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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    RALLY ACE TURNED TRACK WARRIOR TESTED / #Lancia-Stratos / #Lancia / #Leo-Pittoni / #Anna-Cambiaghi / #1974 /
    Lancia Stratos On track with two race and rally legends

    Fighting Fit. On track with two legendary Lancia Stratoses including comments from the actual drivers who raced them in period. Story by Ruoteclassiche/Emanuele Sanfront. Photography by Ruoteclassiche/Massimilano Serra.

    Had it not become a rally star, the Lancia Stratos would have probably left only vague memories in the history of the automobile, memories usually associated with concept cars created for motor shows, which are bold in style, exaggerated inside, designed to strike imagination, and intended to promote a brand or a designer. The production version didn’t make a big impact either, being built by Bertone in as few as 500 examples to obtain racing homologation in Group 4, and stir up the hearts of Lancia’s racing clients. Indeed, the Stratos slipped away without too much regret, only to later reach ‘stratospheric’ prices that currently range from €350,000 for a good road car, to over a €1m for a rare version from the official Lancia team.

    The false start was mainly due to the fact that, in order to hold down the price and cut the production costs, there was a great deal of speculation concerning the quality of materials, especially relating to the bodywork. Launched in 1973 and offered at the considerable price of 8,850,000 lire, the Stratos clearly had many imperfections. The upper part of the doors would warp and the fibreglass had a tendency to break near the hinges. Also, the narrow rear storage compartment had a reduced load capacity, and overheated quickly when driving so barely anything could be carried without being affected. These faults would ultimately be fixed, although they initially discouraged even the most passionate and brand-loyal customers, to the detriment of sales. It is said that one of the first road Stratoses was purchased by the Italian ski champion Clotilde Fasolis. Clotilde complained about the poor quality of the car she had just purchased via Sandro Fiorio, director of Lancia’s communication office. Miss Fasolis’ Stratos was sent to the racing department, which was responsible for preparing the racing versions to compete in rally events. Lancia’s public relations office bore the costs involved in replacing the poor doors and front and rear covers with better quality parts that had been manufactured on an experimental pre-production basis.

    The Lancia Stratos racing history began in the early 1970s and the car was designed to dominate the rally scene and challenge the supremacy of the small French Alpine A110. It was technically advanced compared with other rally cars, and quickly stood out from the group due to the considerable power of its 2.4-litre V6 engine, the easy handling, easy service access and the reliability of its mechanics. The car was incredibly versatile and began to dominate on any terrain, be it the gravel trails of the African Safari Rally, the snowy roads of the Monte Carlo rally, the asphalt of the Tour de Corse and even on the track, for which it was never designed.

    The two featured, gorgeous, Group 4 Stratos examples are owned by two brothers from Como, and entered the gates of Quattroruote’s track at Vairano near Milan. Coincidentally, the multi-coloured car is a version set up for high speed circuit racing and was prepared in Carlo and Giuliano Facetti’s workshop.

    IN THE BLUE CORNER

    “Racing drivers Carlo Facetti and Gianfranco Ricci performed very well with this Stratos in the 1976 season,” says Claudio Magnani, an entrepreneur who raced in as many as 250 events between 1976 and 1993, and continued until 1999 when he finally hung up his helmet. “I bought it in 1977 and a few months later, Emilio Paleari and Anna Cambiaghi drove it in the 6 Hours of Mugello. Initially, I tried hillclimbing, then in 1978 I asked Fulvio Bacchelli to join me in that season’s 6 Hours of Mugello. We were first in Group 4 and placed eleventh overall in the 1978 season. In October of the same year, together with Leo Pittoni and the unforgettable Sergio Cresto as a navigator, I raced in the Giro d’Italia. We were placed third overall and first in Group 4. The featured car raced in the original Rino Fabbri Editore livery until 1980, when the body was repainted white. Formula One racing driver Renzo Zorzi ran it, among the others mentioned before.”

    “The car always performed well,” confir med the famous former driver Carlo Facetti, who prepared this Stratos together with his brother Giuliano and raced it at many events. “It's a competitive car and it has always given me great satisfaction, especially the second place in the #1976-Targa-Florio with Gianfranco Ricci, who owned it before it went to Claudio Magnani. Now that it has been entirely overhauled, it's a gem”.

