And now for something completely different. If the finally confirmed New Stratos just isn’t original enough for you, try this beauty on for size.
We found a 1975 Group 4 rally-spec Lancia Stratos for sale on Classic Driver, and my, isn’t it lovely? Based on the stunning original but upgraded with modern brakes, engine tuning and electric power steering, this is a Stratos that would be a joy to drive in the 21st Century.
Chassis number 001-526 is a modified 24-valve model, tuned for about 300bhp for a competitive edge. Adapted for rallying, the unusual 2.4-litre 65-degree V6 borrowed from the Ferrari Dino sings right up to 7800rpm, with three Weber carburettors contributing to what must be an incomparable noise.
Walter Rohrl himself once said that the noise his Stratos rally car made “was just the most wonderful sound in the world.” Given a full €250,000 restoration in France over the last few years, this car is in peak working health, so you can spend lots of time judging for yourself.
This is no garage queen. It rides on specially-tuned modern suspension, has lightweight carbonfibre bonnet and boot lids and those practical modern touches like decent brakes and power steering. It’s built to be used. The 880kg(ish) car was given the new, uprated engine by Lorrtec last year in partnership with a new manual gearbox, sourced from Vaison Sport, in place of the tired five-speed ZF original.
Naturally it’s a left-hooker and is still in France, but wouldn’t that present an epic, once-in-a-lifetime road trip home, perhaps via the Swiss Alps or Lancia’s home in Turin? The only slight stumbling block is the price. It’s €780,000, or roughly £698,000. A new one would be cheaper, but it wouldn’t have pop-up headlights…