MAR 28th 2014

Cars that rock 72MM: Lancia 037

A few laps of the local roads around the workshop may not sound a lot – and it isn’t! – but that’s all owner John Saunders and driver Tony Hart had time for before loading up and heading for Goodwood with their Lancia 037.

This example started out as a practice car for Markku Alen in 1982 before being repainted Martini colours to compete as a works car the following year. For 1983 it gained the Wurth livery it carries today and later went into the hands of privateer Antonio Rodrigues. His habit of splitting the works drivers irritated Lancia and the story goes that the supply of spares was cut off. Rodrigues took the car into the Portuguese touring car championship before it returned to rallying with a new owner for 1985 and ’86.

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When its competition career came to an end, the car went into a museum for 25 years. It was from there that John Saunders liberated it two years ago, and its restoration was complete just in time for the 72nd Members’ Meeting. Despite having been on the rolling road, today’s testing has revealed a misfire that the team has been investigating in the paddock.

Even so, it shows promise. “It will be a quick little car,” says Tony Hart. There will be another chance to see the car at Goodwood when it returns for a run up the hill at the Festival of Speed in July.

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