The LANCIA Stratos was an automobile designed and made in Italy by BERTONE for Italian manufacturer LANCIA, which became part of the FIAT Group in 1969.
The Stratos was a very successful rally racing car during the 1970s and 1980s. It started a new era in rally racing as it was the first car designed from scratch for this kind of competition.
The bodywork was designed by BERTONE and was loosely based on a BERTONE concept car first shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1971.
The Stratos had a distinctive crescent-shaped wrap-around windshield providing maximum forward visibility with almost no rear visibility (which was unnecessary for rallying anyway).
The body was wedge-shaped, and unusually short and wide, providing maximum traction.
The engine was a mid-mounted 190 bhp (140 kW) 2418 cc Dino Ferrari V6. For racing, this engine was tuned up to 280hp and even further with a turbocharger.
LANCIA works drivers did extensive testing with the Stratos and raced the car in several racing events where Group 5 prototypes were allowed during the 1972 and 1973 seasons.
The 400 cars required for homologation in Group 4 were launched in 1973 and the car was homologated for the 1974 World Championship.
The car won the 1974, 1975 and 1976 championships, and might have gone on to win more had not internal politics within the FIAT group that ultimately placed rallying responsibility on the FIAT 131 Abarths.
LANCIA also built a Group 5 road racing 'silhouette' version of the car for sports car and endurance racing. The car won the Giro D'Italia Automobilistica - a latter day version of the Mille Miglia - in both 1976 and 1977.
With only 492 ever made, the Stratos is very rare to this day.
This particular vehicle originally sponsored by Alitalia was acquired by BERTONE after it was retired from Rally Racing and was part of the BERTONE Museum Collection.
The car was sold during auction in May 2011 which was part of Bertone Museum asset liquidation ordered by Bankruptcy court.
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