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Lot 446: 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Competition-Liveried Two-Seater Coupe
Coachwork by Carrozeria Bertone

Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, Bonhams & Butterfields (15 August 2007)

No two-seat competition Coupe design of the mid-1970s has survived from that period with more charisma and simple ‘street-credibility’ than the immortal Lancia Stratos. To take command behind the steering wheel of one of these shatteringly potent mid-engined competition Coupes is to feel as if one is truly being crowned King of the Road…

During the mid-1970s the Stratos factory team and private owner cars established a stranglehold upon premier-league rally competition at everything from European and World Championship level to National-standard series in almost every country in which rally events took place. While the cars were particularly effective on tarmac-surfaced stages they would also prove effective ‘in the rough.’ They were light, amazingly robust, and supremely well-balanced with their compact ‘wheel-at-each-corner’ mid-engined configuration, and the Ferrari-derived quad-cam V6 engine mounted transversely behind the rear bulkhead of the two-seat cabin.

This particularly attractive and desirable example of Lancia’s multiple Monte Carlo Rally-winning rocket is finished in Lancia Italia/Marlboro livery as used on the works team entries and also on many private customer cars during the heyday of their rallying domination in the mid-1970s.

Chassis ‘0011948’ offered here has been one of the myriad mouth-watering exhibits in a privte European collection.

As offered here this most attractively finished Lancia Stratos combines look-alike rally team exterior livery with the civilised interior of one of the normally appointed road-going production variants of this extraordinary model.

The Lancia Stratos is widely renowned amongst the motoring press as a cautionary tale, for the original ‘Stratos’ concept car displayed by Carrozzeria Bertone at the 1970 Salone dell’Automobile in Turin was widely decried at the time as being so far out and ‘wacky’ that it was totally impractical for any future development. Lancia Division believed otherwise, and although the concept car’s space-age body design certainly required inflation in various directions to accommodate the adult human form sensibly, its rear-engined two-seat Coupe configuration was judged ideal for competition development.

During 1971 the design was completely revamped and refined. The original Fulvia 1600 engine was replaced by a 2,418cc Ferrari Dino V6 engine developing some 190bhp, and Lancia began work to manufacture the new Coupe in sufficient quantity to qualify for the FIA’s Group 4 Special GT competition category. Homologation regulations required at least 500 units to be built within one calendar year. However, the combination of the International oil crisis of the early 1970s and the imposition of a punitive Italian national tax upon cars with engines exceeding 2-liters in capacity hit sales of the new model. Consequently little more than 250 of these entirely distinctive Lancia Stratos Coupes were completed.

Regardless, the Stratos became one of motor sporting history’s most legendarily successful, indeed dominant, International rally cars. The Ferrari-derived V6 4-cam engines were tuned first to 230bhp then to 240 in 24-valve form. Driven notably by Sandro Munari the Lancia Stratos won three consecutive Monte Carlo Rallies, and Lancia Corse as a team won the World Rally Championship titles of 1974-75-76 in succession.

This example of this most compact and provenly capable 1970s ‘supercars’ has been preserved in museum display for many years and will require some degree of sympathetic inspection and re-commissioning before serious use.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club, Carmel, California
TypeCar
Lot Number446
Estimate$100000-$120000
Hammer Price$113000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$131300
Year1975
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number142536
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors