The Lancia Delta Integrale is regarded as one of the most legendary cars ever produced. It dominated in the world of rallying and is loved by motoring enthusiasts from all across the globe. With such prestige, the Delta Integrale has become a true collector’s item and prices for them have reached some eye watering figures.
In this Lancia Delta Integrale Buyer’s guide, we are going to give you all the information you need to know about purchasing one of these Italian classics. Additionally, we are going to tell you about the history of the Delta Integrale and where to find one for sale.
How to Use This Lancia Delta Integrale Buying Guide
This Integrale buyer’s guide is long, so we have broken it up into a number of different sections that cover topics. To start with we will be looking at the history and specifications of the Lancia Delta Integrale. Following this we will be looking at the buyer’s guide section of the article and then we will discuss how to get the best deal one. To finish up, we will be looking at where to find a Delta Integrale for sale
History of the Lancia Delta Integrale
To start with, let’s look at the history of the Lancia Delta Integrale and how it came to be.
Lancia Delta S4
The story of the Delta Integrale starts with the Delta S4, Lancia’s four-wheel drive Group B monster. When Audi introduced the Quattro, Lancia new they had to replace the 037 with a car that would include a 4WD system. While they managed to clinch the 1983 WRC championship with the 037, it was clear that the car was no match for the every improving Audi.
The task of producing a new rally car would once again be undertaken by Abarth, despite the fact that the team had no experience with four-wheel drive systems. Code-named “SE038 Project”, the new car would feature a fully tubular space frame construction that drew heavily on the 037’s design. It would also be mid-engined and would retain many of the 037’s features.
With skyrocketing interest in Group B rallying, Lancia decided that they would base the new rally car on the Delta model, despite it being front-wheel drive and front-engined. To create the new Delta rally car, Abarth and Lancia changed almost everything about the standard road-going model. The only components that were shared with normal Delta were the front windscreen and grille.
To complement the new design, Abarth designed an all new engine inspired by Formula One. It was incredibly lightweight but also balanced with a rev range up to 10,000 rpm. Abarth fitted both a turbocharger and a supercharger to the engine (known as twin-charging or double supercharging) to increase torque and reduce turbo-lag at lower revs.
When Abarth tested the engine in a modified 037 they found that it was too powerful for the rear wheel drive chassis and made the car extremely difficult to drive. This confirmed the need for a new four-wheel drive design.
The Delta S4 was officially homologated in 1985, just in time for the RAC rally. Henri Toivonen and Markku Alen took an incredible 1-2 finish at the event and Toivonen repeated the feat at the following event, the 1986 Monte Caro Rally. By achieving these feats, Lancia finally broke over a year of Peugeot dominance.
Sadly, a terrible disaster would befall Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto at the 1986 Tour de Corse. The Delta S4 they were piloting flipped over a stone wall, rolled down a rocky embankment and caught fire, killing both. Due to this accident and a number of other deaths, the Group B series was canned and the future of the S4 along with it.
You can read about the full history of the Lancia Delta S4 here.
The Delta Integrale
Following the demise of Group B in 1986, FISA introduced a new set of rules for the 1987 season that limited the amount of modifications available to standard road going cars. The sudden changes meant that most manufacturers did not have a suitable car to compete, with the exception of Lancia.
Lancia based their new rally car around the HF Turbo road car, but with the four-wheel drive technology from the S4. The new Delta HF 4WD was competitive from the start and Lancia went on to win both the manufacturers and drivers titles.
The following year, Lancia introduced the Integrale at the 1988 Rally de Portugal. With a wider track, the Integrale was more dialled and quicker than the HF 4WD. It won its first outing with Miki Biasion who went on to win two drivers titles in 1988 and 1989 for Lancia.
Lancia introduced a 16 valve engine at the 1989 Sanremo rally. Baision went on to win the event and the car would also go on to win numerous other events as well. From 1987 to 1991 the Delta won the European Rally Championship with Dario Cerrato, Fabrizio Tabaton, Yves Loubet, Robert Droogmans and Piero Liatti.
In November 1991 Lancia introduced what is now known as the most famous variant of the Integrale, the “Deltona”. Later the same day Lancia announced that they would be ending their involvement in the rally scene at the end of the year, after winning five titles with the Delta.
While Lancia ended their involvement in rallying, the Delta continued to compete. Jolly Club took over the reins of the rally team and Abarth still offered some assistance. The Delta continued to win in the hands of Didier Auriol, Juha Kankkunen, Andrea Aghini, Philippe Bugalski, Jorge Recalde, and Bjorn Waldegard. By the end of the year the Delta would go on to claim a sixth World Rally Championship, making it the most successful car to compete in the series.
For the next year Jolly Club lost both Auriol and Kankkunen, but gained Carlos Sainz. With personal sponsorship coming from Repsol, Sainz was paired with Andrea Aghini and Gustavo Trelles for the 1993 season.
Jolly Club continued to use the Integrale, but with limited development the Italian superstar was starting to show its age. Toyota clinched the 1993 season with Kankkunen behind the wheel and Jolly Club would have to settle for fourth. During the season the team managed to claim a number of podiums but a much sought after victory never materialised.
At the end of the season Jolly Club announced their departure from the World Rally Championship and the Delta was retired. With a total of six Manufacturers Championships, four Drivers Titles, and 46 outright rally wins, the Delta was the most successful rally car to ever grace the sport.
Lancia Delta Integrale Road Car
In 1986 Lancia launched a four-wheel drive, 2-litre turbocharged version of the Delta. While the Delta HF Turbo 4WD looked very similar to the standard car, it was a completely different animal to drive.
The 2-litre 8 valve engine produced a respectable 165 horsepower that was directed through a epicyclic centre differential that sent 56% of the power to the front and 44% to the rear. This was backed up by a viscous-coupling unit that provides variable torque transfer from one axle to the other relative to the difference in their angular velocities. The front axle of the HF 4WD had an open differential, while the rear axle feature a Torsen torque sensing.
The HF 4WD’s engine was a further development of FIAT’s twin-cam power unit and featured the same specifications as the Thema turbo. Lancia added a Garrett T2 turbocharger and twin-balancer shafts to reduce engine vibration on the HF.
Lancia kept the basic suspension layout of the 4WD Delta the same as the two-wheel drive variants – MacPherson independent suspension on all four corners, dual-rate dampers and helical springs, with the struts and springs slightly-off centre. Power assisted rack and pinion steering was used and the brakes were the same as the HF Turbo (all-round disc brakes with vents up front).
Lancia Delta Integrale 8v
While the Delta HF 4WD was an impressive car, it was just a taste of what was to come. In November 1987 Lancia launched the 8v version of the Integrale, which would bring a number of updates over the HF.
The Delta Integrale featured wider wheel arches that housed wider and larger diameter tyres. Additionally, thanks to a larger Garrett T3 turbocharger, larger intercooler, new valves and improved cooling, the Delta Integrale produced 185 horsepower, 20 more than the previous car. The extra power meant that the 8v Integrale could go from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph).
In addition to the body and engine changes, Lancia also improved the suspension and brakes. 284 mm ventilated discs were fitted to the front and a larger brake master cylinder and servo were also installed. Car journalists at the time praised the Integrale’s razor-sharp steering, incredible grip and outstanding agility through the corners.
Lancia Delta Integrale 16v
The 16v version of the Lancia Delta Integrale was unveiled at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show. It was a direct result of Lancia’s rally program and won its debut event at the San Remo Rally in 1989. The highlight of the new 16v Integrale was a raised power bulge on the bonnet that helped accommodate the 16-valve engine underneath.
