1976 Lancia Stratos HF Group IV

Traditionally linked with Pininfarina, Lancia was impressed when Bertone himself appeared at the factory gates with his Stratos Zero concept in 1970. Bertone had his chief designer, Marcello Gandini, create an eye-catching prototype to grab Lancia’s attention, hopefully allowing him to win a contract to design a Lancia. The stunt proved hugely successful and a relationship between Lancia and Bertone blossomed, leading to the development of a new rally car based on the ideas of Gandini, who had in recent years designed the Lamborghini Miura and Countach.

The manufacture of the Stratos was shared between Bertone and Lancia. The V6 double overhead camshaft engine produced 280 bhp in Group IV specification and was mid-mounted, and thanks to twin fuel tanks mounted to either side of the engine, offered exception weight distribution. With a wheelbase of just 2,180 mm, and weighing only 880 kgs, the Stratos was nimble, pointy and direct, often catching out the less respectful drivers.

From the outset, the Stratos was designed for competition. Production of the 500 cars for homologation in Group 4 begun in 1973 with the Stratos gaining homologation for the 1974 World Rally Championship season. In 1974, there was no drivers Championship, only manufacturers could be crowned, which Lancia were with the Stratos consecutively for three years, and to this day are the World’s most successful World Rally Championship Manufacturer.

The Lancia Stratos featured here is available from Girardo & Co. Click on the link below for more information, including a detailed history of the car. Photos: Girardo & Co.