    Claudio Magnani looks on with a smile at his Stratos while the mechanics do their best to heat up its powerful six-cylinder engine. Before getting behind the wheel and taking to the track, he describes some peculiarities of the dynamic behaviour of this Stratos.

    “The short wheel base makes it very sensitive, so it should be driven as smoothly as possible, a little like you would drive a Sports Prototype. The mid-rear engine layout makes it more suitable for rallying rather than for the track,” Magnani explains, “however, the special aerodynamics, modified suspension and low setup makes it perform very well in high speed track events.”

    Magnani warns: “Beware though! A small distraction is enough to abruptly switch from neutral to oversteer, which should be fought decisively to avoid ending up in a spin. The Stratos, unlike other GTs, is a true race car in terms of its dimensions, driving position and steering features. Being robust and very fast on the straights, thanks to its aerodynamics, allowed it to get the better of the more powerful 3-litre Porsche 911 in period. Magnani continues: “The Stratos is equipped with a powerful V6 Ferrari injection 2.4-litre engine with two valves per cylinder that delivers an output of 270hp between 5000 and 8600rpm. In case of need however, you can pull up to 9000 rpm. The gear ratios allows the driver to exploit this Stratos to its best on any circuit.”

    THE DRIVERS’ VERDICT

    Leo Pittoni (Racing career 1967-1988) "In the autumn of 1971 , while I was collecting my Lancia Fulvia HF from Lancia’s racing department to run the San Marino Rally, I had the opportunity to admire the Stratos prototype. I was struck by the aggressive lines and the overall racing look of that small sized car. It was only a year later that I managed to test the road version, albeit with a negative impression.


    Although the torque generated by the 195hp engine was quite high, the gearing made the car slow and the setup was unstable. Moreover, the interior ventilation was marginal. I had to wait until #1977 to realise the great qualities of the Group 4 Stratos. The specimen handed over to me by the Jolly Club to run the Monte Carlo Rally had been prepared by Claudio Maglioli, and it delivered about 240hp. But that is another story!

    “The short wheelbase, reduced size, weight distribution and good overall handling made tight cornering easier. Direct steering allowed quick adjustment of the trajectory. The close ratio rally transmission and light weight (900kg) body ensured impressive acceleration and good traction even on the snow.


    “In #1978 I again sat behind the wheel of a Stratos to run in the Italian Rally Championship. I had an Olio Fiat version on that occasion prepared by Genoa’s University Motors (below, the #1978-Valli-Piacentine-Rally , photo courtesy Pittoni Archives). The power had been increased to 250hp at the expense of some torque. The setup could be changed easily through the newly calibrated shock absorbers and adjustable anti-roll bars. When I went off the road at nearly 200km/h due to the wet asphalt on the Rally of Sicily, I quickly understood the car's limits on mixed fast ground. The winding gravel roads of the Rally of Elba, on the other hand, made me appreciate the remarkable handling and easy driving features on the loose surface, provided I was good enough to anticipate the bends and then power out holding the car steady. The good power to weight ratio guaranteed good stage times at reduced risk. The only inconvenience was the heat inside due to insufficient ventilation.


    “At the end of the 1978 season I had the opportunity to run the [featured] race version prepared by Facetti on the Giro d’Italia. The 270hp engine was definitely performing well, although the higher power was penalised by the long gear ratios, that could be changed quickly for accelerating through a special device, which helped maintain optimum engine revs. The stiff racing suspension setup required more precise driving especially around fast bends and on rough asphalt. The third place overall and the first place in the Gran Turismo category helped me get back up the Italian Rally Championship list, after I was forced to retire a few times due to small mechanical problems, and which was concluded victoriously with my team mate Vudafieri.”

    IN THE RED CORNER

    The second contributor to our track test is a Stratos rally version that began its career in 1976. Numerous drivers sat behind the steering wheel, among them the Frenchman Francis Serpaggi, of Corsican origins, who participated in the 1976 Tour de Corse. Tony Carello drove the car in #1977 and Anna Cambiaghi in 1978, who at the time alternated between track racing and rallies.