In addition to the power bulge on the bonnet, the car also featured wider wheel arches and tyres, and new identity badges at both the front and rear.
Lancia gave the Garret T3 turbo a smaller turbine to reduce lag and larger injectors were fitted to the engine, along with a more efficient intercooler and the ability to run on unleaded fuel without modification.
The new 16-valve engine produced an impressive 200 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. While peak torque was reduced by 4 lb-ft to 220 lb-ft, it arrived 500 rpm earlier. Lancia revised the torque split of the 16v Integrale, giving it a slight rearward-bias (47 % front: 53% rear). This was done to reduce understeer and was a result of input from Juha Kankkunen and Miki Biasion.
To complement the increased performance from the engine, the suspension was made stiffer to improve body control and steering response. ABS was also fitted to the Integrale for the first time and in 1990 some small updates to the interior were made (dark grey Alcantara replaced the light grey Alcantara that was used from 1986).
The 16v Integrale was seen as more difficult to drive than the 8v, with a harsher ride and more edgy behaviour at the limit. However, the 16v was faster than the 8v but demanded much more from the driver.
Alongside the 16v Integrale, Lancia introduced an 8-valve version with a 3-way catalytic converter. This car produced 174 horsepower and was intended for European markets where emission control equipment was mandatory.
Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione
As the aging Delta started to face stiff competition from the likes of Toyota, Lancia introduced a model at the 1991 Frankfurt Motor Show. This highly revised Delta HF Integrale became better known as the Integrale “Evoluzione” or “Evo” for short. Evo cars were produced from October 1991 through to 1992 and featured a number of changes.
Lancia’s main focus for the Evo was to improve handling. The suspension was beefed up by using box section control arms and the tracks were increased to 54 mm at the front and 60 mm at the rear. Due to raising the front strut towers, Lancia had install an aluminium strut brace. The steering rack and power steering oil radiator were also made stronger.
The brakes also received some attention with larger diameter discs and vacuum servos. Additionally, two-piston Brembo brake calipers were fitted to the front of the car. No changes were made to the Integrale’s four-wheel drive system.
On the outside wider wheel arches concealed the wider tracks and Lancia gave the car a new bonnet, front and rear bumpers, side skirts, rear doors and a rear spoiler. The roof spoiler located above the tailgate was manually adjustable and could be set to three different positions – lowered, raised or fully raised.
New five-bolt 7.5Jx15” Speedline Monte Carlo alloy wheels that were the same design as those used on Lancia’s rally cars were fitted to the Evo, and they were wrapped in 205/50 tyres.
The Evoluzione’s engine was the same turbocharged 16-valve 2-litre unit that was found in the previous Integrale, but with a few updates. Thanks to a new ECU engine power increased to 210 horsepower at 5,750 rpm, which offset the slight increase in weight and drag. Maximum torque was unchanged at 220 lb ft but was now reached at 3,500 rpm.
To celebrate its victory in the 1991 World Rally Championship, Lancia produced 400 special edition Integrales known as the ‘5’ cars. The mechanicals of the 5 remained unchanged but they were given personalised bodywork, white wheel rims, black bonnet grills, a black spoiler and Martini-Racing colours on the sides.
On the inside there were special Recaro seats with black Alcantara and red stitching, along with red seat belts. A silver plate on the transmission console indicates which number in the series the car was.
While the Integrale Evoluzione was less powerful and less aerodynamic than the likes of the Celica GT4 and Imprezza WRX, it still managed to bring home a sixth WRC title and drew praise from motoring journalists all across the world.
A second special edition Delta Evoluzione was launched in November 1992 to celebrate the car’s sixth WRC victory. A total of 310 of these ‘6’ Delta Integrales were produced and they featured white paintwork with a Martini-Racing strip along both sides. The Recaro seats were the same as the 5 but with turquoise upholstery instead of black. Once again an aluminium plate on the transmission console indicated what number the car was in the series.
Lancia continued to produce a 175 horsepower 8v version of the Integrale for countries with emission equipment requirements.
From late 1992, assembly of Evoluzione cars was contracted to Maggiora, an Italian coachbuilder and body panel supplier. They had worked with Fiat for a number of years and took over Lancia’s Chivasso factory in 1992.
Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione II
While Lancia’s rally program was at an end, demand for the Delta Integrale was still high. Therefore, they produced an Evoluzione II version of the Integrale that was designed and developed purely for road use.
The Evo II featured an updated version of the 2-litre 16-valve turbocharged engine that produced 215 horsepower (five more than the Evo I) and 230 lb-ft of torque. This power increase was largely down to a new Marelli integrated engine control system which provided a number of benefits and updates. A smaller turbo was specified for the car to reduce lag and improve low-end response.
In addition to the changes to the engine, Lancia gave the Evoluzione II larger 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/45 ZR 16 tyres. The car also came standard with Recaro sport seats, a three-spoke MOMO steering wheel, aluminium fuel cap, ABS and fog lamps. The only thing that was optional on the Evo II was the air conditioning.
Lancia reduced the number of paint finishes to the following:
- Bianco (white)
- Rosso Monza (red)
- Blu Lancia (dark blue)
Additional paint colours and trim combinations were made available through a number of different special editions.
Production of the Evoluzione II ended in 1994. When the last car was delivered, the whole Delta Integrale range (including the HF 4WD) sold a total of 44,296 units. Not only was the Delta Integrale a winner in the world of rallying, it was also a winner in the world’s markets. Its most popular markets were Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Britain and Japan.
Limited Edition Delta Integrales
Delta Integrale Martini 5
Sold from January 1992, the first limited edition Integrale was launched to celebrate the car’s fifth consecutive World Rally Championship. Only 400 of these cars were produced and they were painted in white with Martini stripes on the sides.
In addition to this the grills on the bonnet were black along with the spoiler, and on the inside the car featured black Alcantara Recaro seats with red stitching. A number silver plate near the gear lever indicates what number the car is. Other features include air conditioning, Clarion autoradio, Gemini alarm, ABS and Michelin 205/50 ZR 15 tyres
Delta Verde York
After the success of the ‘5’, Lancia launched the Delta Verde York on 10th July 1992. This was painted in a special York Green colour and featured Recaro seats that were accompanied by beige leather interior trim. Only 200 of these cars were produced and a plague near the gear level indicates what number the car is.
Delta Integrale Martini 6
The Delta Integrale “6” was launched to celebrate the car’s sixth consecutive World Rally Championship in 1992. It featured white paint with white wheels and Martini paint along the sides. A Martini Racing logo features on the spoiler along with a number of other logos from the race car. Other features included air conditioning, turquoise Alcantara seats, red seat belts, ABS, carbon fibre trim, a Momo leather steering wheel, Clarion autoradio system, racing gearshift and Michelin 205/50ZR15 tyres. Only 310 of these cars were produced from 1992 to 1993.
Delta Integrale Club Italia
In 1993 Club Italia had 15 Delta Integrales specially made for them. These were dark blue in colour (Lord Blue) and they were Evoluzione I cars. The Club Italia Delta featured the Club’s logo badges on the rear spoiler, on the front edge of the bonnet and on both the front wings. They also featured a push button starting system, Red leather Recaro seats, a race-type petrol-feeder, a yellow and blue cam cover, and an engraved plague with the name of the original owner.
Delta Bianco Perlato
From 1993 to 1994, 365 Evoluzione II Delta Integrales were produced in Pear White with a grey stripe down the side. These were known as the Delta Bianco Perlato and they came with a blue leather interior. A plaque near the gear lever indicates the car number.
