When the 4WD Audi Quattro was first introduced to rally racing in 1980, it changed the face of the sport forever — marking an end to the era of rear-wheel-drive dominance on the track. It was such a swift change, in fact, that the last time an RWD car won the WRC (World Rally Championship) was in 1983. And now a spectacular example of that very car, this 1981 Lancia 037 Stradale, is headed to the RM Sotheby’s auction block.
Loosely based on the Lancia Montecarlo, this race car was actually quite the group effort — calling on input from Abarth, Dallara, and Pininfarina to get everything just right. It’s powered by its original 245-horsepower transverse 2.0L four-cylinder engine, boasts Pininfarina-designed Kevlar-fiberglass lightweight bodywork, and has an independent double-wishbone suspension on both axles. This particular example — number 14 of 207 — also has an impressively-low mileage of fewer than 13,000 miles and has benefitted from a complete mechanical restoration. Expected to fetch between $462,000 and $572,000, this is not a lot to miss.