1972 Lancia Stratos HFSOLD

RM Vintage Motorcars in Arizona - Biltmore Resort & Spa, Friday January 19, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $70,000 - $90,000

$137,500 Sold

c. 240hp, 2419cc. V6 engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 85.8" (2,180mm).

Lancia was struggling when Sandro Fiorio, Lancia ’ s director of public relations, and his son Cesare, head of Lancia ’ s rally team, spied the Lancia Fulvia-based “ Stratos ” concept on the Bertone stand at the 1970 Turin Motor Show. They immediately recognized its potential to revitalize Lancia ’ s competition reputation and to generate some badly needed publicity.

They convinced Lancia ’ s managing director, Ugo Gobbato, to commission Bertone to develop a series based on the concept. Gobbato, recently transferred to Lancia after a stint as head of Ferrari, added the 65° 2,419cc V6 Dino engine and gearbox, already designed and developed for transverse mid-engined placement.

Bertone rushed a refined Stratos to completion in time for the 1971 Turin Show. A much more practical and functional vehicle than the canopy-topped, extreme-wedge Stratos concept of 1970, the new Stratos still was one of the most futuristic automobiles ever proposed for production.

Most rally cars looked like sedans. The Lancia Stratos looked like a spaceship. With its short wheelbase, aggressive wedge profile, huge wraparound windshield and squared-off wheelwell flares, it looked as fast as it was - a dramatic departure for international rallying. In 1973, driven by Sandro Munari, the Stratos was victorious in the Tour de France. It captured three European Hillclimb Championships. It swept the World Rally Championship for Makes in 1974, 1975 and 1976. And no one who saw a mud-spattered Stratos adorned with assorted aerodynamic aids, enough lights to illuminate a football stadium and incongruously topped by a spare tire strapped to its roof, being flung crossways through a corner by Munari at an impossible speed can ever forget the impression.

Lancia eventually built 492 Stratos in order to meet FIA GT qualifications and even created a Group V Stratos with an estimated 400 turbocharged horsepower. With a wheelbase that is just over four inches shorter than a Ferrari Dino and a package that is more than 200 pounds lighter, the Lancia Stratos is one of the most exhilarating, exciting, responsive, quick driving experiences ever created.

This Lancia Stratos was originally built as a Stradale and was subsequently converted to Rally specs including a Group IV competition gearbox. The engine is believed to make 240 horsepower. In the past eight years the Stratos has had two well-known collector owners who have carefully maintained it in their own shops and used it for high speed open road tour events where Lancia ’ s performance and responsiveness have been hugely satisfying. Its most recent event was the 2005 Texas 1000 where it incurred left rear quarter damage during an off-course excursion. Now carefully repaired and restored mechanically and cosmetically, the Stratos ’ surprisingly large and comfortable interior has been upgraded with newer and more comfortable seats and five-point competition belts. The brilliant competition orange paint is this example ’ s original color.

Unlike so many other cars, the Stratos was intended from its earliest concept as a way to go out and get dirty in the most demanding of all high speed competitions: high speed open road rallying. No subsequent automobile has done it more effectively, with more enthusiasm or with the style and flair of the Lancia Stratos. That ’ s over a quarter century of accelerating progress in auto design, technology and materials, yet the Stratos still stands alone.

Reference Number 5857

as of 1/10/2007

Car 1972 Lancia Stratos HF
VIN 829AR0001521 
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