Delta Blue Lagos
Between 1993 to 1994, 215 Evoluzione II Delta Integrales were produced in a metallic Lagos Blue colour with a yellow stripe down the side. These were known as the Delta Blue Lagos and they came with a crème leather interior. A plaque near the gear lever indicates the car number.
A special series of 220 Delta Integrales were released in November 1993, with 150 of them being destined for the Italian domestic market. These came in a yellow colour and featured black Recaro seats with yellow stitching, ABS, 16-inch wheels and 205/45ZR16 tyres.
Delta Dealers Collection
Only 177 of these cars were produced with 143 going to Italian dealers and 34 to foreign dealers. A plaque near the gear shifter indicates the number and also states the name of the original buyer. These came in a candy red colour with beige leather Recaro seats. Additionally, Lancia gave the car aluminium racing pedals, a push button engine start system and a white background for the instrumentation.
Delta Edizione Finale
At the same time the Dealers Collection was launched, Lancia also released the Delta Edizione Finale to the Japanese market. It featured the same candy red colour, but also featured a yellow/blue racing stripe down the centre. A numbered plaque with the words “Edizione Finale” was located near the gear shifter. Only 250 of these cars were produced.
Delta Evoluzione Cabrio
Built for the Fiat president Gianni Agnelli, the Carbio was a two-door convertible version of the Delta Integrale. Only two examples were produced and they came with a more powerful motor that produced almost 250 horsepower.
Lancia Delta Integrale Specifications
|Model||HF 4WD||HF Integrale||HF Intergrale 16V||Integrale Evoluzione I||Integrale Evoluzione II|
|Year of production||1986-87||1987-88||1989-91||1991-92||1991-92|
|No. produced||5,298 units||9,841 units||15,589 units||Total: 12,118 units Evo I and II||Total: 12,118 units Evo I and II|
|Layout||Front-engined, four-wheel drive||Front-engined, four-wheel drive||Front-engined, four-wheel drive||Front-engined, four-wheel drive||Front-engined, four-wheel drive|
|Engine||Inline-4, dohc, 2v/cyl, turbo.||Inline-4, dohc, 2v/cyl, turbo.||Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl, turbo.||Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl, turbo.||Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl, turbo.|
|Capacity||1995 cc||1995 cc||1995 cc||1995 cc||1995 cc|
|Power||165 horsepower||185 horsepower||200 horsepower||210 horsepower||215 horsepower|
|Torque||210 lb-ft||224 lb-ft||220 lb-ft||220 lb-ft||230 lb-ft|
|Gearbox||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||5-speed manual|
|Suspension||All struts||All struts||All struts||All struts||All struts|
|Weight||1200 kg||1267 kg||1290 kg||1350 kg||1350 kg|
|Top speed||206 km/h (128 mph)||206 km/h (128 mph)||208 km/h (129 mph)||216 km/h (134 mph)||216 km/h (134 mph)|
|0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)||6.6 secconds||6.4 seconds||6.3 seconds||6.0 seconds||6.0 seconds|
Buying a Lancia Delta Integrale
Lancia’s have a bit of a reputation for going wrong and combined with the fact that many Delta Integrales have been driven hard, you have a recipe for disaster. However, if they are maintained well they can be surprisingly reliable and some owners even use them as daily drivers.
A well maintained Lancia Delta Integrale should provide you with many more years of motoring enjoyment, but a poorly maintained one will empty your wallet and turn your dream purchase into a nightmare. As with any vehicle, you need to be extremely thorough when inspecting any Delta Integrale.
Remember to keep your expectations in check when buying an Integrale. Make sure you drive one before purchasing, to get a feel for the car’s performance and dynamic capabilities. These are expensive cars and many modern hot hatches will offer a similar driving experience for less money and less headaches.
If you are still keen and you have lusted over a Delta Integrale for a long time – here are some things to watch out for. The information below also relates to both the HF, HF Turbo and HF 4WD.
Check the VIN
We always recommend that you check the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of a car to make sure you know what you are dealing with. The VIN on a Delta Integrale should be 17 digits long and should look something like this: ZLA831AB0 ########.
Lancia Delta Integrale VIN location:
There are a couple of places where the VIN plate can be found. We have provided pictures of them below.
We recommend that you check the VIN on a VIN decoder website such as vincheckup.com, vin-info.com, carjam.co.nz or Carfax.com. These websites should be able to give you additionally information on the Integrale and may be able to tell you if the car has been in an accident or had major work carried out on it (engine swaps, etc.).
While you will probably come across a number of Delta Integrales that are well past their prime, you can still find plenty of good examples for sale. However, the Lancia Delta Integrale is now a serious classic and cars in good condition will go for a large premium.
Always try to inspect any Delta Integrale yourself or get a third party to do so for you. These cars have a reputation and you don’t want to be left with a lemon, so make sure you physically inspect the vehicle before any purchase.
When organising an inspection of an Integrale, make sure you try to view the car in the morning when the engine is cold. Warm engines can hide a multitude of sins, so don’t let the owner/seller pre-heat the vehicle before you arrive.
You should also avoid inspecting any car when they are wet. Water can hide a number of problems with the bodywork or paint, which can be a major issue for Deltas.
Regular, preventive maintenance and servicing goes a long way on these cars, so make sure the owner/owners have done this. Despite Lancia’s reputation for producing unreliable cars, Delta Integrales can rack up some impressive miles if they are looked after properly. It is not uncommon to find cars with 150,000 to 200,000 km on them (93,000 miles to 124,000 miles) and you may find some that have travelled further.
To start your inspection of the engine, open the bonnet – does it open smoothly or does it feel rough? Any strange creaking or grinding noises? If something does feel off the car may have been in an accident or had other issues (more on that later).
Once you get the bonnet open, take a good look at the engine bay – do you see any signs of trouble? Does it look clean and well looked after?
The next thing to do is to check the fluid levels to see if they are at the correct height and have not been under of overfilled.
It is important to change the engine oil and oil filter regularly. The Delta HF Integrale service manual states that you should change these every 15,000 km (9,300 miles) or every year. However, many Delta Integrale owners change both at around 5,000 km (3,000 miles) or every six months – whichever comes first.
The reason for the six-month oil change is because old oil that sits at the bottom of the crankcase can breakdown and become diluted in the presence of contaminates such as dirt and gas. This will lead to premature engine wear and reduced engine life.
Another reason why Deltas need regular oil changes and top ups is because they can use a lot of oil when they are driven hard. Oil consumption can go up as much as one litre every 1,600 km (1,000 miles) and if they are starved of oil the engine can seize, become too hot and get a blown turbocharger amongst a number of other issues. Additionally, if the car is cornered hard and the oil level is low, the big end bearings will be starved of lubrication, leading to premature wear.
If you do hear a rumbling from the bottom end, it could be a sign that the bearings are on their way out. A complete rebuild will set you back around £5000. If the oil and oil filter has not been changed regularly you need to proceed with caution as it is a sign that the vehicle as not been locked after properly.
The Lancia Delta Integrale service manual recommends Selenia 15W-40 semi synthetic engine oil, but many owners recommend a fully synthetic oil. Something like Royal Purple’s 15W-40 synthetic engine oil or Mobile 1’s synthetic 15W-40 should do the trick.
You can still find genuine OEM oil filters for the Delta Integrale, but ones from Bosch (0 451 103 349) and K&N (HP-1002) will work as well. There are a number of other brands that make suitable oil filters, so check to see what you can find locally.
