• This 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Was Super Cool in Jay Leno’s Garage

Watch Jay Leno drive a rally-spec Lancia Stratos on public roads

LISTEN 02:37

Jay Leno owns a massive car collections that reportedly includes well over 150 examples. He owns some of the rarest and most iconic automobiles ever built, but he’s still missing some important vehicles. The Lancia Stratos is one of them, but the former TV show host managed to borrow one for the Jay Leno’s Garage show. If you want to see a rally-spec car being driven on U.S. roads, this is your best chance yet.

This 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Was Super Cool in Jay Leno's Garage
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The Stratos is one of Lancia’s most successful race-spec cars. Introduced in 1973 as a successor to the Fulvia HF, the Stratos was designed specifically for racing, starting a new era of bespoke rally cars for the WRC. The Stratos was also the first Lancia designed by Bertone and was penned by Marcello Gandini, who created the equally famous Lamborghini Miura and Countach. Previewed by the Stratos Zero in 1970 and a prototype in 1971, the Stratos HF went into production in 1973.

This 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Was Super Cool in Jay Leno's Garage
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The Stratos featured a Ferrari engine under the rear hood. The Italians sourced the 2.4-liter V-6 from the Dino, which generated 188 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque in the road-spec model. The Stratos needed only 6.8 seconds to hit 62 mph and charged toward a top speed of 144 mph. The rally car was notably more powerful, with the original 12-valve version rated at 275 horsepower and the 24-valve model good for 320 horses.

Lancia Stratos specifications
Engine 2.4-liter V-6
Horsepower 188 HP
Torque 166 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 6.8 seconds
Top Speed 144 mph
This 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Was Super Cool in Jay Leno's Garage
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The Stratos was by far the most successful rally car of its era, winning the championship title from 1974 to 1976. It won 11 rally events during these three years, including all editions of the Monte Carlo rally. The Stratos continued to win important WRC events through 1981 with private teams after Fiat decided to replace it with the 131 Abarth. Lancia also built a Group 5 version with turbo power for endurance racing, but it wasn’t very successful outside events like Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. In 1976, a French-owned Lancia Stratos finished 20th at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Lancia Stratos was discontinued in 1978 with some 492 units built. It was replaced by the Lancia 037, a car also developed specifically for rally racing.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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