    In the early 1980s, after competition homologation expired, the Milan Jolly Club team handed over this red Stratos to Giuliano Facetti. Facetti restored it to its original road specification, but retained some details of the previous racing engine preparation, the transmission, the chassis and rose jointed suspension. "My passion for the Stratos was born when I started following my brother Claudio during speed races”, explains Marco Magnani. “I discovered rallies later on, but I never ran. I obtained this car in the early 1980s but it was not until 2002 that I decided to bring it back to a race configuration, entrusting it to the expert hands of Luigi Foradini from Biella, who teamed with Claudio Maglioli in those glorious years.

    Magnani continues: “The complex operation involved the updating of some vital mechanical parts, including the engine, starting with a meticulous rebuild. The car was equipped with a more powerful exhaust system, while the brakes were improved thanks to the adoption of a sophisticated Lockheed system. The electrical system was serviced thoroughly, and the two original front and rear covers were replaced with light weight versions. In my opinion as an amateur, your goal is to own a car which is as true as possible to the original. In my case, I wanted to hold my hands on the steering wheel of a rally Stratos identical to the one that competed in the mid 1970s. So I needed the help of some very experienced technicians who knew how to retain the original features of the engine, the setup and suspension of the car. I must admit that although it is not easy to drive, this car truly delivers unique emotions. The spark plugs are problematic though, when wet it is particularly hard to start the engine. You should be very careful to gently press the accelerator pedal then lift the foot, activate the fuel pump, and wait. Do not over indulge though, otherwise starting becomes hard again. Ultimately, you feel like you’re sitting in an aircraft cockpit for the final checks prior to take-off.”

    THE DRIVERS’ VERDICT Anna Cambiaghi (Racing career 1974-1987)

    “The short wheelbase, exuberant power and correct weight distribution made the Stratos the ideal car for rallying. The dynamic, fundamentally neutral behaviour, becomes oversteer during acceleration, thus allowing the driver to switch to the most appropriate driving style depending on the route, be it a track with large, speed-friendly bends, or mixed ground. In short, the rally version adjusts well to any road condition thanks to the bespoke mechanical tuning and the great handling. In special racing events it requires bold driving to accommodate the nervous dynamic behaviour and the considerable power delivered to the wheels. In difficult weather conditions visibility problems may occur, at least according to my experience. Any verdict on the racing version of the Stratos should necessarily depend on its competition application. There are obviously differences compared to the rally version, but the starting point is the same. In fact, the changes are not likely to alter its structure and the key features, but have a strong influence on its dynamic behaviour. Driven to the limit, the track racing Stratos requires a delicate touch otherwise spinning is guaranteed. In fast corners, like at the Mugello track, you drive in continuous suspense, as the car requires very clean driving in the constant search for the best trajectory. "

    LEFT: Carlo Facetti, racing driver and design engineer for Lancia, was responsible for the technical development of the Stratos.

    ABOVE: This Stratos is unusual in that it was rally car converted for road use, not the other way round.
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  •   Ken Gross reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    The #Lancia-Stratos-HF-Stradale #1974 /// TEXT José Ricardo Gouveia | IMAGE Tom Wood / RM Auctions /// #Lancia-Stratos

    Hall prototype of the rally world championship hero, the Lancia Stratos is still revered by motor sport enthusiasts. Your "civilian" version, the Lancia Stratos HF Stradale is a true collectible, ready to be driven fast.

    Heroes of rallying

    When we think of Italian exoticism, one of the models that immediately arises in the Lancia Stratos is. True prototype made rally champion, this fabulous product of Marcello Gandini imagination and Sandro Fiorio would come to dominate the World Rally Championship between 1974 and 1976. Along the way, the engine coupé placed in the rear center position would become a the most collectible Lancia ever.

    In #1970 the Hall of Turin has staged an impressive presentation by the Bertone. Leveraging its most radical and futuristic vein, the Italian design house unveiled the Stratos Zero model, a reinterpretation signed by Marcello Gandini of the car mixed with the appearance of a spaceship. Fetched from all angles, the Stratos caught the attention of the Director of Public Relations for Lancia and former pilot of rallies, Sandro Fiorio, which addressed the Managing Director of Lancia, Pierugo Gobbato, pitching the idea to compete in the World Rally Championship with a model based on Stratos Zero. A year later, in 1971, an orange Stratos HF (High Fidelity) was unveiled at the Turin, pointing out the intentions model competition.

