Monterey | Lot 232
1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale by Bertone
$660,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
16 August 2014
- A true “time capsule” example; incredibly original and unmolested
- One owner from new, with only 4,476 kilometers on the odometer
- Original Lancia delivery documents, owner’s manual, tool kit, and jack
192 bhp, 2,418 cc DOHC Dino V-6 engine with triple Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with front coil springs and rear MacPherson struts, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 85.8 in.
If there was ever an automobile that turned the world upside down, it was the Lancia Stratos HF. It was the first automobile purposely built for competition in the World Rally Championships, and the Stratos’ powerful, radical design looked like nothing else on the road, even more so when considering that it was probably one of the only Ferrari-powered cars regularly seen covered in mud.
Italian design house Bertone arrived at the 1970 Turin Motor Show with the positively radical Stratos Zero concept car. As it was rakish and sharply scalloped, the concept stood out not only to crowds of media and show-goers but also to Lancia Director of Public Relations Sandro Fiorio. Fiorio turned to his son, Cesare, Lancia’s rally team chief, and the two pondered about how a production version of the Stratos could be utilized to reverse both the automaker’s shaky image and its struggling motorsports division.
Together, the Fiorios approached Lancia Managing Director Ugo Gobbato with the idea of a Bertone-bodied car that was based on the Stratos Zero concept. Intrigued, Gobbato, an ex-Ferrari chief, green-lighted the project, provided it would be powered by a mid-mounted Ferrari/Dino V-6 engine and a five-speed manual gearbox.
A year later, the glowing orange Stratos HF (for “High Fidelity”) prototype debuted at the 1971 Turin Auto Show. The Stratos’ stunning design was entrusted to Marcello Gandini, and in a nod to the car’s competition intentions, he featured a large wraparound front windshield on it, to offer an enormous outward view for its driver. The futuristic yet decidedly 1970s Stratos stood just under 44 inches tall and tipped the scales at a hair over 2,100 pounds.
The 1974 Stratos HF Stradale, or street version, presented here is described as being a true “time capsule,” as it shows just under 4,500 kilometers from new on its odometer. The car is understood to have only one owner since being acquired “new” from Lancia dealer Campidoglio Motori in Rome, Italy, in March 1986. At the time, Campidoglio advised that the car was used as a demonstrator, and as such, it was one of the very last Stratos sold. On delivery, the odometer read only 3,236 kilometers.
In the last 28 years, the car has only traveled a further 1,240 kilometers, which is confirmed by its accompanying history file. Importantly, during this time, the car was professionally stored in the United Kingdom and more recently in New Zealand. The car remains incredibly original throughout, and it still wears its original Pirelli tires, including the spare. The paint appears mostly untouched, and save for a small patch on the driver’s seat, the interior also remains totally original. While stored in the United Kingdom, the Stratos was started on a weekly basis to maintain its running condition. However, as a result of the technician climbing in and out of the car, the outside bolster of the driver’s seat developed a small tear in the material. The owner decided to swap the seats over in order to prevent any further damage.
Importantly, the car’s identification tags remain intact, including the matching Scocca numbers, which are visibly stamped under the front clip, on the inside of both door jams, on the trunk lid, and on the bulk head inside the trunk of the car. The original paint sticker is also intact and confirms the car’s original color as Rosso Arancio (2.464.171). Finally, there is also an original Campidoglio Motori sticker on the rear screen. The car includes an excellent history file that features the original delivery documentation from Lancia, which confirms the car was manufactured on June 11, 1974. Furthermore, the Lancia features an owners’ manual and Lancia dealership booklet, a Dino engine parts manual, and an unused tool kit, which includes the jack, as well as a number of Lancia Stratos books and literature.
This amazing car has recently been serviced and is ready to be enjoyed or simply preserved in its current state. This Lancia Stratos HF Stradale is undoubtedly one of, if not the finest original, unmolested example of the quintessential road-ready World Rally Championship legend—though it may be best to leave it out of the mud!