When you are inspecting the engine oil, make sure you check to see if there are any contaminates or metallic particles in the oil. If you do see any, thank the owner/seller for their time and move onto another Delta Integrale.
Black oil is usually fine and just indicates that it is probably time for an oil change. If you notice that the oil smells like fuel or coolant, it could be a sign that the piston rings are worn or the head gasket is failing.
Delta Integrale Cambelt Service
It is incredibly important to check that the cambelt/timing belt has been changed at the specified intervals on a Lancia Delta Integrale. A snapped belt can cause significant damage and expense, so make sure it has been changed!
It is recommended that the cambelt on Delta Integrales be replaced every 40,000 km (24,000 miles). While you may be able to get away with leaving it longer, the risk is just not worth it. The balance shaft belt should also be replaced at the same time, along with the coolant, tensioners and water pump.
If the car does not get much use, the cambelt and balance shaft belts should be replaced every 3 years. You may find that the owner has changed the cambelt more frequently, which is perfectly fine and is a sign that they have looked after the car well.
Watch out for owners that have changed the belts themselves. While it is definitely possible, the belts are prone to snapping if they have been installed incorrectly (we recommend you get a specialist to do it for you). Additionally, the belts on 16-valve Deltas are more prone to breaking than 8-valve ones. However, you can purchase wider belts for 16-valve cars that are more durable.
Ask the owner when the belt was last replaced. Back up any of their claims by checking the service history and any receipts the owner/seller has.
If this work has not been carried out and the car is overdue for a cambelt service, you should either move onto another Delta Integrale or get the vehicle heavily discounted and get the work done immediately.
If possible, try to get a look at the spark plugs on a Lancia Delta Integrale. The appearance of spark plugs can tell you a lot of information about an engine and how it is running. We recommend that you check out this spark plug analysis guide. Below we have listed some of the recommended spark plugs for the Delta Integrale:
- Bosch WR6DTC (original recommended in service manual)
- NGK BUR6ET
- NGK BUR7ET
You can find other replacement spark plugs here.
Inspecting the Exhaust System
When inspecting any Delta Integrale, make sure you take a good look at the exhaust system. Try to inspect as much of the system as possible and keep an eye out for any leaks, corrosion or repairs.
Black sooty stains on the exhaust indicate that there is a leak (a small amount is probably fine, but should be inspected closely). Replacing the exhaust system on Integrales is expensive, so make sure it is in good condition before purchasing the car.
If you notice any excess corrosion on the weld points, then there is a serious problem that needs fixing. Additionally, check for any cracks or dodgy repairs on the exhaust manifold. Some owners will do a bodge-job on the exhaust to hide any problems from unsuspecting buyers.
You may come across a Delta Integrale with an aftermarket exhaust system. This is perfectly fine but just make sure it has been installed correctly. We also recommend that you ask the owner if they have the original system. Integrales that are completely original are worth more than those that have been modified.
Checking the Intercooler
The main thing to check for on an intercooler is if there is any damage. A damaged intercooler will almost certainly need to be replaced, so make sure it is in good condition. If the intercooler is bent, it could also be a sign that the vehicle has been in an accident and not repaired correctly.
Once you have checked for any damage, take a look to see if all the jubilee/hose clips are still attached and that there are no missing pipes. Any missing clips means that the hoses are not properly secured.
Oil Leaks and Oil Cooler Problems
While checking the engine and exhaust system, make sure you keep an eye out for any oil leaks. You will probably find a bit of oil has leaked from the engine, but it should not be a lot. I remember when my dad inspected an 8v Integrale and it left an enormous oil leak on the carpark of a hotel, not good.
If the vehicle has not moved in a while, check to see if there are any oil puddles under the car – there should not be any – if there is then the car leaks too much and is not worth your time.
All turbocharged Deltas have an oil cooler and the unions on the end of the oil pipes can corrode. If this is left unchecked than a leak will occur, so they need to be inspected and treated for rust on a regular basis. Oil can also leak from the turbocharger as well.
If you do need to replace an oil hose, you will probably find that the steel gland has corroded onto the cooler. It is easy to strip the thread on the cooler when removing it if this is the case. Replacing the oil cooler and associated lines with original parts is expensive, however, aftermarket options are available.
Lancia Delta Integrale Engine Rebuilds
You will probably come across at least a few Delta Integrales with rebuilt engines during your search. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a rebuilt engine, but you need to be careful of them. The reason for this is because many rebuilt engines have simply been slapped together for a quick sale. The seller/owner of the Integrale may be trying to offload their expensive problem onto an unsuspecting buyer, so don’t let it be you! Some sellers will even claim that their vehicle has a rebuilt engine, when in actual fact, only minor work has been done to it.
When looking at a Delta Integrale with a rebuilt engine, make sure you check all the receipts and paperwork for any parts or labour. Find out from the seller who did the work – if it was done by a trusted Delta Integrale or Lancia specialist then it is probably fine.
We recommend that you don’t purchase an Integrale with a recently rebuilt engine. It is usually safer to go for a car that has a few more miles on a rebuild (5 – 10,000 miles) than one that has just a few hundred miles on it.
Engine Swapped Deltas
While it is unlikely that you will come across a Delta Integrale with a non-standard engine swapped into it, you may come across one that has had a standard engine (2-litre turbocharged unit) swapped in. Some owners do this because the old engine is past the point of no return or they have built up a car from multiple vehicles (engine from one, body from another).
Engine swapped Deltas are generally cheaper, but you need to be really cautious of them. Always inspect any engine swapped Delta Integrale extra thoroughly and check to make sure the work has been done correctly. If the swap was carried out by a Delta Integrale specialist then you are probably fine. Any signs of poor workmanship should make you walk away.
Fuel Tank Issues
There are 90-degree plastic elbows located on the top of the fuel tank that can perish with age. When the fuel tank is full it can force open the cracked elbows and fuel can leak down the side of the tank. This problem can be fixed by replacing the plastic elbows with aluminium ones (although the fuel tank needs to be dropped to fit them).
Other Things to Check
Take a good look at all of the wiring, brackets and clips around the engine bay – do you see any non-standard wiring or broken/replaced clips or brackets? If parts have been replaced it may be an indication of major repair work or even an engine swap or crash. Additionally, take a look at the engine mounts to make sure they are not corroded.
Starting Up and Driving a Lancia Delta Integrale
Get the owner to start the vehicle for you. There are two reasons for this with the first being that you can see if any smoke comes out the exhaust on start up. The second reason is that you can see how the owner/seller of the Delta treats it. If they rev the car hard upon start-up you know to walk away and never touch it again.
Always make sure you let any Delta Integrale warm up properly before revving it hard. This is because the oil in the engine needs time to warm up and circulate otherwise premature wear can occur.
When the keys turned in the ignition the car should start immediately. Listen out for any strange noises from the engine – does it struggle to start or is it extremely lumpy upon start-up? If the Delta Integrale you are looking at struggles to start or runs rough, there is a problem. These issues could be caused by anything from a bad battery or injectors to a poor tune. Expect a rougher engine start when the ambient temperature outside is low.
A failing crank position sensor can lead to intermittent stuttering or stalling. These are fairly inexpensive to replace. The rest of the ignition system should be replaced if there is any question as to its health – not too expensive, but worth pointing out to the owner for a possible discount.
Engine Smoke and Vapour
Remember to check the exhaust when the car starts up – do you see any smoke or vapour coming out? Condensation in the exhaust system can lead to vapour coming out it and it is perfectly fine as long as it disappears.
