Alexander Babic ©2020, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Utilizing Lancia’s beloved Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione as a basis, the Hyena was a collaboration between Lancia and Zagato and the brainchild of a meeting between Andrea Zagato and Paul Koot, the official Lancia importer in the Netherlands and the proprietor of Lusso Service Holland. Underneath its handcrafted aluminum bodywork, the Hyena’s powertrain was tuned to produce between 250 hp to 300 hp. Tipping the scales at 1,150 kg (2,535 pounds), some 190 kg (419 pounds) less than the Integrale, performance was truly thrilling. If Zagato’s styling wasn’t eye-catching enough, the Verde Zagato paintwork on this particular Hyena certainly helps it to stand out from the crowd. Fascinatingly, this Hyena has been known by its current owner from new, as it was delivered new to a friend of the consignor. His friend purchased two Hyenas new, including this car, upon the presentation of the model in Germany, introduced there by Elio and Gianni Zagato. This is why instead of the typical “Hyena” side script on the rear three-quarter panels, it boasts the signatures of both Elio and Gianni. Subsequently, the car was sold to a lawyer in Frankfurt, and then bought by the consignor in October 2017 through a dealer based in the Netherlands, making him the Hyena’s third private owner. Today, it presents in very well-preserved condition, having been driven less than 8,950 km from new. It is accompanied by its original owner’s manual, two sets of keys, a toolkit, jack, car cover and a sales brochure with price list, as well as a handful of previous invoices from its time in Germany. Notably, these include previous TÜV inspections, invoices for a major service including a new fuel pump and cam belt in October 2015, and an additional service where the starter motor was replaced in December 2017.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1994 Lancia Hyena Zagato
Years Produced:1992–96
Number Produced:24
Tune Up Cost:$200
Chassis Number Location:Plate riveted to the right-side radiator core support
Engine Number Location:Engine block, behind the oil filter
Club Info:American Lancia Club
Alternatives:1989–93 Lancia Delta HF Integrale, 1989–91 Alfa Romeo SZ, 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II

This car, Lot 126, sold for $179,997 (€148,500), including buyer’s premium, at RM Sotheby’s Online Only: Open Roads auction on February 28, 2021.

The early 1990s were a great era for Lancia. Based on its efforts in FIA World Rally, it had developed its bargain-basement Delta into one of the world’s most exciting hot hatchbacks. The Delta offered 210 horsepower and all-wheel drive, available to the public at an achievable price. Or achievable for Europeans, at least. With the ruinous exchange rates of the early 1990s, the 1992 Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione would have cost an American buyer almost $40,000. Keep that in mind.

For those not steeped in Lancia genealogy, the Hyena will take a little explanation. This car is a 1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione that was rebodied by Zagato into a sleek little coupe at the request of a Dutch coachbuilder named Paul Koot. However, Fiat/Lancia refused to be part of the project, so Koot had to buy his Deltas at retail and send them to Zagato for modification. Because Koot was buying from dealers, Hyena VIN numbers are random, but Zagato numbered the cars sequentially with a little badge on the headliner above the rear-view mirror.

Quick car, slow seller

As with many premium coachbuilt models, sales fell short of expectations. Koot planned for an initial 75-car production run with more to follow, but in the end only 24 were built in 1992 and 1993.

The Hyena’s sales problem wasn’t a case of poor workmanship. Zagato gave the car an up-to-the-minute design for the early 1990s. Yet you won’t have to squint to see the family resemblance to the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato of the early 1960s. Even the trademark Zagato double-bubble roof is there. There are also striking similarities to Alfa’s 916 GTV of the mid-1990s, even though that one was being penned at Pininfarina at about the same time that Zagato was creating the Hyena.

The entire body of the Hyena is made from hand-formed aluminum, with carbon fiber used to make a custom dashboard, console and interior door panels. Even the knobs for the climate-control system are carbon fiber.

As a result of Zagato’s efforts, the Hyena weighs 419 pounds less than the Delta from which it was made. Zagato also upgraded the 16-valve, 2.0-liter, turbocharged and fuel-injected engine from 210 horsepower to 250. That made the Hyena a real screamer for its day, capable of 0–62 mph in 5.4 seconds. The 5-speed manual transmission, all-wheel-drive system and ABS-equipped brakes all remained as Lancia delivered them.

In the end, it was probably the bespoke nature of the Hyena that depressed sales. By the time a customer bought a Hyena from Koot, it cost about $100,000, which was more than the price of a 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 4. Though again, European buyers had it a little better because of the exchange rate.

Thin on the ground

As one would expect with just 24 examples made, the sales history of the Hyena is pretty thin, but nonetheless instructive. A Hyena sold in 2004 for $92,850, (SCM# 115207) which is not far off the original sale price for a 12-year-old car at that point. By 2012, the price paid for a low-miles, 1- condition Hyena had risen to $116k (SCM# 201739).

Last year was a banner year for Hyenas, with one sold for $218k at the Silverstone Race Retro Classic auction in February (SCM# 6928645) and another selling for $212k at RM Sotheby’s Online European Sale in June (SCM# 6933699).

A bargain price?

Our subject car is the 15th Hyena made, one of two said to be painted in the striking Verde Zagato color. It previously sold in February 2017 at Bonhams’ Paris sale for $172,141. With just 8,000 km on the odometer since new, our auction analyst rated it a #2 condition car at that time.

The car still shows fewer than 9,000 kilometers from new, and this is a very well-kept example. There’s some grunge on the underside, but overall, it’s in fine shape. With a car like the Hyena, you’re not going to find any that have been left outside to rot or brutally modified by previous owners in the way that many Deltas have been.

Considering last year’s sales prices, this example really should have pulled a comparable price, but it didn’t. When the hammer fell, this Hyena hardly budged from its 2017 value, selling for $179,997, based on the exchange rate on the day of the sale. It’s hard to chalk this anomalous sale up to anything but the unknowable variability of an auction. We’ll call this one well bought, with a tremendous upside. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.)

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