Homologation is a wonderful thing. Without it, we wouldn’t have some amazing street cars based on truly legendary racing vehicles. Think Ferrari 250 GTO, Ford RS200 Evolution or Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.
Another such car is the Lancia 037 Stradale, which is the road car variant of the iconic Italian rally car. Barely over 200 were built, and one ultra-clean example recently found its way into Jay Leno’s Garage for a little time in front of the camera.
The car is owned by Phillip Sarofim, and he’s clearly infatuated with the bright red machine. He refers to it as an oft overlooked member of Lancia’s rally dominators from the 1970s and 1980s. He’s correct that the Stratos and Delta Integrale get a bit more ink, but the 037 is a hero in its own right. In fact, Martini Racing dominated the 1983 World Rally Championship season and claimed the overall top spot with a Lancia 037.
To satisfy homologation requirements, Lancia built 207 examples of the 037 in Stradale (Italian for «street») guise. Out back sits a 2.0-liter inline-4 that breathes through a supercharger. It’s good for 205 horsepower and that output is sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. While that doesn’t sound like a ton of power by today’s standards, it was enough to propel the car from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. In 1982, that was quite quick.
Sarofim and Leno hop into the car and head out into Los Angeles. The car stands out brilliantly compared to any other vehicle on the road. In fact, Jay says it reminds him of the Ferrari F40. That’s due to its bright paint and analog nature. It’s a sharp machine and a great piece of motoring history.