The Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
Short, stubby and simply unstoppable, the Lancia Stratos HF won a staggering 18 World Rally events and no fewer than three World Rally Championships.
Its formidable performance can be attributed largely to Marcello Gandini, the design wunderkind who, working under the Bertone banner, single-handedly revolutionised the world of car design. The introduction of the Stratos in 1970 heralded the era of the ‘wedge’ and petrolheads simply had no idea what they were in for.
Arguably the very first thoroughbred rally car, no stone was left unturned by Lancia and Bertone’s designers and engineers in the quest for performance. The Stratos’ desperately short wheelbase (just 2.18 metres) coupled with its 880kg weight meant it was positively nimble and direct. It took a skip-full of skill to master it, which explains why Sandro Munari ranks so highly in our list of great drivers.
For the heart of its new car, Lancia approached Ferrari, a company whose legend was forged around the power and reliability of its engines. A 2.4-litre six-cylinder ‘Dino’ engine was chosen and tucked transversely right behind the cabin. It produced a mighty 300HP in Corsa spec. And it sounded a rabid dog barking for its life.
Crucially, the rallying rules of the time dictated that 500 road-specification cars were to be built in order to homologate a competition variant. In typically Italian fashion, Lancia didn’t manage to do that. It’s estimated that 492 Stratos HF Stradales left the marque’s Chivasso plant, of which this beautiful matching-numbers example from 1975 is one.
This Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
The Stratos HF Stradale you’re ogling no doubt slack-jawed is chassis 001965. Finished in Rosso Stratos and an Alcantara Havanna velour interior, its certificate of origin was issued on 29 October 1975, when it was bought by its first Italian owner, one Giampaolo Pescaroli. The car was registered just two days later and assigned with the registration ‘PR 257352’.
On 14 November 1977, chassis 001965 was bought by its second owner, Hildegard Krebber, who re-registered the car in her hometown of Verona – ‘VR 461707’ read the black license plates. Four years later, this Stratos transferred into the hands of its third and final owner, Antonio de Berardinis from Teramo, Italy. As the car’s previous owners had done, De Berardinis re-registered the car once again with the number ‘TE 162000’.
This Stratos clearly tugged on De Berardini’s heartstrings, as he kept it almost four decades. That is until we sold the car in October of this year, along with its Lancia Classiche Certificato Di Origine, confirming that it retains its original engine. As Pietro Bianchi’s wonderful photos testify, chassis 001965 looks every bit as good as the day it left the Turin. Fortunately for its new owner, this Lancia drives even better than it looks.
Price upon request
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