British comedian and car enthusiast Rowan Atkinson, famous for playing the character Mr. Bean, is parting with a legendary rally homologation special. The 1993 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo II will be auctioned off by Silverstone Auctions on Feb. 25.
The first-generation Lancia Delta had a long life as both a humble economy car and a rally special. First shown at the 1979 Frankfurt auto show, the Delta went on to compete in the World Rally Championship throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, spanning the memorable Group B and following Group A eras.
Manufacturers were required to sell road-going versions of their rally cars, so Lancia also launched a series of Delta performance models during this period for homologation purposes, starting with the Delta HF and Integrale in the 1980s. It followed those up with the Evo I in 1991, and finally the Evo II in 1993.
For the Evo II, Lancia upped output from its 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine to 215 hp, which is sent to all four wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission. This would be the final evolution of the original Delta; Lancia unveiled a second-generation model the same year that marked a shift away from performance. There was even talk of bringing a later Delta model to the U.S. as a Chrysler after the Fiat-Chrysler merger.
The car up for auction was originally sold in Japan, and was then imported to the U.K. in 2011. Atkinson purchased it in May 2021 with an indicated 54,059 miles. While he has made good use of the Lancia, total mileage remains below 56,000 miles, the auction listing says. The seller expects a hammer price of 65,000 to 75,000 British pounds (approximately $78,000 to $90,000).
Atkinson has owned quite a few interesting cars over the years, including a 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500E that went to auction in 2019. He also bought a McLaren F1 new from the factory in 1997, putting it up for sale in 2015 after two crashes.
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