark have already given you a quick look at the annual RAUH-Welt Begriff get-together, but …
John Campion once said he didn’t have time for racing, so he did the next best thing by collecting great rally cars and enjoying them at private track days and showing them at special events. Perhaps it’s your turn to do the same.
The Campion Collection, a group of six stunning Lancia racers, is being offered for sale through London’s Girardo & Co. They aren’t just six Lancia race cars, they’re the six Lancia race cars—the best of the best, resplendent in Martini livery.
“The Martini livery is one of the most iconic in all of racing,” says Hagerty valuation specialist John Wiley. “Six Lancias adorned with the Martini stripes—all in excellent condition and with notable racing history—is an unrepeatable opportunity.”
The cars’ price tags are not published—email inquiries only—but their cumulative value is $7.5 million, according to a press release. Girado & Co. says the cars will be unveiled at this weekend’s Palm Beach Cavallino Classic at Mar-a-Lago.
If you aren’t familiar with John Campion, you’re likely new to the Hagerty readership. The Florida collector and his Lancia race cars have been the subject of many stories in the last several years.
As a young racing fan in 1970s Ireland, Campion developed an early affinity for the Lancia rally cars that periodically tore through his region. His love of automobiles travelled with him to America, where he took a roadie job with a rock band as “the fifth man on a four-man crew.” He soon recognized that traveling bands often lacked the electricity needed to power their lights and amplifiers, and in 1987 he founded Showpower, Inc., a California company that provided portable generators for the Rolling Stones, U2, KISS, and AC/DC. Today he is chairman and chief executive of APR Energy.
Campion’s first collector car purchase (in 1994) was a 1969 Intermeccanica Italia. Although he ultimately amassed a collection of 14 Ferraris, “They didn’t connect with me like rally cars did,” so Campion turned his attention to Lancia rally cars. His first was a 1975 Lancia Stratos HF that competed in the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally. More would follow. A lot more. And the best of the best are now for sale.
1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group V
Girardo & Co.
Group V regulations balanced car performance by linking the engine displacement and minimum vehicle weight. The larger the displacement of your engine, the heavier the car had to be, which helped promote efficiency over outright brute power. The Beta Montecarlo featured a 1.4-liter four-cylinder Abarth engine (force-fed by a massive KKK turbocharger) and an all-new 16-valve cylinder head, which generated 500 horsepower. With Pininfarina performing the aerodynamic styling and chassis guru Giampaolo Dallara reworking the production-car-derived monocoque and suspension, the Montecarlo weighed less than 800 kg (1764 pounds).
The car has an impressive competition history, having scored a class win at the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans and all six rounds of the World Endurance Championship.
The last time a Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group V sold at auction was $300,000 at Bonhams’ 2007 Monaco sale. This may be the same car—the chassis number is not listed—and if it is, it has been restored in Le Mans livery. Hagerty valuation expert John Wiley values the Montecarlo at about $2M.
1982 Lancia LC1 Group VI
Girardo & Co.
The streamlined 1982 Lancia LC1 Group VI was a factory entrant in the 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans. Italy’s first ground-effect sports car is one of only four examples built. Winner of the 1982 Nürburgring 1000 km, the 450-hp race car was driven by World Sportscar Champion Teo Fabi and Formula One Grand Prix winner Riccardo Patrese.
It went on to score a pole and two second-place finishes, and today is in superb Lancia Classiche condition. Wiley gives it an estimated value of $2M–$3M.
1983 Lancia LC2 Group C
Girardo & Co.
The subject of a Hagerty profile several years ago, the LC2 was arguably Martini Lancia’s most audacious project—Lancia’s answer to Porsche’s iconic 956 sports racer. Powered by a 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged Ferrari V-8 that produced more than 800 hp, the LC2 was fast—with a top speed of 240 mph—but it was plagued by mechanical issues and tough luck.
LC2 #001, the first of seven LC2s built, competed for Lancia Martini in the 1983–84 FIA World Sportscar Championship and raced at Le Mans in 1983. It later secured the pole for the 1984 Kyalami (South Africa) 1000 km and had its best-ever finish there, placing second. Today it is eligible for the Peter Auto Group C Championship, should its new owner wish to race it.
Another LC2 sold for $910,784 at RM Sotheby’s 2016 Duemila Ruote auction. Wiley values this one, with its impressive racing history, at $2M–$3M.
1984 Lancia 037 Rally Evo Group B
Girardo & Co.
One of just 20 cars in this spec, chassis #411 debuted as a reconnaissance car prior to the 1984 Rally of 100 Lakes at the hands of World Rally Champion Markku Alén. Later assigned to the Jolly Club racing team, the Abarth Classiche-certified 037 was also raced by European Rally Champions Dario Cerrato and Enrico Bertone.
A similar 1983 Lancia Rally 037 Evo 2 in Martini colors (actually a road car converted to Evo 2 rallying spec) sold for $453,897 in October 2019.
1985 Lancia Delta S4 Group B
Girardo & Co.
