Safari Stratos - King Of The African Savanna
At the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed one car stood out to us more than any, the Safari Stratos! Not much can describe the sound made by the V6 Dino power plant as it blasted its way around the Rally Stage. To say the car was on song would be an understatement, it was like Pavarotti playing to his home town.
It is really astonishing how much effort the Italian squad put into the development for only one round of the World Championship. On the rear spoiler of the car is what some people would call a small aerial but in reality it’s a very cleaver way of keeping the African dust out of the engine bay. When the car kicks up the dust an electric spark is sent to make sure no dust lingers in the engine bay. Even if some dust finds its way into the engine eight small flaps on top of the Carburettor air intake duct, open to allow the dust to exit and not clog up the Carburettor. This is just one of the ways Lancia innovated to gain an advantage over its competitors especially on an event that was poorly attended by the rivalling manufactures.
Today the car was restored to its 1976 Safari specification as driven by Bjorn Waldegard. Complete with its Safari spec suspension allowing a size of travel that was not possible for any of Lancia’s competitors. The car was run by its owner David Hanman with assistance from Lancia/Abarth specialists, GTO Tech to allow a smooth running of the car over the Festival. Rob Johnston from RMS Classics was on hand to dance the Stratos in spectacular fashion around the stage to entertain the crowds and entertain them he did. Other than a slight issue with the brake master cylinder briefly locking the rear wheels which was fixed with a small tap, the car ran faultlessly for the entirety of the festival and handled the stage perfectly. The team had nothing but praise for the cars instant throttle response and how the car handled the notoriously slippery and rough limestone stage.