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The 1993 Lancia Hyena Zagato Is the Ultra-Rare Coachbuilt Delta HF Integrale You Never Knew Existed

Prepare for previously unseen levels of social-media clout.

Conner GoldenWriterRM Sotheby'sPhotographer

It's getting progressively tougher for your run-of-the-mill rich person to buy their way into enthusiast cred. Oh, you bought a Porsche 959? Where'd you read about that—Forbes? Nice Countach—I'm sure Instagram had nothing to do with your winning bid. Even stuff that was once considered an offbeat cult classic is more mainstream than ever; just take a look at the climbing prices of homologation specials like the Renault 5 Turbo or the Group A darling, the Lancia Delta HF Integrale.

Indeed, your local Saturday morning gathering of the regional Alfa and Lancia club must be positively choked with freshly imported Delta Integrales and Alfa Romeo SZs. Unless you've got heavy six figures for a Lancia 037, you're not attracting much attention when you pull into the third coffee stop of the morning.

If you find this excruciatingly specific hypothetical scenario relatable, I've got the inside line to something that should drop jaws and pump-up that follower count. Make sure you free up some liquid capital for RM Sotheby's upcoming Essen sale later this summer, as this is a rare chance at the elusive Lancia Hyena Zagato.

Don't fret if you're unfamiliar with this bizarrely handsome little coupe, as only 24 of these were ever built, and it's unlikely any made it to the U.S. before it qualified for the 25-year importation exemption. Conceptually, it's a lot more understandable than the rarity might have you believe; underneath that Zagato-penned body are the bones and organs of the Delta HF Integrale.

Noted Dutch collector and restorer Paul Koot was the brains behind the Hyena project, having approached legendary coachbuilder Zagato about creating a coupe variant of the popular Integrale. A deal was struck between the two parties, but Lancia was having none of it, for some reason; any request for bare rolling chassis from the automaker were shot down, leaving Koot to source the Deltas himself, use his personal restoration shop to strip away the hatchback body, and ship the chassis to Zagato in Milan.

Once in the hands of Milanese craftsmen, a new all-aluminum body was fitted, along with a new interior design that heavily incorporated early carbon fiber trim. Aside from the new duds, powertrain upgrades cranked power from around 200 hp stock to between 250 hp and 300 hp, retaining both the five-speed manual transmission and rally-born all-wheel-drive. The new aluminum construction shed around 400 pounds over the regular hatchback, making this quite the performer, with a 0-62 mph claimed in 5.4 seconds—and that's likely just for a Hyena with the 250-hp tune.

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Initially, Koot and Zagato planned on a run of 75 Hyenas, but high production costs and a price tag around $75,000—around $138,000 in 2020 bucks—meant the aforementioned 24 units were all they could build before market saturation. If you did hold onto your Hyena all these years, you'll be pleased to know the coupe turned into a bit of an investment, as these change hands around the low $200,000 mark, though this low-mileage example originally owned by Koots himself means the final sale price should be a bit higher than that.

If you've got the liquidity and the garage space, make sure to register with RM Sotheby's before the sale in June, and please—remember me when you're Insta-famous.

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