The Lancia brand showed a prototype at the 1971 Turin Motor Show that was destined to redefine the brand and turn the world of competitive rally racing on its ear. The Lancia stratos HF (high fidelity) was an incredible Bertone design with a steeply raked windscreen which wraps around the cockpit providing amazing forward visibility. (The same cannot be said on the rearward visibility.) In addition to its quintessential 1970's supercar looks in a very compact package, the chassis held an equally 1970's supercar engine, the Ferrari Dino V6.
The mid-mounted arrangement provided ideal weight distribution and very low rotational inertia. This, coupled with the purpose-built chassis created an unbeatable world rally racer which claimed the championship in 1974, 1975, and 1976. Keep in mind that engine production finished in 1974, so the continued domination for the next 2 years really said something about the package Lancia was able to put together. The final significant victory was in 1981 at the Tour de Corse Automobile when longtime Stratos privateer Bernard Darniche placed at the top of the WRC event.
Although highly successful, this remains a very rare car with only 492 cars built in total. Of this, about 200 cars were manufactured for the street. This road-going version of this car enjoyed very high performance for its time with 0-60mph times of less than 5 seconds and a top speed of 144 mph.
Sold for $264,000 at 2013 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Auction.
The Lancia Stratos was one of the most successful rally cars ever built and one of the most valuable Lancias ever produced. They were built for homologation purposes, Lancia Stratos 'Stradale' or 'street' models used the same 2.4-liter Ferrari Dino V-6 found in 'Rally' or racing versions, but in a significantly lower state of tune. They produced 192 horsepower and weighed less than 2,200 pounds, giving the car a 0-60 MPH in less than five seconds with a top speed of 140 MPH.
It is believed that approximately 492 Lancia Stratos models of all variants were constructed during the car's brief production run. Many were raced, crashed, or both, so it's difficult to know how many survive. Many of the 'Stradale' models have been either modified for competition or turned into Group 4 rally replicas.Chassis no. 829ARO 001941
This is a rare Stradale
example that is almost completely original. It was delivered in Germany, historically one of Lancia's best export markets. It was imported to the United States in late 1982 and purchased by the current owner, a citizen of the United Kingdom who was a resident in California. He took delivery of the Stratos in Albuquerque and drove it home to San Francisco. It was used for a considerable amount of time before going into storage at his ranch in Santa Barbara in June of 1998. It has not been started or run since that time. The odometer read 50,116km (31,072 miles).
At some point in its life, prior to 1982, it had been reupholstered in leather in place of the original cloth, along with an aftermarket gear shift knob.
Power is from a 2418cc V6 engine rated at 192 horsepower. There is a five-speed manual transmission, 4-wheel independent suspension, and 4-wheel disc brakes.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2013
The Betone designed Stratos was built for one purpose, to win the World Rally Championship. Two prototype versions of the Stratos were shown, one during the 1970 Turin Motor Show and another a year later. The road going versions of this car was built only to satisfy the homologation rules. As a result, the road version had noisy cockpits, was uncomfortable, and did not have good cabin air circulation. The front part of the car housed cooling fans and a spare tire. So it was not very practical when it came to luggage.
In 1973, the Stratos won its first rally it participated in. In 1974 through 1976 it dominated the rally scene by capturing the World Championship.
Since Lancia was owned by Fiat, who also owned Ferrari, there was a wealth of resources to draw from. And such, a Ferrari Dino V6 quad cam engine was used and placed in the rear of the car. The engine was capable of producing almost 200 horsepower which could propel the car from zero to sixty mph in just 7 seconds. A five speed manual gear box and 9.9 inch vented disc brakes were also used.
The body was built by Bertone and light-weight fiberglass was used whenever possible.
The rear spoiler provided down force and channeled air into the engine ducts. If the vehicle rolled-over the spoiler was actually strong enough to take the impact of the tumble.
A big success by any standard both in and out of competition, the Lancia Stratos was developed as a homologation Special for European rallying. After production ceased it became a cult car and is now highly priced as the 'modern classis' it is. Conceived strictly for rallying, the Lancia Stratos, however, makes an exciting road car, though it is very far from GT standards in both luxury and refinement.
The concept vehicle responsible for providing the inspiration for the Lancia Stratos Rally car is the Lancia (Bertone) Stratos. The Stratos featured a 1584 cc V4 DOHC with 115 bhp horsepower at 200 rpm. Designed by Marcello Gandini, the same designer responsible for the Lamborghini Countach and Lamborghini Miura, the Stratos concept was a development of the Bertone designed Alfa Romeo Carabo concept from 1968. The Carabo concept was also a Gandini creation.
