When the Stratos-Alitalia made us dream during rallies


At least since the end of the  1970s,  racing cars – above all those derived from production models –  were very often appreciated also for their aesthetic aspect. If we refer to the models that have drawn crowds during races, perhaps with a livery that has become famous, their charm has increased  with time. This is the case with the ex-works Lancia Stratos, welcomed by the Concours d’Elégance “Castello di Miramare”  as a typical example of combiningracing with aesthetic elegance. Built for rallies, the Stratos is the result of the fortunate intuition of coupling the prototype chassis presented by Bertone at the Turin Motor Show in 1970 with the gear unit of the Ferrari Dino 246.

Deliberately built in compact dimensions (it is 3.71 cm long in its basic version) in order to be competitive in  road racing, the Stratos made its debut at the Corsica Rally in 1972.

The example presented at the Concours is in the “Alitalia” livery, from the famous sponsorship that entered into the history of Lancia and the rallies. Bearing the  chassis number “1580”, it made its debut at the Giro d’Italia in October 1976 with the Pinto-Bernacchini driving team. The following year it was in the Montecarlo Rally with the same team, who also drove it in the Sanremo Rally. In the last World Rally Championship the Stratos – improved with a modified engine –   was driven by Sandro Munari in the RAC  (Great Britain) rally. The “Drago”  from Cavarzere was unlucky since  he had to retire because of  a broken fan belt.   Anyway,  in the same year, 1977, he won the World Rally Championship.   The following year  the Stratos chassis “1580” raced in the German Rally Championship (temporarily with the Pirelli colours),  driven by Walter Roerhl who won the Unterfranken Rally.