The Lancia Stratos needs no introduction; it’s basically a purpose-built car created to win titles in rallies and the fact that Lancia was required by FIA rules to make a street-legal version was simply a bonus.
Penned by Bertone, the Stratos went on to win three WRC championships in a row, in 1974, 1975 and 1975, and Lancia manufactured around 500 of them for road use.
This is the story of Érik Comas and his personal Stratos Group 4 rally car as told by Petrolicious. Comas, a former F1 driver, has owned four examples of the Stratos so far, but this one is a bit more special at it used to belong to Claudio Maglioli, Lancia’s official test driver during the Stratos development.
Comas competes in historic rally championships with his rather gorgeous Stratos, with wins in Tour Auto and the historic Targa Florio, along with overall wins in the 2015 Italian championship and in the 2017 European championship.
The tiny, mid-engined Lancia is powered by a 2.4-liter Dino V6. The road-legal versions of the Stratos made 188hp, 166lb-ft of torque and a soundtrack straight from heaven. Race cars with the 12-valve version of the Ferrari engine made 275hp officially, a figure that was later raised to 320hp for the 24-valve version.
Seeing a Lancia Stratos being driven as intended and hearing the angry rasp of that V6 is something that sticks with you, even if you weren’t around the first time these cars were storming the rally stages.