We reckon the Lancia Stratos might just be the best-looking rally car ever. It’s a contentious point because so many rally cars have looked sensational for different reasons.
The Mini Cooper, Mk1 Escort, Audi Quattro et al all looked great in their own way, but the Stratos stands alone for many as not merely a great-looking rally car, but a piece of rolling art work; a design statement of its time. Not only did it look other-worldly, but it was an extremely good rally car, as three consecutive World Rally Championships in the hands of Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård confirms.
Such was the competition prowess of the Stratos that years after its day on the world stage was done, privateers continued to enter them in events and kept on scooping silverware well into the Eighties.
So, you’d like a piece of that action. Why wouldn’t you? They’re so cool, reportedly epic to drive, very light and feature a Ferrari V6 which compares well to some of the best-sounding engines ever made. There are, however, going to be a few problems getting your hands on one.
Group 4 regulations at the time required that just 500 examples be built to satisfy homolgation requirements, and an upshot of the car’s competitiveness is that many of those 500 examples were pressed in to rally duty. As such, un-rallied road versions are a rareity. One-owner from new cars are rarer still, but that’s what we’re looking at here.
RM Auctions has this one for sale and will probably find a new owner for it at its Paris auction next week. The original owner took delivery of it in 1977 and has covered a mere 38,554 kilometres since. What’s more, he had the foresight to acquire two others which he converted to Group 4 spec and used for rallies!
The estimate is between €350,000 and 450,000, and for that you get those oh-so-cool helmet holders beneath the side windows, the sonorous Ferrari V6 and twin 80-litre tanks, should you be in the mood for some serious touring.
Can anyone else see the day when €1,000,000 will be needed to make one yours?