First revealed at the Turin Motor Show in October of 1970, the Lancia Stratos HF prototype was a styling exercise for Bertone. A futuristic design, the Stratos featured a wedge-shaped profile that stood just 33 inches from the ground. Since the vehicle was so low, conventional doors could not be used and instead one accessed the interior of the Stratos by a hinged windscreen. Drivers had to flip up the windscreen and walk into the vehicle. Once inside, visibility was quite restricted since the front windscreen was narrow. The cockpit of the Lancia Stratos was designed specifically for fast forest flying.
The body design was predictably minimal to hold down weight and bulk with its most distinctive features being semi-concealed A-pillars and a door beltline that sharply upswept to the top of the daylight opening. The shape of the resulting unbroken expanse of glass gave the tunnelback roof the appearance of a futuristic crash helmet.
The main body structure was steel, like the chassis, and weight-saving fiberglass was used for tilt-up nose and tail sections. A small box above and behind the powertrain was where cargo space was held. Bins were also molded into the interior door panels for storing helmets.
The same engine utilized on the Lancia 1600 HF Fulvia was used on the Bertone designed Lancia Stratos Zero prototype. A triangular-shaped panel hinged upwards to allow access to the mid-mounted engine. Developed for rallying purposes, the legendary Lancia Stratos was unveiled in 1974. The production vehicle Stratos was powered by a 2.4 liter mid-mounted V6 from the Ferrari Dino.
Like no other Lancia before or after, the Lancia Stratos was a shock that left enthusiasts and rally fans breathless. For almost a decade the Stratos streaked across the rally landscape much like a brilliant comet, while discarding past principles, it also fearlessly represented something undeniably new. A phenomenal rally car, the Lancia Stratos set an example to every other car manufacturer in the world. The first viable purpose-built rally car ever built, the Stratos was probably the last purpose-built rally car.
Created by the Bertone coachbuilding company, the Stratos was both radical, yet fully functional. Fiorio realized that for Lancia to continue to compete in the World Rally Championship, the Fulvia HF would need a much more powerful replacement. A the time, four-wheel drive was not an option, so a mid-engined configuration seemed ideal. To reinforce Fiori's convictions, the Bertone show car was featured soon after with a mid-engine Fulvia V4.
The introduction of the Ford mid-engine purpose-built GT70 rally car at the 1971Brussels Motor Show was what truly inspired the impetus behind the Stratos project. It was after this appearance that Lancia's general manager, Pierugo Gobbato contacted Nuccio Bertone. Though the GT70 was actually never put in production by Ford, it was this that sparked the inspiration of the Lancia Stratos.
As always, there was a minimum production requirement, 500 units for the Lancia Stratos. This was an awkward figure that would necessitate funds for at least semi-permanent tooling as well as design and development. This was a job well suited to the Italian industry. Fiorio masterminded the project, and he envisioned a short, wide coupe with transverse midships drivetrain. Bertone was immediately contracted to style the vehicle and built its unit body/chassis structure.
43 months passed in between the time of conception to the actual birth of the Lancia Stratos. The vehicle was developed to take over and make Lancia the outright world rally champ. The Stratos was both short and wide, with a wheelbase of only 7 feet 1.8 inches, the width of the vehicle was only 5 feet 8.9 inches. Weighing only 1958 lbs, the Stratos was only 3 feet 7.9 inches high. Able to easily exceed 140 mph, the Stratos featured 190 horsepower in roadgoing trim.
Having studied every possible powertrain in the Fiat/Lancia group, Fiorio secured 2.4 liter V-6s and 5-speed transaxles from Ferrari, which was an ideal chouse as they'd be installed exactly as the Dino 246. All-independent suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, and four-wheel disc brakes were all specifically designed for the Lancia Stratos.
After 1978 the Stratos was officially retired and no longer was officially entered by the Lancia factory, the vehicle was still going strong. The Lancia team was headed by Sandro Munari who won its first event as a homologated entry in October of 1974. Munari entered alone 40 events with the Lancia Stratos and won 14. The Stratos also won the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975, and 1976 and remained competitive for another four years. The final major win came in 1979 when a Lancia Stratos entered by the Monaco importer won the famed Monte Carlo Rally. Finally, the factory retired the Stratos.By Jessica Donaldson