1977 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
The Lancia Stratos HF
The Stratos HF was built by Lancia in Turin between 1973 and 1978, with around 492 cars being built.
Having experienced great success in rallying with its Fulvia HF, Lancia needed to build a new car, a faster car, with this, the Stratos HF being the result. Regulations in rallying at the time stipulated that a manufacturer must produce a road-going ‘Stradale’ variant, with at least 500 examples being assembled. With more time it has become clear that Lancia didn’t quite build the 500 required, with total production estimated at around 492 examples. However, the car was homologated and entered the World Rally Championship.
The Stratos HF was the first Lancia designed by Bertone, with chief designer, Marcello Gandini responsible for the unique, advanced and iconic shape. With Lancia valuing success in the world rally championship, the decision was taken that the Stratos HF would be the first car designed as a racing car, whilst remaining road legal. Standard practise prior was to look at the manufacturers range of rad cars and select the most suitable for rallying and convert it to a competition car, however this always resulted in comprised cars. The Stratos is the first true ‘homologation’ car, built specifically for Lancia to compete in World Rally events around the world, and designed without compromise.
With this totally focussed design, Lancia approached Ferrari for an engine, with the Dino 2.4 litre, V6 unit being used. Power for the Stradale was close to 200 bhp, an impressive number in the early 1970’s! The competition cars later benefitted from larger valves, four-valve heads and larger carburettors before finally moving to injection, which allowed nearer 300 bhp to be fed to the five-speed manual gearbox. Again, thanks to its focussed design, the Stratos HF Group IV weighed less than 900 kgs, with the luxuriously trimmed Stradale less than 100 kg more.
As a result of its cutting-edge design, the Stratos was hugely competitive for many years in rallying, claiming no less than 18 outright World Rally victories, and three World Rally Championships from 1974 through to 1976. The Stratos HF dominated, being driven by rallying heroes including Sandro Munari, Markku Alén, Jean-Claude Andruet, Björn Waldegård and Bernard Darniche.
The Stratos HF Stradale, as presented here, is a very useable car, with a unique perspective offered from the cockpit thanks to the amazing wrap-around windscreen.
This Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
Presented here is chassis 829ARO 001744, built in March 1977 by Lancia in Turin, Italy. This car, Scocca No. 252 (body or shell in English) was originally finished in Rosso Stratos with Havana seats, the same combination in which the car is presented today. We have also confirmed with Lancia Classiche that the engine currently fitted to the car, number 829A 000 001097 is the original.
Thanks to a copy of the original Austrian logbook, which even contains a picture of the car when it was brand new, we can see that this Stratos was first registered in Austria, to Zeman & Co. GMBH and assigned the license ‘W653873’ in April 1977. Ownership, totalling four further individuals, in Austria is documented up to 2001, at which time the car was sold to Anthony Graham in the UK, where the car was imported and assigned the registration ‘WFE 56R’.
In 2014 the car was bought to Mr David Cooper in London, UK. During his ownership, Mr Cooper arranged for Lancia specialists, Walkers Garage Ltd, to carry out a thorough inspection and maintenance works, with a copy of the invoice confirming the works to total over £14,000. At the same time, Mr Cooper arranged for The Classic Car Workshop to repaint this Stratos in its original Rosso Stratos finish.
In 2017, this car was purchased by its most recent owner and in August the same year received further mechanical works at University Motors, famed for their knowledge and preparation of Group IV Stratos, both in the 1970’s, and today. In December 2017, this Stratos was awarded its FIVA Identity Card, number ‘067858’. Today, this car is UK-registered with a current V5.
With its Ferrari engine, Lancia chassis and Bertone design, the Stratos HF Stradale is without doubt one of the all time greats in automotive history.
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