This Lancia Stratos HF Group IV
As with all non-factory Lancia Stratos HF Group IV competition cars, this Stratos started its life as a Stradale, completing production at Bertone on 23rd July 1974, before returning to Lancia where it competed assembly in September 1976. Chassis 829AR0 001619 was originally finished in the same Bleu 2312 Stratos we see today, with Lancia Classiche confirming the engine to be the original.
This Stratos was first registered in Gorizia, Italy, in September 1976 and assigned the registration ‘GO 105327’, before being sold to its first owner, Roberto Mervic. The total cost was 6,000,000 Italian Lire, with payment consisting of 5,000,000 cash and one Fiat. Copies of the original ‘Carta Di Circulazione per Autovettura’ confirming Mervic’s ownership are contained within the impressive history file accompanying this car.
Mervic was a rallying enthusiast, and quickly sent his new Lancia to renowned Stratos specialist, Claudio Maglioli. Having successfully raced a Lancia Fulvia for the HF Squarda Corsa team at events around the world, including the Targa Florio, Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours and the Nurburgring 1000 km it was a natural progression for Maglioli to work on the technical development of all cars for the Lancia Racing Department in 1971. Cars developed by Maglioli as Official Test Driver at the works Lancia Racing Department included the Beta Motecarlo Turbo Group 5, LC1 and LC2 Group C sports prototypes, 037 Rally Group B and ofcourse the Stratos HF Group IV. Maglioli was an important component to the development and success of the Stratos, which claimed three consecutive World Rally Championships, and no fewer than 18 World Rally Victories!
Knowing it was important to have the best preparation possible, Mervic took his Stratos to Maglioli to convert it to Group IV specification, with the upgraded engine, suspension, brakes, larger rear arches, wider wheels and tyres and competition dashboard and interior.
Still finished in its original Bleu, Mervic and 1619 made their competition debut at the 1980 Rally del Carso e dei Colli Orientali, being supported by Scuderia Gradisca. Sitting alongside Mervic was Igno Cargnel, with the pair being assigned race number 5. Roberto Mervic had previously competed in rally events with a Fiat Ritmo Abarth 130 TC and Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, but clearly enjoyed the performance his new Lancia Stratos HF Group IV offered, finishing 2nd in class and 4th overall in his debut event with the car.
For the 1982 Rally del Carso e dei Colli Orientali, Mervic and Cargnel returned, this time wearing race number 16 and being supported by Scuderia Go Corse. Period images from the event confirm the car to be wearing its competition specification lamp pod, white and blue ‘coffin-spoke’ Group IV wheels and flat-top Group IV dashboard. The car was also wearing large sponsorship from S.V.A.G., an Italian home furnishings and DIY store. For the 1981 event, Mervic and Cargnel finished 7th overall.
Maintaining ownership through to 1982, Roberto Mervic sold the car to German, Konrad Schmidt, owner of SMS Motorsport. Konrad Schmidt’s team, SMS Motorsport, worked closely with the works Audi rally team in the late 1970’s during Audi’s foray into the world of rallying. SMS was tasked with maintaining and rallying works-supported cars in the German championship, and thanks to its wealth of experience in rallying, the Audi works team listened and gained experience far faster, often borrowing some of the SMS mechanics for World Rally events. Working with drivers Harald Demuth and Armin Schwarz, SMS Motorsport claimed four German Rally Championship!
Clearly, this Stratos HF Group IV passed from one rallying enthusiast to another! During his ownership, and having registered the car in Germany, Schmidt used the Stratos for a commercial promotional video, whilst also attending the 1993 and 1994 Austrian Alpine Nostalgic Meeting in Lunz-am-see.
1999 saw the Stratos receive both its FIVA Identity Card and Deuvet Vehicle Passport before Schmidt sold the car to Peter Georg Guttenberger of Zirndorf, Germany. Having lived in a garage with Guttenberger and not being driven despite being issued German registration ‘FU-VC41’, this Stratos was then bought by another rallying enthusiast, race and rally film producer, Helmut Deimel in Austria. Diemel had been aware of this Lancia for many years during its time with Schmidt, and soon engaged German Lancia Stratos specialist, Udo Sparwald to carry out a restoration. As a result of his enthusiasm and connections in the print and film world, Deimel arranged for this Stratos to be photographed and featured in several magazines and websites.
In 2016, this Stratos was bought by its most recent owner, an American collector who returned the car once again to Udo Sparwald, this time for an engine rebuild. High compression pistons and conrods, higher lift camshafts, larger inlet and exhaust valves were fitted with the engine and crankshaft also being balanced. Power is estimated at 270 bhp!
Later the same year, the car entered the Lancia Stratos World Meeting in Biella, Italy, before travelling across the Atlantic for the first time and displayed at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in August.
For the 2019 Monterey Classic Car week, this Stratos Group IV was used and demonstrated by our team, with both Max and Daniele enjoying the driving experience and found the response of the car to be impressive.
All Lancia Stratos HF Group IV cars are special, but to own a car converted by the mastermind Claudio Maglioli, with period competition history, low and fully documented ownership history and being presented in a condition such as this car is extremely rare.
We chose to test this Stratos on California’s picturesque Highway 1, but where are you going to experience the intoxicating sound of this big-valve Ferrari V6 engine, or stare at the design of Italian genius, Marcello Gandini? Without doubt, this is one of the ‘must-have’ corner pieces for any collector, are you ready to take the keys from Max?
Price Upon Request
Price Upon Request
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