If you notice excessive amounts of vapour or smoke coming out the exhaust system, then there is a problem with the car and you should probably walk away. Below we have outlined what the different smoke colours indicate:
White smoke – Is typically caused by water that has found its way into the cylinders and could be a sign that the head gasket has blown. If the smoke smells sweet, it is almost certainly coolant.
Blue smoke – Is usually caused by wear to the pistons, piston rings, failed turbocharger seals and/or worn valve seals. To check for blue smoke, get a friend to follow you as you drive the car or get the owner/seller to take the car through the rev range. Blue smoke on start-up and overrun is a sign that the car has been thrashed.
Black smoke – Usually occurs when the engine is running too rich (burning too much fuel). The first things you should check is the air-filter and other intake components.
In cold weather you will probably see a small amount of white smoke or vapour like we outlined above. If the ambient temperature outside is warm, you really shouldn’t see any exhaust gases.
After you have taken a good look at what is coming out the back of the Delta Integrale, head to the front and listen out for any weird noises. Can you hear any banging, knocking, tapping or rattling sounds? Knocking sounds could be caused by anything from detonation issues to a spun bearing (detonation problems are usually inconsistent while a spun bearing should make a rhythmic sound). Walk away from the Delta if there are any serious sounds coming from the engine.
An annoying squeaking sound is usually the result of an improperly tensioned ancillary belt. If this is the case the belt can be manually adjusted or replaced (cheap to do).
Blown Head Gaskets and Overheating
Overheating is a major problem for all cars including the Delta Integrale. If the owner mentions anything about overheating than alarm bells should be going off in your head. We would personally avoid any Delta Integrale that has a history of overheating issues.
While you are inspecting any Lancia Delta Integrale keep an eye out for any signs of a blown headgasket. They are as follows:
- Coolant leaking externally from below the exhaust manifold
- White smoke from the exhaust pipe (especially if you see lots of it)
- Bubbles in the radiator or coolant overflow tank
- An engine that overheats
- Oil that is white and milky
- Fouled spark plugs
- Low cooling system integrity
- Engine oil that smells of coolant
- Sweet exhaust smell
The idle speed of a Delta Integrale should be fairly smooth and consistent, especially once the vehicle has warmed up properly. However, it is not uncommon for the engine speed to hunt up and down a little during idle.
When cold, the idle speed will probably jump to around 1300 – 1500 rpm, but should come back down to around 850 – 1000 rpm once the engine has warmed up.
If the idle speed is way out or moves up and down excessively, the VAE valve will need to be repaired or replaced.
When you are checking the idle speed, make sure you turn on all the electronics, fans, air conditioning (if the Delta has it), etc. and see what happens. Does the idle speed drop a bit or does the engine stall? If the car stalls or it starts running rough, then there is a problem.
Other Problems and Noises
Keep an ear out for any chugging or misfiring, especially when the vehicle is cold. These problems can be caused by low compression and/or worn injectors. A metallic whining noise could be caused by a failing power steering or oil pump. Squeals coming from the cambelt area are a sign of a worn bearing in either the alternator, power steering pump or even a worn cam belt itself.
Turbochargers will wear overtime and it is important that the recommended service intervals are followed and good lubricants are used to maximise the life of them. Unfortunately, with used Integrales there is no guarantee that an owner has looked after the turbo properly, so you need to look out for the signs of a bad one.
Turbochargers on these cars often need to be replaced every five or six years or every 130,000 km (80,000 miles). While it is not uncommon to find Delta Integrales with their original turbos, most have been replaced and blade wear on old turbines can make them inefficient. If the turbo has not been replaced recently we would use that as a bargaining point to drive down the cost.
Signs of a Failing Turbocharger
Listen out for any strange rumbling, whistling or high pitched metallic sounds when the turbocharger is at full boost (3000 rpm). If you do hear any the turbo is on its last legs, but it will probably fail before you notice these sounds. Below we have listed some other signs of a failing turbo:
- Distinctive blue/grey smoke – This happens when the turbocharger housing cracks or if the internal seals become worn. The smoke will become more apparent when the turbocharger is in use, so get somebody to follow you and check while you are test driving a Delta Integrale.
- Burning lots of oil – if you can locate and disconnect the downpipe that connects to the turbocharger, take a look inside with an endoscope to see if there is oil inside (get the owners approval first before doing this or take it to a garage). If you do find some oil it is a good sign that the turbocharger is failing. This problem needs to be fixed as soon as possible otherwise the turbocharger will eventually fail.
- Slow acceleration – If the car feels slow it is a good indication that the turbo has failed or is failing. This is why we recommend you drive a number of different Delta Integrales to get a feel for how fast they accelerate.
- If the boost pressure comes on late – The turbo should start to spin at around 2000 rpm on HF models and around 2500 rpm on Integrale models, with full boost being achieved at 3000 rpm. If the boost pressure comes at higher rpms then it could indicate either a worn or unbalanced turbocharger.
- Check Engine Warning Light – The check engine light (CEL) can be displayed for a number of reasons, from major to minor. One of these reasons may be due to a failing/failed turbocharger. If the light is on and you notice some of the other symptoms we have listed above, then it is a good sign that the turbo has failed.
Checking the Gauges on a Delta
A good sign of engine health is if the red oil pressure warning light indicates quickly from a cold start. You should expect to see around one bar of oil pressure at idle when warm and around three bar and up at 3000 rpm.
The boost gauge probably won’t give you that much information, but if it rises from zero to max quickly than you should be careful. It may a quick fix or something much more serious.
Compression Testing a Lancia Delta Integrale
We would definitely recommend that you get a compression test done on a Delta Integrale if possible. This is because a compression test can tell you a lot about the health of an engine. If the owner won’t let you do it (understandably so), then get a mechanic to do it for you (a quick 10 to 15-minute job).
Compression readings across all four cylinders should be around 150 – 160 psi. The most important thing with a compression test is to make sure that the results are all within about 5 to 10 % of each other and that the results are not too low.
Transmission and Differential
While Delta Integrales were designed to be driven hard, the five-speed manual transmission fitted to them isn’t the toughest. Replacing the transmission is expensive, so make sure it works correctly.
While test driving a Delta Integrale, shift through the gears at both low and high revs, checking for any strange noises such as grinding or whining. The transmission will probably be a bit tight when cold (especially second), but should loosen up when it is warm. Synchro wear can occur and is expensive to replace. If the synchros are bad it may be a sign that the car has been thrashed.
The early HF Turbo Deltas (not the Integrale) used a ZF gearbox that was similar to the one used in the Fiat Strada 130TC. This ZF gearbox is much weaker than the one fitted to the Integrale.
Loose shifting is caused by worn and loose gear linkages. New linkages will sort this problem out.
Both the transmission oil and rear differential oil should be checked/replaced every 30,000 km (18,000 miles) or every two years. However, many owners like to change it even more frequently with some opting for every 16,000 km (10,000 miles). If the gearbox and diff oil has not been changed frequently it is a sign of a careless owner.
Remember to check the engagement of the clutch and that it does not slip. To check for clutch engagement on a Delta Integrale, put the car into gear on a level surface and gradually let the clutch out. It should engage around 7 to 10 cm (2.5 to 4 inches) from the floor. If it engages immediately or near the end of the pedal’s travel there is a problem.
