Jay Leno recently had the opportunity to spend some time with two Italian icons in the world of rally racing.
The two cars featured in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, a 1978 Fiat 131 Abarth and a 1986 Lancia Delta S4, are both owned by collector John Campion and are absolutely incredible to behold. Leno could have easily produced an individual video for each car but fortunately, the 20-minute long clip does provide us with a good look at both cars.
Starting with perhaps the most famous of the two we have the Lancia Delta S4 used in Group B rallying. The car is powered by a truly insane 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine supplemented by a turbocharger and a supercharger. It pumps out an extraordinary 550 hp through a five-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive.
The Delta S4 was the successor to the famed 037 and was the final Group B rally car which Lancia built before the championship ended and the cars were banned from competing. The car claimed one race victory during the 1985 season and three race victories the following year. A fatal crash involving a Delta S4 on the Tour de Corse rally triggered the FIA to ban Group B rallying.
As for the Fiat 131 Abarth, it is a Group 4 rally car and has been restored with a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with 275 hp. It features a straight-cut manual transmission and while it isn’t anywhere near as fast as the Lancia, it is still very special.