Chassis #ZLA038AR0 00000208
Lancia unveiled the ultimate rally car, the Delta S4 Corsa Group B, in 1985. The rear-engine S4 featured a backward-facing, longitudinally positioned, four-cylinder DOHC powerplant. The first car to use “twin-charging,” in which compressors forced air into its cylinders, the engine was capable of 550 hp, supercharged and turbocharged. It could accelerate from 0–60 mph in 2.5 seconds—on gravel.
This one (#0208) was used for testing prior to the Monte Carlo and Swedish World Rally Championship events before joining the Jolly Club Team and winning the 1986 Rally 1000 Miglia with European Rally Champion Dario Cerrato behind the wheel.
RM Sotheby’s sold #0202, also in Martini livery and winner of the 1985 RAC Rally, for $989,865 in October 2019. Wiley estimates that Campion’s car is worth about the same, placing its value at $800K–$1M.
1988 Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8V Group A
Girardo & Co.
After debuting with a victory at the 1988 Rally Portugal, the 8-valve (8V) Delta HF Integrale added a second win in the 1988 Olympus Rally—one of the few World Rally Championship rounds held in the United States (1986–88)—behind driver Miki Biason. In all, the Lancia scored 36 world rally stage victories for Lancia Martini Racing. It has been fully restored to the exacting original specs in which it won in Portugal.
In November 2016, RM Sotheby’s sold a works 1989 Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16V for $263,648 as part of the Duemila Ruote auction. The Campion car, despite being one year older and with eight fewer valves, is in better condition and has a better racing record. Wiley estimates its worth at $300,000–$400,000.
Is it your turn to own one of these amazing Lancias? The race is on.
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Girardo & Co.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, has an odd habit when it comes to time capsules. These buried cases are, in general, meant to capture a moment in time, preserving that time period until the capsule is unearthed decades later for those in the future to gain a unique insight into days gone by. Items like letters, newspapers, and other documents are popular inclusions—but Tulsa thinks bigger.
Tulsa puts cars in its time capsules.
That’s right. This city of roughly 400,000 residents documents time like a real gearhead. It was 20 years ago that it established the practice, when it wrapped up a 1998 Plymouth Prowler and put it underground.
The Prowler’s resurrection won’t occur until the city’s 150th anniversary in 2048, but if we look to the past for any indication of what the future holds, it is not bright for the purple hot rod. Tulsa celebrated 50 years as a city back in 1957 by putting a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere in its own sarcophagus, which was opened in 2007.
The effects on the Belvedere were… not good. Water seeped in, and the car came out of its tomb was more than a little rough. Multiple museums turned it down, and the Smithsonian even went so far as to describe bringing the rusted heap into its hallowed halls akin to “bringing the bubonic plague in there.” Rust never sleeps. Perhaps you’ve heard.
Hopefully the time capsule gurus have come up with a better plan before they bury the next car, but, sadly, the first failed experiment could not influence the second—the Prowler was sent underground 10 years prior to the Belvedere’s resurfacing.
The Prowler was enclosed in a custom-welded aluminum box with half-inch-thick walls. While that stands a good chance of doing a better job than the Belvedere’s concrete tomb, we won’t know for sure until 2048. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. The Prowler is a perfect vehicle to symbolize American car production of the 1990s, and to think that at least one will still be in existence in 2048 is a nice thought. Hopefully it will age better than the music CDs, student school projects, and cell phones that are keeping it company underground.
Last, but not least, more photos. Despite only being at the NEC in Birmingham for the 2020 Autosport International show for around 13 hours in total, and with the show only being open for around nine of those hours, I would say that we covered it pretty well. That being said, having a shortage of time can …
It’s Japan month on Speedhunters, so we’ve thrown sleep in the trash bin and scrolled through our collective phone contacts and Instagram discover pages, and fired up Google Translate to talk to all of our friend’s via Line app. The result? Dino is sick of me asking him questions and Mark’s exported so many images in …
Do you loathe the electric car movement? Focus your anguish on General Motors’ star-crossed attempt to begin the crusade a quarter century ago.
In 2003, after leasing 1117 battery-electric EV1s to forward-thinking customers, GM chairman Rick Wagoner concluded that the corporation couldn’t afford to keep what amounted to an experimental fleet running. Orders were issued to crush all but a handful of the cars upon completion of their lease agreements. Heartbroken EV1 leasees actually conducted funeral services for their cars and conspiracy theories surfaced in the film Who Killed the Electric Car? Of the 40 or so EV1 survivors donated to museums, one and only one—the car destined for display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History—was left in running condition.
We bring this up because EV1 is both the first modern electric car and the seed that grew into Tesla. Disgusted by GM’s crushing directive, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla Motors in July 2003. Six months later, Elon Musk kicked in major funding to become the budding venture’s chairman. Tesla will soon deliver its one millionth electric, permanently disrupting the traditional car business. That said, earning a profit has proven elusive for this Silicon Valley-based enterprise.
1996 EV1 The First Modern Day Electric Propulsion System.
Like every circumspect car company, GM considered electric cars for decades before launching the EV1 in 1996. In the late ’60s, GM collaborated with Boeing to build electric Lunar Rovers to support Apollo missions. In the late ’80s, GM advanced electric car efficiency with the solar-charged Sunraycer to win the Australian Solar Challenge race. In 1994, a specially tuned Impact precursor to the EV1 topped 183 mph at a Texas test track. Two years later, the production EV1 two-seat coupe was unveiled at the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows.
