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1976 Lancia Stratos 'Stradale' by Carrozzeria Bertone

1976 Lancia Stratos ’Stradale’ by Carrozzeria Bertone

The Lancia Stratos was once one of the most dominant forces in the World Rally Championship, as it took home the championship in three consecutive seasons – 1974, 1975 and 1976. After the 1976 campaign, however, the Stratos was pulled out of the WRC.

In 1979, the Stratos wound up with a private racing firm and dominated the 1979 Monte Carlo Rally. The legend of the Lancia Stratos continues amongst rally enthusiasts. The Stratos was not only a rally machine, as Lancia did manufacture a small number of street versions of its rally champ. Unfortunately, with its popularity in the Rally realm, many of the street-version, known as the “Straddles,” Stratos have been converted into rally cars or modified into replicas of the WRC Champion car.

Thanks to the folks at RM Auctions you may be able to own one of the few near-mint condition 1976 Lancia Stratos ’Straddles’ left in the world. This beautifully restored classic is set to go to auction on May 11th or 12th in Monaco.

You may be wondering how well restored is this classic car or maybe if it is worth its asking price? Maybe you haven’t even heard of this car and would like to know more about it before considering shoving off to Monaco.

Click past the jump to read our full review to get a better feel for this car.

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1974 Lancia Stratos

1974 Lancia Stratos

The seventies brought us things like bell bottom jeans, the Village People, and of course, a slimy-haired John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. In the car world, it was a time where muscle cars were well and truly in their element. Whilst Detroit was reveling, there was also a revolution going on, but one that would blow the lid off car design norms. It was all happening in the house of Bertone and the car in question was poised to re-write history in the worlds of car design and Rallying. It was, of course, the revolutionary Lancia Stratos HF.

With its striking good looks, the car was a unique design that was unparalleled at the time. What also made it special was the fact that it was built from the ground up for one purpose: to win the World Rally Championship. It is very seldom that you come across cars that are designed as race cars and then turned into road cars – usually it’s the other way around. Other examples that share this rare trait include the Maserati MC12 and Mercedes CLK GTR. The road going version was only produced so that homologation criteria could be met in order for it to enter the Group 4 class of the Rally World Championship. And for that reason, like the Maserati and Mercedes, it had quite a few shortcomings in the real world. Its performance wasn’t one of them – largely due to the mid–mounted Ferrari V6 engine form the Dino - after all Ferrari was owned by Fiat and the Stratos was developed as a race car.

Hit the jump for the full story.

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