Steve Gales has owned his Lancia Delta Integrale Evo II since 1998.
“I bought it at four years old,” he says, “and paid £20k for it. At the time, it was a big step up for us; we traded in a Clio Williams, but still had £8.5k to find. But it’s worked out perfectly: the car’s worth about £20k today.”
The Integrale wasn’t top of Gales’ shopping list, however. “We went shopping for an Impreza Turbo originally, but back in ’98 were disappointed by the bland interior and the nine-month waiting list. So I suggested an Integrale to my other half, we drove one, and we both loved it.
“We use the car all year round – do about 3000 miles a year,” he goes on. “I do the basic servicing myself: oils, filters, brakes and suspension maintenance. For cambelt changes, due every three or four years or 24,000 miles, I use a specialist: they cost about £400 a time.”
“If you were buying one today, I’d be wary of very expensive special editions; a lot of cars are hardly used, and could be hiding mechanical problems.
"And whatever you do, don’t buy a right-hand-drive converted one: dealers had to change the steering rack as part of the conversion, and ruined the car’s steering feel in the process.”