The Alfa Romeo 155 was possibly touring car racing's boxiest success story, having won both the Italian Superturismo Championship and the German DTM Championship with Nicola Larini at the wheel, as well as the the Spanish Touring Car Championship with Adrián Campos and the British Touring Car Championship with Gabriele Tarquini. But before it was replaced by the Tipo 156, Alfa Romeo saw the popularity of the homologation special E30 M3s and 190E 2.5-16 Cosworth Evos from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and decided to cash in on the idea.
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Alfa commissioned legendary Abarth engineer Sergio Limone to come up with a prototype for a limited edition road car. The resulting Alfa Romeo 155 GTA Stradale was based on the 155 Q4, which was in fact based on the mechanicals of the Lancia Delta Integrale, using the same engine with a rear differential casing in cast iron instead of aluminum to shift the weight bias rearwards.
To honor this Group N-spec engine, Abarth gave the 155 Q4 a larger rear wing, DTM-style bumpers and much wider fenders. The suspension was straight off the Delta Integrale Evoluzione II, while the interior got bucket seats trimmed in black leather.
Unfortunately, Fiat's management wanted an Alfa V6 in there instead of Lancia's turbo four, not to mention that the 155 GTA Stradale would have needed a separate assembly line, pushing the costs sky high. The project got canned.
Still, the prototype in question was the 1993 Italian Grand Prix's medical car, with British neurosurgeon and FIA medical officer Dr Sid Watkins onboard. It was also displayed at the 1994 Bologna Motor Show. has the rest of its history:
The 155 GTA Stradale subsequently ended up in Tony Fassina's workshop in Milan, where it remained for four years before being purchased by one of Mr Fassina's friends. The latter then brought the car to Germany where it was road-registered for the first time. In 1999, the Alfa returned to Italy, forming part of the private collection of an Alfa Romeo engine preparation specialist and enthusiast in the Marche region until it changed hands, passing to its current owner only recently.
Going to with a healthy 25,000 miles on its clock and a brand new wing at the rear, Bonhams expects Alfa's missed opportunity to fetch somewhere in the region of €180,000 - 220,000. Not bad for the most unique Delta Integrale on the planet.