Lancia’s Land Rover Safari Rally lifesaver

WRC assistance vehicle answered trunk call in 1991 Safari Rally

1989 Land Rover 110 rear


Mention Lancia’s rallying exploits of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s and thoughts turn to the Martini-liveried cars such as the Stratos, the 037 and Deltas S4 and HF that helped to make the marque the most successful in WRC. But what about the Land Rovers?

1989 Land Rover 110 interior

A 110 – far superior to an Iveco Daily.


Delta force, 1991

Delta force, 1991


It’s true to say that the British off-roaders weren’t the most memorable aspect of the Italian team’s success but, when time came to compete in the 1991 Safari Rally, its usual Iveco Daily support van wasn’t considered up to tackling the route’s inhospitable terrain.

Enter a brace of Land Rover 110s in County trim, finished in heat-reflecting white and fitted with suitably robust, full-length roof-racks for carrying spare wheels, jerrycans and so on.

The pair, decorated with the logos of Lancia and Martini, were assigned to shadow the Delta Integrale 16Vs of Miki Biasion and Jorge Recalde.

Lancia Land RoverRestored to early ’90s spec

Restored to early ’90s spec.


Land Rover saves elephant from a mud

An elephant is saved from a muddy demise


As Motor Sport readers might know, Lancia competition cars have carried the image of a galloping elephant ever since the Giro di Sicily in 1952 – and, in the case of the ’91 Safari Rally, the good luck symbol proved appropriate.

While there wasn’t much the support crew could do for Biasion’s Delta after he hit an oncoming vehicle while overtaking a truck, ripping off the car’s roof and bending its chassis, they could lend a hand to an elephant calf discovered drowning in a mudhole.

With the help of some long poles and a suitably strong rope attached to the back of the very Land Rover pictured here, they were able to drag the stranded pachyderm out of its predicament and send it safely on its way. The Land Rover was called upon again for the ’92 rally before being sold into private ownership.

Land Rover Lancia Martini Racing profile

This off-roader spent two seasons with Lancia Martini Racing before passing to a publishing company


Having already been treated to a full, galvanised chassis in 1999, the 110 was recently restored to the exact specification it was in when acquired by Lancia Martini Racing. It’s surely a must for any committed fan of Lancia’s golden age of rallying – but if the price is out of reach, model maker TSM Mini GT has created an impressively detailed 1:64 version for £16.99.

1989 Land Rover 110. On sale at Catawiki until July 14. Estimate £130,000