The Lancia Stratos turns 50. History of a myth

The Lancia Stratos is one of those sports cars that you fall in love with at first sight because of its aggressive and compact design which, combined with a sleek and sophisticated appearance, makes it a one of a kind machine. As a car enthusiast, I can safely say that the Lancia Stratos is one of my favorite sports cars of all time. Its racing heritage, combined with its iconic design and high-level performance, make it a legend in the world of motoring.

The Lancia Stratos is a sports car that was produced between 1973 and 1978. Designed by the famous Italian designer Bertone, it was one of the most innovative cars of the 1970s, and quickly became an icon of Italian motoring. With its distinctive wedge shape and racing chassis, the Lancia Stratos became one of the most successful rally cars of its time.

The design and engineering behind the Lancia Stratos

The design of the Lancia Stratos is one of its most distinctive aspects. It was designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, who was inspired by the shape of an arrow. The wedge shape of the car, with its low nose and high tail, made it highly aerodynamic and stable at high speeds.

The Stratos chassis was designed by Italian engineer Gianpaolo Dallara, who used a revolutionary design approach in the car’s construction. Instead of using a conventional chassis, Dallara decided to integrate the body directly into the structure of the car, creating what is known as a monocoque. This approach resulted in a stiffer and lighter car, making it an exceptional racing car.

The racing success of the Lancia Stratos

The Lancia Stratos quickly became one of the most successful racing cars of its time. It made its debut in the 1974 Monte Carlo Rally, where it won the race, and went on to win races all over the world. In 1976, the Stratos won the FIA World Rally Championship, becoming the first car designed specifically for rally racing to win the title.

One of the reasons for the Stratos’ racing success was its compact and lightweight design, which allowed it to maneuver on narrow, winding roads. The car’s 2.4-liter V6 engine was also noted for its power and quick response, making it a very agile and fast car on the track.

The legacy of the Lancia Stratos

Although production of the Lancia Stratos ceased in 1978, its legacy has endured to this day. The car has been a favorite among sports car collectors, and has fetched exorbitant prices at specialized auctions. In 2019, a 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale sold for over €700,000 at auction in , making it one of the most expensive cars sold that year. This record price is a testament to the value placed on the Lancia Stratos today, and its position as one of the most iconic and valued automobiles in motoring history.