Lancia Delta Story

Ready to go for a new monster. I have this one in mind for a while now. There are some cars that are icons, and the Lancia Delta is one of them. Why that ? Rally pedigree ? Maybe. Timeless design ? For sure. At our scale, it’s rarity is obvious. I always wondered why Majorette did not release it in the 90’s, neither Norev. The recent success of the youngtimer series from Jet Car Norev at 1/43 scale is a good indicator of how the car is popular now among collectors. Or maybe the very new Hot Wheels Lancia Delta is a good indicator too. I’m not a Hot Wheels collector (for a non US resident it’s quite hard to collect the brand, because what I’m interested in is almost not possible to get), but I must admit I love to follow what’s going on in the Hot Wheels world, and the recent evolution of the castings really demonstrates the car culture (not the series, more the global thing) in this company is cool. So all that to say I’m not surprised to see the Lancia Delta coming at Hot Wheels, and I’m quite curious to see what approach they will take, and how collectors will receive it.

Back at what actually exists in 1/64 scale. let’s start the engine, have a good cup of coffee and travel with me in the Lancia Delta world !

For our overview, I’ll start by the street cars, then the rally versions.

The most recent Lancia Delta is the Tomica Limited Vintage (TLV), with 4 castings. 2 are Lancia Delta HF Integrale from 1988 (the white and the grey), 2 are Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16 V from 1989 (the red and the black one).

You know Tomica Limited Vintage is all about details, realism and tiny variations. And let’s be precise right away : you think the TLV Lancia Delta is not mean enough, or doesn’t have this body kit look ? That’s totally normal ! The versions of 1988 / 1989 were like this. The car did not have it’s final restyling yet (in other words, it’s not an “evoluzione”).

That being said, TLV replicas are totally in what TLV does best : stock versions of stock cars (I mean street cars), and while many people are willing TLV to reproduce rally versions of it, I’m not sure to wish it. I would prefer other street versions, or maybe a Stradale version, or even a 1979 version.

The hood bonnets are different

A quick analysis of the casting shows that the replica is good, and conforms with TLV standards. The model was quite a success and it’s hard to find some at reasonable price. What I can complaint about is the form of the front grille that is a little too much rectangular and should be a little more rounded, and mainly the wheels. Yes, the wheels are totally black, which is odd because the design on the boxes shows them grey, such as the pre-production models. I don’t know what happened, maybe a license approval issue ?

TLV Lancia prototypes, with grey wheels

But what make them interesting is the year of release (1988/1989), because it makes them different from the 2 others street versions from Kyosho and CM’s.

What brings us to the Kyosho versions.

Kyosho replicas are Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione II (I believe from 1992 – 1993). Don’t be fooled by the fact that Kyosho minicars are getting old, this replica is a stunner. You can spot the differences right away : the Evoluzione gets a stiffer body, wider wheel arches, bigger wheels and brakes, improved suspension and aerodynamics (and more powerful engine). Also add those incredible OZ rally racing wheels.

I love them very much, and I would have loved to see Kyosho venture into rally versions, but they did not. They are from the Fiat & Lancia collection.

I particularly like the yellow versions

Our final street version is from CM’s and it is called Lancia Delta HF Integrale.

From left to right : TLV, Kyosho and CM’s

The CM’s version is getting old too, and seems to be a restyled rally car. You can spot a spare tire in the back of the car. The CM’s version is a bit to wide, maybe a bit to low and the wheels a tad big. But it’s interesting to see that only CM’s did replicate the fog lights with transparent plastic. It also has this stiffer look and those square lines a bit exaggerated but charming .

I usually don’t keep the same model of the same car from various manufacturers in the collection but in this case I will, because it’s from 3 manufacturers I collect, and each has it’s own place. Lancia Delta afficionado you said ?

Let’s continue our overview with the Rally versions, and God knows they are numerous. They all come from the defunct brand CM’s, which was specialized in rally replicas. Still today, many cars made by CM’s remain unique in 1/64 scale.

The most unique is definitely the Lancia Delta S4 from 1986 Monte Carlo. This might be the car that ended everything Group B like. Indeed, during the 1986 Tour de Corse rally, a Lancia Delta S4 ended at the bottom of the gully; the car exploded and both pilot and copilot died burnt. The cars were crazy, approaching 600 hp, and several major accidents and deaths occurred during this 1986 season.

If you don’t know what Group B is, have a look at this :

Nevertheless, this car is a legend. I don’t know any other manufacturers who did replicate it.

The most amazing part of this car is undoubtedly this massive engine in the back, the absence of rear bumper and the big flaps.

It’s really a chance that CM’s decided to do it back in time, because I don’t see any others manufacturers show some interest in it. All I can expect is that some guys at Tomica decide one day to make a replica of the street version (the “Stradale”), with opening parts like this :

Don’t you imagine a TLV replica right away ? Would be too cool.

Let’s stop dreaming, and continue our tour, with 4 doors Lancia Delta, always by CM’s. There are many, from different years.

This one is a Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16V 1989 San Remo rally (a priori, same casting as the TLV). It’s red Martini deco is not that common, and it took me some time to find one reasonably priced. Macro pictures reveals that the CM’s minicars are a bit old now, specially in the wheels treatment, but honestly their charm is intact, and again, how can you get Lancia Delta Rally cars in 1/64 scale without CM’s ? I precise that CM’s were sold in boxes with little antennas, that I have not put on all my models since I moved in my new house one year ago.

Then are some models from 1991, still Integrale 16V, with this San Remo rally version, Fina livery. For sure not my favorite livery, but I’m happy to have it for the collection.

The other 1991 I own is the right model (n°2), 1991 1000 lakes rally, in the very iconic Martini livery. The picture shows how the guys at CM’s were deep nerds because the n°4 car is a 1992 Monte Carlo Super Delta ( = evoluzione), and you can see the molds are different. Different front grills, different Martini deco, different hoods and intakes, and a rear spoiler. This n°4 Super Delta is for sure my favorite casting from CM’s. An all time favorite I would bring on a desert island.

Our Italian tour will come to an end with the 1993 year and 3 models known as Super Delta too. We have this Totip Super Delta 1993 Monte Carlo that I particularly love because it matches a Lancia 037 version I have in the collection.

Then we finish with 2 versions of Super Delta Repsol versions, from 1993 Acropolis version for the left one with black front wheels (the real car was like this, but why ?), and the 1993 Catalunya (Spain) for the right one. That’s also a version I really like, because Repsol liveries are always nice.

I highly suggest you to get one Delta by CM’s in your collection, if you show any interest in it, and I would advice you a Super Delta version because of it’s wider look, and the presence of the rear spoiler. In my opinion, decorations are nicer on Super Delta too.

I will certainly look very closely at the Hot Wheels version, even if I’m not a strong Hot Wheels collector. As you might have understood it, I’m a Delta fan, and I hope you loved this little overview of the ones of my collection. I’m still missing some variations of numbers, that I would buy if they come at a reasonable price, but I have all the versions I need for now.

See you soon for other overviews. Cheers. Instagram @guillaumewillpics

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