Once you have checked the car’s clutch engagement, check to see if it slips. This can be done by shifting into a gear that is too high for the speed you are going and then planting your foot on the throttle. If the revs jump but there is no acceleration the clutch is probably slipping. Here are some reasons for clutch slippage:
- Clutch is worn out
- The clutch is covered in oil from a leak
- The clutch cable is too tight and is not releasing properly
The last thing to check is to see if the clutch is dragging. Put the car on a flat surface with the clutch pedal pressed to the floor (when you are stationary) and rev the car hard. If the vehicle moves then the clutch isn’t disengaging when you shift and parts will wear prematurely.
Clutches should last around 100,000 km (60,000) miles, but they may need to be replaced earlier. If the clutch judders or feels wooden then it will need to be replaced. A clutch replacement is around £800.
Body and Exterior
There are a number of things to watch out for when it comes to the body and exterior of a Delta Integrale. Body panels and parts can be hard to find and are expensive to replace, so make sure the Delta you are looking at is in satisfactory condition.
Unsurprisingly, rust can be an issue on these cars, especially early model ones (Evoluzione models had better rust protection). Rust will mainly appear around the following areas:
- Front windscreen and windows – Rust can appear around the front pillars. This should be repaired as soon as possible as it will affect the rigidity of the body. Remember to check around the other windows as well.
- Rear tailgate and roof – The small lip of steel above the rear tailgate near the roof often rusts. This is because there is a rubber strip along the top of this opening where water can sit. Repairing this area is difficult and requires an experienced welder/repairer to fix it.
- Front doors – The leading edge of the front doors can also be a rust spot. There are three skins of steel here, and preventing rust is hard. The only solution to fix this problem is to cut the area out, clean it up and then replace it.
- Wheel arches – The rear wheel arches can rust, especially the front of them. The join between the inner and outer wheel arch is pretty poor and as a result it can rust. The inside of the wheel arches can also rust quite badly
- Suspension turrets – These can rust quite badly, especially where the turret meets the inner webbing of the quarter panel. Take the boot carpet out to get a good look at the rear turrets of the car.
- Underneath the vehicle – Rust can appear on the underside of the vehicle so make sure you take a good look at it (use a flashlight/torch).
Signs That a Delta Integrale has had Rust in the Past
While checking for current corrosion, make sure you keep an eye out for any signs that rust has been repaired in the past. You don’t want to purchase a Delta that is full of filler or has been repaired badly.
Walk around the vehicle, checking for any areas that look like they may have been resprayed or any inconsistencies in the paint. In addition to this, take a look at the Delta’s service history/paperwork and ask the owner about any past rust repairs – they may be upfront or they may try to hide the fact that the vehicle has suffered from rust.
You can use a magnet on steel sections of the car or a coating gauge thickness tool to find any areas that may have been repaired.
Things That Will Make Rust More Likely to Appear
Delta Integrales that are located (or have been) in countries that salt their roads are much more likely to suffer from rust (United Kingdom, etc.). Additionally, Integrales that have lived by the sea or those that have been stored outside for a long period of time are more likely to develop rust. Here are some telltale signs that a car has been stored outside for a long time:
- Hard rubber window seals
- Excess water in the engine bay or cabin
- Paint fade
- Heavily discoloured badges
- Cracking on the plastic parts
- Obvious rust or corrosion
You should also avoid buying any Delta Integrale that has had flood damage as this will not only increase the likelihood of corrosion problems, but also a whole load of other issues as well.
Crash Damage and Major Repair Work
Many Delta Integrales have been driven hard and as a consequence a large number of them have been in accidents. Crash damage can turn a perfect Delta Integrale into a nightmare, so inspect the car thoroughly for any signs of it.
Some sellers/owners will lie about the severity of an accident or say that their car has not been in a crash, when in actual fact, it has. If the seller does mention that the car has been in an accident, assume the worst and hope for the best.
Below we have listed some signs of accident damage:
- Misaligned panels or large panel gaps – Make sure the bonnet fits correctly and the gaps on either side are even. Look at the doors, tailgate and around the lights. If the panels are uneven it could suggest an accident has occurred.
- Doors that drop or don’t close properly – If the doors drop or they don’t open/close properly the car has problems.
- Inconsistencies such as waving, rippling or different coloured panels – This is a good indication of crash damage or rust repair.
- If the bonnet/hood looks like it is popped when it is not – This is usually a sign that the vehicle has been in an accident and that the owner is careless. Can be fixed, but is annoying.
- Bent or broken parts underneath the car – Make sure everything is straight and check for any parts that may have been replaced. Take a good look at all of the suspension components for damage.
- Rust in strange locations – This can be caused by accident damage or a number of other issues.
- Paint runs or overspray – This could be a factory issue or a sign of a poor repair.
- Missing badges – can be due to repair work (body shop couldn’t find replacements) or a number of other things (stolen, etc.)
While accident damage is a major problem, do not automatically exclude a Delta because of it. Try to find out how the damage happened and how severe it was. Check to see if the damage has been repaired correctly and who repaired it. Minor to medium damage that has been repaired correctly is probably fine, but severe damage is a no go.
Remember to use any accident damage/repair work as a bargaining point to drive down the price.
The Delta was originally designed as a simple family front-wheel drive car. Higher performance turbocharged models such as the Integrale pushed the body to its limits, leading to cracking. The common failure points on a Deltas body include the following:
- Corners of the windscreen
- The bulkhead around the chassis leg attachments
- The perimeter of the rear turrets
Chassis strengthening kits are available, but welding and repainting is required.
Other Bodywork Issues
Even pristine Delta Integrales will have the odd scratch or two. Cars that have been stored outside or driven lots will tend to have more scratches, dents and chips than those that have been stored in a garage. Check any chips, scratches or dents for rust as it can quickly appear on unprotected parts of the body.
While inspecting both the interior and exterior of the vehicle, keep an eye out for any leaks, especially around the windows. Leaks are usually a minor fix, but sometimes they can be a serious problem.
Suspension and Steering
Get under the car and take a good look at all of the suspension and steering components – do they look okay? Are there any worn, broken or corroded parts? Is everything stock or are there aftermarket components?
Aftermarket suspension can be very expensive to replace on Delta Integrales, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about purchasing one. Stiffer suspension set-ups can also exacerbate the Delta’s body cracking problem and make the ride much worse or ruin the handling characteristics of the car. Still, after market suspension can be good if you are looking for a Delta with a bit more performance, just make sure it is from a good brand.
Worn suspension components will destroy the handling capabilities and ride of a Delta Integrale. Many Deltas have been driven hard and as a result they have worn suspension bushes, struts, etc. Below we have listed some things that indicate a car’s suspension is getting worn:
- Dipping and swerving when the brakes are applied
- Excessive Rear-end squat during acceleration
- Tipping during turns
- High speed instability
- Excessive vibration coming through the steering wheel
- Delayed or longer stopping distances
- Uneven tyre wear
- Excessive tyre bounce after hitting a bump
- Leaking fluid on the exterior of the shock/strut
Remember to check that the vehicle drives straight without you correcting the wheel. If the Delta you are test driving does not drive straight, it could be due to alignment issues or the vehicle may have been in an accident.
Note: roads slanted to one side can pull the vehicle to one side slightly, giving the impression that the wheel alignment is out.
If you do suspect that the wheel alignment is out, ask the seller/owner when it was last corrected (check any receipts for work as well).
While there are no inherent weaknesses in the Integrale’s suspension set-up, Evoluzione 1 models can develop a vibration that you will feel through your left foot. This is caused by worn rose-jointed anti-roll bar drop link bushes, which typically last around 8,000 km (5,000 miles).
