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by Jay Traugott
Beauty and performance perfectly came together with the original Stratos.
There are few cars in the world that literally become instant classics
from the day they are revealed. For reasons such as mechanical innovations, a striking design, or even just pure originality, some become icons that will one day be worth hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars. One of those icons is the Lancia Stratos
. First launched as a prototype at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, the Stratos went on to earn quite a reputation as one of the world's finest rally cars
It went on to win its first rally victory in 1973. In addition to its legendary wedge design, it's gone down as one of Italy's all-time greatest and most beautiful exotics. It's Italian, rare, and beautiful - three elements that makes every car person and collector want one. Up for auction later this month at the RM Monaco auction is this drop dead gorgeous 1976 Lancia Stratos. This is the rare 'Stradale' version and it's also been recently restored. Power comes from a mid-mounted 190hp, 2.4-liter Ferrari V6 with three Weber carburetors and has a top speed in excess of 140 mph.
It's mated to a five-speed manual and also features four-wheel independent suspension with front coil springs, rear MacPherson struts, and four-wheel disc brakes. That iconic wedge design comes courtesy of the Carrozzeria Bertone design house, penned by Marcello Gandini. This particular Stratos has spent most of its life in Austria under the ownership of two previous serious collectors. Its recent restoration has literally made it better than new because the panel fit was improved as well as the quality of the paint job. However, the engine and gearbox were not restored but are in excellent condition.
RM Auctions predicts it will fetch in an auction price between €250,000 to €300,000. Interested? Then you better get your checkbooks out and ready for Saturday, May 12.