The EV1’s mix of advanced and rustic technology illustrates just how far car design has advanced in a quarter century. Its chassis is a welded-and-bonded aluminum backbone similar in many respects to the eighth-generation Corvette. Body panels are lightweight, molded composite plastic shaped to minimize both the drag coefficient (0.19) and the frontal area (20.3 ft2). On the debit side, EV1’s lead acid battery pack weighed 1175 pounds and provided only 17 kWh of energy (versus a base Tesla Model 3’s 50 kWh) and less than 100 miles of driving range (versus 220 miles for the Tesla Model 3). The introduction of a second-gen EV1 in 1999 brought new NiMH batteries rated at 26 kWh and offering 160 miles of driving range but longer recharge times. EV1s could accelerate from rest to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds; while that’s leisurely by today’s standards, it was comparable to a late-1990s 3-series BMW.
Tesla “borrowed” other worthy lessons from GM’s venturesome R&D department. The skateboard propulsion platform GM revealed in its 2002 AUTOnomy concept became the de facto blueprint for integrating electric vehicle battery packs with structural underpinnings. GM’s 2003 Hy-Wire concept demonstrated that just about any body could be suitably mounted atop the innovative skateboard footings.
The suppository shape and two-person cockpit were not the EV1’s best attributes. Engineering lessons learned did, however, make the leap to the 2010 Chevy Volt, the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid, and the 2017 Chevy Bolt, among the first affordable (if not profitable) battery-electric vehicles.
CEO Mary Barra never hesitates touting GM’s commitment to an all-electric future. What she doesn’t say much about is Tesla’s lengthy lead in reaching that day. Even though Tesla suffers from a lack of profitability, investors have raised its market capitalization over $77-billion, 49-percent greater than GM and more than double Ford’s market cap.
All-electric Ford F-150 pickups and Chevy Suburbans are under development for release sooner than you might imagine. GM and Ford have joined Tesla pondering how the global energy infrastructure can be updated to replace fossil fuels with kilowatts drawn from the sun via rooftop solar panels. The day will come when classic car enthusiasts will join the electrification movement while treasuring a drum or two of high octane gasoline to maintain their connection to internal combustion.
I have to say, I’m loving this. First it was Nissan and Nismo slowly putting old parts for the RB26 generation of GT-R back into production as part of their Heritage program, and since then we’ve been seeing tuners follow suit. Now HKS is getting right into it with what has to be one of the most …
When I last visited Autosport International in 2011, I couldn’t have imagined an entire section dedicated to aftermarket street cars ever being added to the show. But that’s what has happened in recent years as the motorsport show looks to acknowledge the importance of this part of the industry. While it’s definitely an area of the show that’s in …
Ah, you returned for more. I knew you would. Welcome back to Summernats, mate. I’ve made the bold assumption that you’ve already read the Ultimate Summernats Survival Guide, Part 1. I mean, it’s not compulsory, but very little here will make any sense if you’re choosing to make Part 2 your Summernats starting point. If you’ve not read Part 1 …
On Monday, Facebook user Jim Lill shared a video to the C8 Corvette Owners group of a heavily-camouflaged Corvette test mule that he spied cruising around the mountain roads east of San Diego. There’s nothing spine-tingling about the ’Vette’s heavy-duty camouflage—the sound, though, is another story.
Those familiar with GM’s LT2 V-8 will note that this sounds nothing like that as it rounds the bend and tears out of sight. In fact, if you’ve seen any fly-by footage of Corvette’s C8.R race car, you’ll note that this car has a very similar exhaust note.
Is this the flat-plane C8 Z06 we’ve been waiting for?
We’ve known for a while that the race-ready version of Chevrolet’s mid-engine C8 Corvette, the C8.R, will rock a 5.5-liter DOHC flat-plane crank V-8 in place of the production version’s iconic pushrod engine. With higher-performance variants of the mid-engine Corvette coming down the pipeline in the ensuing years, it’s no stretch—by our reckoning—to think that the same flat-plane howler could make its way into those higher-performance models.
Facebook / Jim Lill
In the race car, the yet-unnamed flat-plane engine makes roughly 500 horsepower. Given that the LT2 in the base C8 makes 490 hp and the previous-generation C7 Z06 made a hefty 650 hp from its supercharged LT4 engine, we can assume that the new C8 Z06 will aim for a similar output, perhaps via forced induction.
What’s unclear is whether the rumored hybrid Corvette will slot in as part of the Z06 package, or if we’ll wait even longer to see Zora’s legacy assisted by electrons. We thought we snagged pictures of a hybrid mule recently, but received word from Chevrolet denying that mule’s hybrid identity.
Regardless—the rumors, the camo’d mules, the weird noises, and the recent sale of VIN 001 all have us eagerly awaiting the mid-engine Corvette’s next move.
What do you think? Is the video above concrete evidence that America’s Sports Car is going flat-plane? Are we out over our skis? Let us know in the Hagerty forums below.