Lot 248: 1974 Lancia Stratos Stradale Coupé
A limited-production 'homologation special', the Lancia Stratos was the first car from a major manufacturer conceived specifically for rallying. The spearhead of Lancia's international rally campaign in the 1970s, the Stratos had its origins in a Fulvia-powered, mid-engined design exercise first exhibited on Bertone's stand at the 1970 Turin Motor Show. Also the work of Bertone, the production Stratos of 1972 retained the striking 'wedge' styling of its forbear but employed the 2.4-litre Ferrari Dino V6 engine. The latter was housed in a robust steel monocoque body-tub clad in glassfibre coachwork.
As befitted a car purpose built to cope with all types of rallying, the Stratos came with fully adjustable, all-independent suspension by double wishbones and coil springs, plus four-wheel disc brakes all round. With 190bhp on tap, the production road (stradale) version was good for 140mph (225km/h). The works Group 4 rally cars were, of course, considerably more powerful but initial reliability problems meant that success was slow to come. After its first major victory in the 1974 Targa Florio, the Stratos went on to dominate international rallying, Lancia winning the World Rally Championship of Makes in 1975 and 1976. Works pilote Bernard Darniche triumphed twice in the world's premier drivers' competition - the European Rally Championship - in 1976 and 1977 and the Stratos helped Markku Alen to the inaugural World Drivers' Championship in 1978. Alen's season had been split between the Stratos and the FIAT 131, and it was the parent company's political decision to favour that latter, rather than any lack of competitiveness, which saw the incomparable Stratos phased out.
Incredible as it may seem today, after the 400 cars required for homologation had been completed in 1975, the vast majority remained unsold due to lack of demand. Almost as soon as it ceased active competition though, the car's historic significance was recognised and prices soared.
This example of a supremely successful competition car from one of the most distinguished marques in automotive history was sold new in France in 1974 and acquired by the present owner in 2004, since when it has taken part in the prestigious Rallye Neige et Glace. The car, finished in Rosso Monza with a black leather interior is in our opinion in excellent condition. It comes complete with two alternative sets of wheels, FFSA (Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile) passport and French/Swiss registration papers.
Cet exemplaire d'une des voitures de compétition les plus titrées d'une firme qui a particulièrement marqué l'histoire de l'automobile a été vendue neuve en France en 1974 et acquise par son propriétaire actuel en 2004. Depuis, elle a participé au prestigieux rallye neige et Glace. La voiture, peinte en Rosso Monza avec intérieur noir est selon nous en excellent état. Elle est proposée avec deux jeux de roues, son passeport FFSA (Fédération Française du Sport Automobile) et ses papiers d'immatriculation suisses et français.
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