In 1980, the hatchback field in Europe was getting crowded and competition was tough. It took something extra to win European Car of the Year and the Lancia Delta had that something.
Even with the legendary Delta HF and rally-bred Integrale still a few years out, the Beta, with its Giugiaro lines and delicate but well-arranged interior, made a big enough splash on its own to come home with the big one. It seems only natural that after a big win like this one that some champagne would be in order, brought down by what can only be the car’s butler.
I’m not sure that smashing that bottle on the bumper was too wise, though. These cars have a tendency to be a bit fragile. That said, when the odd Delta makes its way stateside, we’ve been lucky, even if the car was more champagne-colored than covered in champagne.