Thursday 20th December 2012


SPOTTED: LANCIA STRATOS PROTOTYPE

This stunning Stratos is a bit pricey, but you won't find another like it.


Classic cars, and their values, are all about provenance. Who's owned the car, where it's been driven and whether it's still original all become imperative when contemplating a classic.

A unique, one-off Stratos? Yes please!
A unique, one-off Stratos? Yes please!
With that in mind, how about this for a car ofhistorical significance? The very first LanciaStratos produced, chassis number 003, used by Lancia as a dealer demonstrator to gauge reception on the project.

It is currently for sale at Joe Macari's and, with the Stratos being a little more special than a regular Spotted, PH got on the phone to secure some more details.

This particular Stratos is a pre-production car, and was built in 1973. It was used by Lancia during that year as a prototype and shown to dealers with the intention of building 500 for world rally homologation. The reception given to the Stratos, as perhaps could be expected, was universally positive, and road car production began in 1974. On the world's rally stages, the Stratos dominated; its compact dimensions and mid-engined layout ensured great agility and it won Lancia three consecutive world championship titles between 1974 and 1976.

Deeper grille is one of several detail changes
Deeper grille is one of several detail changes
The demands of rallying meant that the production Stratos differed fractionally to this prototype. According to Macari's, this car has a slightly deeper front grille which was later made shallower, presumably to avoid damage from errant rocks on special stages. Small idiosyncrasies and detail changes like this are, of course, all part of the development process, but they seem all the more exciting on such an iconic car.

Mechanically, the pre-production Stratos is identical to the customer cars. So the engine is a 2.4-litre V6 from the Ferrari Dino mounted in the middle. Peak power of 190hp is produced at 7,000rpm, whilst three Weber carburettors provide fuel until a cut-out at 7,800rpm.

The gearbox is a five-speed manual, but with some recent modification from Macari's. As a pre-production car, this Stratos was as much about how it looked as how it drove. The original 'box was simply enough to get it about and was fairly obstinate in the best Italian tradition. The linkage has been updated to make it 'usable', which is helpful.

Dino-sourced 2.4-litre V6 gave 190hp
Dino-sourced 2.4-litre V6 gave 190hp
So what does such a stunning piece of automotive history cost? Macari's has it listed at 325,000, which is undoubtedly a huge sum of money. However, with the values of the Stratos' Dino sister-car climbing, Macari's is confident every Stratos is an appreciating asset. Yes, cars that will supposedly rise in value have been flavour of the week at PH these past few days, but can you ever imagine a pre-production Stratos depreciating?

As a final Lancia-related aside, low-mileage and good condition Delta Integrales, Beta Monte Carlos and Aurelias are much in demand. As an indicator of their spiralling values, Macari's sold a 16v Delta Integrale in 2010 that had covered just 100km, and it fetched 45,000. Today, you'll need at least that amount for an Evo 2 with 56,000 kilometres.


Lancia Stratos
Engine
: 2419cc V6
Transmission: Five-speed manual, RWD
Power (hp): 190@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft):166@4,000rpm
MPG:N/A
CO2:Err...
First Registered: 1973
Recorded mileage: Not many!
Price new:N/A
Yours for: 325,000


See the original advert here. View pictures on the Joe Macari website.

Author: Matt Bird
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