Another thing to check is the CV joints. Drive the vehicle in a figure of 8 and listen out for any strange clicking or knocking sounds from the CV joints. Additionally, look for any grease around the joint or cracks in the boot.
Thankfully, suspension components are not too expensive to replace when compared to other parts on the Delta Integrale.
Right-Hand Drive Conversions
All Delta Integrales were left-hand drive and frankly, that’s the way they should stay. Some Integrales have been converted to right-hand drive by dealers or specialists such as Mike Spence Motorsport or John Whalley, but the steering racks used for these conversions weren’t really suited to the car. The result of this is a less direct and responsive driving experience.
If the source of the right-hand drive conversion cannot be confirmed as one of the reputable ones, then you are best to walk away from the vehicle.
While you are taking a look at the suspension components and bodywork of the vehicle, make sure you inspect the brakes thoroughly – Is there still life left in the brake pads? Are the brakes corroded? Do the discs have any grooves in them or are the pitted/scored?
Remember to check that the brake lines are in good condition and that there are no leaks. If possible, get a helper to press on the brake pedal while you check for any leaks. Some owners like the change the stock brake lines for aftermarket ones.
When you are test driving a Delta Integrale, make sure you give the brakes some abuse – does the vehicle pull to one side or are there any strange noises? Does the pedal feel good? Do they stop the car properly?
If the car does pull to one side it may be a sign of a sticking/seized caliper or a number of other issues. The rear calipers are particularly prone to seizing on these cars as a lot of dirt is thrown up at them from the road.
Seized brakes can also occur when the car has been left standing for a period of time (sometimes even overnight). If this is the cause it can make it difficult to pull away for the first time and you may hear a load thud.
The problem occurs because the brake discs can rust onto the pads. It usually happens after a vehicle has been washed and left overnight without the brakes drying out, although sometimes rain or condensation can cause the problem.
The rear calipers on a Delta Integrale are also used for the handbrake. The cable for this device can play up along with the calipers, so make sure the handbrake works before leaving it on a steep hill. Some owners like to leave their Integrales with the handbrake off in their garage to reduce the risk of sticking/seized calipers.
A judder through the steering wheel under braking can be a sign that the discs are warped and need replacing. The first sign of this problem usually appears under high speed braking.
While the original Delta Integrale brakes are up to the job, they are nothing special. It is not uncommon to find Deltas with upgraded brakes, but just make sure they are of a good brand and have been installed correctly.
Replacing the Brake Components
Replacing brake components such as pads, discs and ABS sensors are not overly expensive and they are readily available from a number of different sources. However, if any brake components need to be replaced you should use them as a bargaining point.
Wheels and Tyres
Fitting aftermarket wheels on Delta Integrales doesn’t seem as popular as on other performance vehicles, but you may come across one that does have them. If you do, make sure you ask the owner of they have the original wheels. If they don’t, try to get the owner/seller to cut the price a bit. Additionally, remember to check the condition of the wheels for any damage or distortion.
Remember to have a good look at the tyres – do they have any tread? Are they wearing evenly? Are they from a good brand or a cheap one? Uneven tyre wear is a sign of bad wheel alignment or suspension issues.
If the tyres are lacking tread then they will need to be replaced soon, so try to get a discount on the car. Be cautious of Deltas wearing cheap rubber as it is usually a sign of a careless car owner.
Tyres Fitted to Each Model
|Model||HF 4WD||HF Integrale||HF Intergrale 16V||Integrale Evoluzione I||Integrale Evoluzione II|
Apart from some brittle plastics, the Lancia Delta Integrale’s interior is actually pretty hard wearing. Keep an eye out for any rips, stains or fading on the seats and make sure they slide on the runners properly. It is extremely dangerous if the seats move on the runners while the car is moving, so make sure they don’t do this (it will also be a WOF/MOT failure as well).
Look out for any other broken or damaged trim pieces and make sure that the dashboard doesn’t have any cracks. If the dash has been removed at some point make sure it has been put back together properly.
Remember to check the steering wheel, gear shifter, carpets/mats and pedals for wear as they can indicate how far a vehicle has travelled. If they are heavily worn and the car has low mileage it could indicate that the vehicle’s odometer has been wound back.
Make sure you give the roof lining a good sniff to see if it smells like cigarettes. If it does, then you know that a smoker has owned/been in the vehicle at some point. Another sign of a smoker is if the roof lining has changed colour above the driver.
It is incredibly important to check that all the buttons, switches and knobs work as intended. Electrically problems can be a bit of a nightmare on these cars, so make sure they work before you purchase the vehicle. Remember to check that the air conditioning works if the Delta Integrale you are looking at has it.
When the Delta starts, do the lights appear on the dash? If any lights stay on check to see what they are. If no lights come on then there may be a problem, or the owner may have disconnected them to hide an issue.
If the owner has installed any aftermarket components make sure they are installed correctly. Is the wiring and workmanship of a high standard or has the device been thrown in with no care? Incorrectly installed components or devices can be big trouble and are a sign of a careless owner
Buying a Modified Lancia Delta Integrale
We have already talked a little bit about modified Delta Integrales, but we thought we would go into a bit more detail about them in this section. A good number of Integrales have been modified in some way and while there is nothing wrong with that, it is important that the modifications have been installed correctly and are legal (if you want to drive the vehicle on public roads).
Deltas that have been modified to produce excessive amounts of power should be avoided, especially if they have not been tuned by a reputable tuner. Too much power can lead to premature component wear and even body cracking.
Here are some modifications you may come across when looking at a Delta Integrale:
- Wheels and tyres
- Intake system (air filter, etc)
- Exhaust system
- Audio system
- Interior trim pieces (steering wheel, etc.)
We would personally avoid any Delta Integrale that has been used for track use, unless you are looking for a specific track car. Additionally, be very careful of cars that have been modified by multiple owners as this can be a recipe for disaster. Remember that modified Delta Integrales won’t be worth as much as completely original models in good condition.
Summary of Buying a Lancia Delta Integrale
The Lancia Delta Integrale is now a serious classic and good condition models are incredibly expensive to buy. Even poorly maintained Integrales in bad condition can be expensive, so it is incredibly important to take your time when purchasing one.
In the next section we will be looking at general car buying advice for the Delta Integrale (how to get the best deal, service history, etc.). Additionally, we have included some information on where to find Deltas for sale.
General Car Buying Advice for a Delta Integrale
How to Get Yourself the Best Deal On a Delta
This information applies to both dealers and private sealers. Knowledge is power and it can save you a lot of money when purchasing a vehicle.
- Do your research. Before you start your hunt for a Lancia Delta Integrale make sure you know what model and condition you are happy with. Are you okay with a highly modified Integrale or do you want something that is completely stock? Do you want a low mileage example or are you happy with a car that has travelled far?
- Shop around. Don’t limit yourself to just one dealer, seller or location. Check out various different dealers and sellers to find the best car and get the right price. Limiting yourself to just one area will make it more difficult to find your dream Delta.
- Test drive multiple cars. Don’t just take one Delta Integrale out for a test drive and then buy it. Drive as many Integrales as you can get your hands on. This will give you a good idea of what makes a good and what makes a bad Integrale.
- Adjust your attitude. Don’t rush into purchasing a Delta Integrale, take your time. If you are desperate to buy a car you are more likely to get ripped off. Take your time looking through all the different vehicles available and then go inspect the ones you think look promising.
- Use any issues with the car to your advantage. Take a mental note of any issues you find with the vehicle. When it comes to discussing the price, use these problems to try and drive down the price. For example, if the car needs new tyres or brake pads make a point of it and try to get the seller to reduce the price.
