Imagine yourself in Lancia’s position in the early 1980s. Your Stratos has recently won three consecutive World Rally Championships (1974-76) but you can see the writing on the wall, writing which reads “all-wheel-drive.” How do you build on this past success and continue to be competitive in the new decade? For Lancia, the answer was the 037, which would ultimately become, in 1983, the last rear-wheel-drive car to win the WRC Manufacturers' Championship before AWD competitors like the Audi Quattro and Peugeot 205 T16 completely changed the sport forever.
To compete in Group B events, Lancia was obliged to meet homologation rules by producing 200 street versions of the 037. While visually striking and invigorating to drive, the 037 Stradale remains, at heart, a race car and is thus anything but comfortable. This, however, is precisely what appeals to owner Philip Toledano, who grew up watching Lancia–more specifically, the Stratos and 037–dominate European rally racing.