What do you get when you cross a Lancia Delta and a Toyota Supra? Sounds like the sort of perverted concoction that a ten-year-old would make up with his mates.
JUN 24th 2016
Is This Lancia LaSupra The Ultimate Wild Child?
With aforementioned juvenile pipe dreams in mind, consider this: that this Lancia “LaSupra” takes the game so, so, so much further. In truth, very little of the Delta donor remains. “The only thing that is still left from the original car is pieces of the front window frame” says LaSupra mastermind Peter Pentell. The rest of the car as it stands is utterly bespoke, and born of Peter’s desire to go quicker and quicker and quicker, ad infinitum.
He bought the car in 2001 as a standard 1992 Delta Evolution 1 and would you believe it from looking at it now, daily drove it. Some track time in the car to explore the outer reaches of its potential left him with a hunger for more from his iconic hatch. Mild modifications took him part of the way there, but a slew of engine and gearbox failures left his addiction little short of unsatiated. A hardier powertrain was needed – enter the beast from the east. The engine and transmission from a Toyota Supra should do it. As it turns out, getting a 3,000cc turbocharged six-cylinder to talk to the mounting points in an early ‘90s Italian hatchback is no easy task. Bow out, most of the Delta. Enter bespoke tubular space frame chassis and the kind of aero-clad bodywork you’d find on something abusing the laws of Physics halfway up pikes peak.
Suspend it with pushrod suspension with 5-way adjustable Öhlins shocks courtesy of a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and you end up with something that retains only the silhouette of the Delta (and the aforementioned window-frames). Yet in spite of all the initial frankenstein’s monster appearances, this car as it stands is close to Peter’s vision for what some kind of Delta hillclimb. “I wanted to make something that could have been a Lancia creation during that era," he told GRR. 'If they’d decided to go lets say track racing, or hillclimbing.” Italian/Japanese chop notwithstanding, it does look the part..
The car has been in a relatively complete state as it sits for the past three years, albeit going through setup changes and a bit of drivetrain stress-testing. For FoS 2016, the RSR suspension has been re-calibrated, the drivetrain is running solidly and reliably and Peter is ready to take on the hill and show Goodwood what the LaSupra is made of.
Photography by Tom Shaxson