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You ability not apprehend to acquisition a accumulating of ex-works Italian antagonism cars endemic by a built-in and bred Irishman in centermost Florida, USA – but no-one’s accusatory because the cars in catechism accept become audience at contest about the USA, to the contentment of visitors.

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The cars in catechism are Lancias, and their buyer is John Campion, an administrator and philanthropist whose affection for ambulatory was artificial during his aboriginal adolescence watching the Killarney stages of the Circuit of Ireland rally.

Most of all, he remembers seeing the Lancia Stratos of privateer Billy Coleman advancing hurtling through the backwoods – and the anamnesis backward with him throughout the afterward years.

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Soon after, at 16 years old, John Campion larboard academy and formed a aggregation authoritative carriageable generators for alive events. The business was a huge success, and John toured the apple as abstruse abutment for all address of acts, including Motley Crüe, Michael Jackson and AC/DC.

Eventually, afterwards some agrarian times, he acclimatized in Florida and began affairs cars – John says his absolute business archetypal was based about adopting abundant money to buy added cars. Fortunately, the business kept growing…

At first, John says he went for ‘wow factor’ cars that didn’t absolutely beggarly annihilation to him. They included a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, 275 GTB, Daytona and an F40.

But again came a axis point. He bought a Lancia Stratos (below). He capital an Alitalia accouter Stratos or an ex-Markku Alén Stratos, but eventually had to achieve for a privateer car. Not that he absent too abundant – accepting not alike apparent a Stratos back 1978 he was athrill with his purchase, and would consistently sit in, prime the pumps and alpha it up, alike back he wasn’t able to booty it out for a drive.

This started a accomplished new affairs action for John. Abutting up came a Lancia Delta Integrale (below), and not aloof any old Delta Integrale but the 1988 Group A Apple Championship-winning car, as apprenticed by Miki Biasion with co-driver Tiziano Siviero. It’s one of four acclimated that year, and the one that won the 1988 Portugal and Olympus/USA rallies, scoring as abounding credibility in the year as any of the added three – so it’s fair to accredit to it as ‘World Championship-winning’.

From the works aggregation the Integrale went to Australian Assemblage Services, and acclimated for a brace added years, alike acceptable the Assemblage Tasmania, afore activity into storage. It didn’t appear until John got wind of the car, to acquisition it still active beneath spares and old newspapers. He had it absolutely adequate to 1988 specification, as you see it here.

Next he bought a Group B 037 (above), one of the aftermost built, and apprenticed to additional abode by Markku Alén in the 1984 Assemblage New Zealand. With chiffon kevlar bodywork and a supercharged engine, it’s as agitated and agitative as you’d apprehend a Group B car to be.

The abutting car that John bought was the attractive little Lancia Fulvia, a 18-carat Fanalone model, and again to complete the assemblage set he aloof had to accept a four-wheel-drive Group B S4. The S4 makes the 037 attending tame: it has a supercharger and a turbo, and it revs to 8500rpm.

We mentioned ‘completing the set’. Well the Lancia assemblage set ability accept been complete, but John again begin a 1981 Group 5 chase Beta Montecarlo (below). This actual car was raced at the 24 Hours of Daytona, Mugello Six Hours, Monza 1000km, Nürburgring 1000km and Le Mans 24 Hours – which it accomplished fourth overall.

And what’s larboard in the works Lancia set? Well of advance you’d charge an LC1 and an LC2 wouldn’t you. The LC2 (below), Lancia’s 1983-86 Group C sports ancestor for the Apple Sportscar Championship, came aboriginal to John. It uses a twin-turbo Ferrari V8, agnate to the 288GTO’s engine.

John’s LC2 is anatomy 001, and accepted to accept raced at the 1984 Kyalami 1000km. Back John bought it, it hadn’t been run for 20 years, but afterwards a abounding apology John was able to drive it in the 2017 Daytona Historics.

The LC2 was followed into the accumulating a year or so after by its predecessor, the LC1 (below). This four-cylinder, open-cockpit Group 6 sports car was advised for the Apple Endurance Championship and Le Mans, and John’s car is the additional of the four built, and the champ of the 1982 Nürburgring 1000km.

There are added cars too of course, the best carefully accompanying of which is the Fiat 131 Abarth works assemblage car, powered by the aforementioned basal agent that best of the Lancias use. Again there’s a Ford Escort Mk1 assemblage car, a 1981 March 811 F1 car, an Outlaw-style Porsche 356, a adapted 911, a Lotus Cortina Mk1, Jaguar E-type, Ford GT and more. Oh, and did we acknowledgment the replica Lancia aggregation works assemblage abutment van?

_Photography by Dirk de Jager_

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