- Don’t trust the owner. While some owners/sellers are honest about their cars, many will lie to get a quick sale. Take in what the owner has to say, but check out the vehicle thoroughly and inspect all the car’s documentation.
- Bounce between sellers/dealers. If you are looking at multiple Deltas, let the owner/seller know. This way they will know that you have other options and they may try to undercut the price.
- Be prepared to walk away. If you are not happy with the deal, simply walk away. You may miss out on the car or the seller may get back to you with a better offer.
Mileage vs Condition
Mileage vs condition is always a big debate, but we recommend that you should always buy on condition and then on the mileage. There are quite a few Delta Integrales out there with low mileage but in poor condition, while some high mileage examples may be perfectly fine.
Lots of owners make the mistake of believing that they are preserving their car by not driving it. In reality, this is completely false and not driving a vehicle can actually do more damage than good. Short distance trips are not kind to an Integrale’s engine as they do not have enough time to warm up and get lubricated properly.
Rubber seals and plastic parts will fail regardless of mileage and can even deteriorate quicker on cars that don’t get used often. Letting a car sit will not prevent rust or stop the electronics from failing.
Mileage will never decrease with age, so go out and drive your car!
Service History and Other Documentation
It is incredibly important to check any vehicle’s service history and any additional paperwork that goes along with it. The service history will give you a good idea of how the Integrale you are looking at has been maintained. In addition to this, receipts and paperwork for modifications can help you determine whether they have been done by an experienced tuner or a bad one.
If the owner can’t or won’t let you see the service history, you should probably pass on the vehicle. A complete service history will only add value to any Lancia Delta and will make it easier to sell the vehicle in the future.
Additionally, you can check websites such as CarFax (USA) and CarJam (NZ) for more information about the car you are thinking of purchasing. These sort of websites can be incredibly useful, but there is usually a cost associated with them.
Questions That You Should Ask the Seller/Owner
- How often do you drive the car?
- When was the last service and who was it serviced by?
- How much oil does it use?
- What oil do you use in the car?
- When was the timing belt replaced?
- What parts have been replaced?
- What modifications have been made to the vehicle?
- Has the vehicle overheated at any point?
- Has the car been in any major or minor accidents? Is so, what repairs were made?
- Is there any money owing on the car?
- Have you got any information on the previous owners and how they treated the vehicle?
- Is there any rust?
- Has rust been removed at any point?
- Has the car been used for track use at any point?
- When were the brake pads replaced and have the calipers seized at any point in time?
- Where do you store/park the car usually?
There are loads more questions you can ask the seller, but we feel these are some of the most important.
Things That Would Make Us Walk Away from a Delta Integrale
Sometimes, the best option is to simply walk away from a vehicle. While you may be happy with a vehicle with these problems, we are not.
- Overheating problems
- Significant Crash Damage
- Money owing on the car
- Modifications with no paperwork or carried out by a poorly reviewed tuner
- Excessive amounts of power (too much power can lead to reliability problems down the track)
- Bad compression
- Bad resprays
- Significant rust problems
- Engine swaps with non-standard engines
- Significant track use
- Major engine or transmission issues
- Right hand drive conversion (this ones up to you though)
- Owner who is not forthcoming with information (could be trying to hide something)
Notes on the Owner
The owner is one of the most important things to think about when viewing any vehicle. You need to ask them plenty of questions when inspecting a Delta, but don’t trust their answers completely. Remember, it is your problem if you wind up buying a lemon. Below we have listed some things to consider about the owner.
- How long have they owned the vehicle? If it is less than 6 months it tends to suggest that the car needs major work done to it that they can’t afford. It also could be a sign that they deal cars as well.
- Do they thrash the car when it is cold or continually launch the vehicle? If so, you are better to walk away.
- Why are they selling the vehicle? Could be a genuine reason or they may be trying to offload their problem onto an unsuspecting buyer.
- Do they let the turbo warm up and cool down properly?
- What sort of area do they live in? Is it a good area or a complete dump?
- How do they respond when you ask them simple questions?
- Do they know anything the Delta Integrale and the model they are selling?
- What can they tell you about previous owners?
- Do they have lots of cars on their drive? If they do it may mean they are a dealer.
- What is their reaction when you ask them about money owing on the car? Tell them you are going to do a check and see how they respond.
- What is their reaction to you asking for details for HPi check?
- How do they respond when you ask them to show you the service history and paperwork for the car?
If you get a bad feeling about the owner, you are better off moving onto another Integrale.
Where to Find a Delta Integrale for Sale?
Websites such as Bring a Trailer, Classic Trader, Craigslist, and TradeMe are excellent places to start your hunt for an Integrale. You should be able to find a number for sale at different prices and in different conditions. You can easily compare the price, specs and condition of different Integrales and you will be able to select the ones that look promising.
Dealers and Importers
Most dealers and importers will have an online presence, so make sure you check out their website for any Integrales for sale. Dealers tend to be a bit more expensive than private sellers, but sometimes you can get some extras thrown in or better protection.
Websites such as Reddit, Facebook and even Instagram can be excellent places to find Integrales for sale. Check out some of the many enthusiast groups or subreddits and let other users know you are interested in buying a Delta Integrale. Additionally, social media groups are often great places to find spare parts or get advice from other owners.
This sort of ties in with the above, but many owners’ clubs have their own website or they may not even have a website at all. Look to see if there are any Italian car, Lancia or Delta clubs in your area as these are often great places to find cars for sale or ask for advice.
Delta Integrale Introduction and Technical Data Manual
7 thoughts on “Lancia Delta Integrale Buyer’s Guide & History”
Great summary, thank you.
Nice Summary. Do you want to give me photo credit for the Edizione Finale with Yokohama license plate? That is #100 down near Hayama South of Tokyo.
Put that in for you. Linked to the flickr page, but if you have a website as well I’m happy to link to that. Thanks.
Great information here! I’m a happy ‘grale owner for 23 years now. Since I bought my car from the first owner in 1998 it has been a great car. Remarkably reliable and still amazing to drive.
I have seen and driven many other cars and talked to owners. All of the warnings above seem valid. I’m surprised how many cars have sloppy handling, lousy engine response and bad ride. What I’ve seen is that this is either due to bad maintenance/fixes or (more often) so called ‘improvements’. I would walk away from any modified integrale that is not perfectly explained/documented. For example cam belt mods (wider) or stainless exhausts can be real improvements. But performance ‘upgrades’ are almost always a bad idea. As if the car needs this!
If you get a proper one: you will still get one of the most communicative and responsive cars on the planet!
Thanks for commenting on our Integrale buyer’s guide Albert, it’s much appreciated.
Your comment about sloppy handling etc is interesting, and probably not limited to the Integrale either … you have to wonder how many classics are out there “under-performing” due to insufficient maintenance from the current and previous owners.
Also agree with regards to modifications; unless they are well documented it is better to walk away (unless you simply want to buy the first example you come across and then look to restore etc).
We would love to see some images of your Integrale and would be happy to feature them here if you’re interested, just email admin@garagedreams .net (remove the space)
The centre diff isn’t a Ferguson, thats the VC and it doesn’t lock the centre diff it provides variable torque transfer from one axle to the other relative to the difference in their angular velocities. So the torque transfer varies. Also, the Torsen isn’t an LSD. Its torque sensing. Apart from that well done 🙂
Great feedback Richard, thank you. We will update the guide accordingly – always appreciate any “helpful hints” from our readers.