    The passage of the hall prototype to reality had the choice of engine one of its greatest challenges. Block that fitted to the Lancia Flavia 2000 in turbocharged version, the V6 engine that gave soul to the Fiat 130, there were many hypotheses proposed. In the end, Gobbato decided to use the Dino 246 GT V6 engine, but this choice was initially refused by Enzo Ferrari, who only agreed to supply 500 units in 1972. The Dino block, a "Vee" open to 65 degrees with 2418cc capacity, DIN 192 horsepower at 7000 rpm and had 220 Nm of maximum torque at 4000 rpm and is powered by a battery of #Weber carburetors 40IDF. Later it was developed two versions for competition: one with 12 valves, capable of 275 horsepower at 7600 rpm, and the other with 24 valves, debiting 320 horsepower at 8500 rpm. The top was reached by the development of Group 5 type equipped with a V6 with 12 valves, turbo charged, capable of achieving a staggering 560 horsepower at 9000 rpm. The transmission was also donated by the model produced in Maranello, a box being synchronized five links, arranged in transversal position with the motor shaft.


    Equating to the benefits of the Italian engine, consumption was too high it, having forced the Lancia engineers to the adoption of two fuel tanks, totaling 80 liters in the competition models and 50 liters in the road models.


    The chassis monocoque steel structure allows the symmetric opening of both bonnets, making excellent accessibility to the mechanics of Stratos. Serving anchor the front and rear subframe, the monocoque enables re Lancia Stratos € Model Years of production 1973-1975 Total production 495 Strengths Weaknesses Originality Pedigree Mechanical Parts Market Rarity difficult Restore Quotation 100% Stadale € 180,000 Buy Now ! optimal partition weights, with 46 weight percent focusing on the front axle 54 and rear axle in per cent, while allowing to maintain the overall weight of the model under tonne. The set consists of lightweight Campagnolo alloy wheels measure 7.5x14 and acceding radial tires Michelin x W x 205/70 VR14 were what was most advanced at that time for high performance cars.


    The independent suspension and both axes, triangles overlapping front and MacPherson type structure behind, with stabilizer bars, ensured overall effectiveness. Braking was handled by ventilated discs front and solid discs è ago without any assistance. What helped to simplify the system and ensure maximum fidelity to the touch, but it required a little effort from the pilot.

    In September 1973 the production of Stratos HF "Stradale" - the civilian version of the rally model - was started in the factory of Bertone's Grugliasco, near Turin, and that same month the Stratos conquered its first major international victory on Tour Auto France. With Sandro Munari and Jean-Claude Andruet the wheel, the competition version of the #Lancia Stratos allow the winning three championships rallies world - in 1974, 1975 and 1976 - and 83 victories in rallies. In October 1974 the Stratos was finally homologated for Group 4 by the FIA, and the production of the model would be given as completed in 1975, when they were completed the ultimate models for approval. Interestingly the model remained in the brand catalog until 1980, given the difficulty of Lancia in disposing the latest units.

    Motor

    Real piece of exotic clocks, the V6 Ferrari origin should be kept by a specialist experienced in the tempestuous Italian machines. Made with performance as main objective, this has the main weak point cam shafts, which tend to wear out too quickly, especially when the heating times of the material are not respected.

    Even more serious, the disregard for valve clearances - to be checked every 10,000 kilometers - can lead to serious problems.

    Check the condition of belts, looking for worn equipment or elements that vibrate too much. Also, search see if the engine consumes oil, or emits blue smoke when cleaning speeds up, indicating worn cylinder liners. Very common exhaust valves tend to break as they will over time lose their internal reinforcement sodium based.

    Transmission

    Ferrari also of origin, the five-speed gearbox synchronized Manning Stratos is placed in transverse position, the motor shaft. Without being one of the weaknesses of the mechanics, the box turns out to require careful maintenance, especially at the level of oil changes and seals in order to keep this up and running.

    Bodywork

    Molded plastic, the body is fragile but easily repairable. However, being too thin in certain places (for example in ports), you may need to bring some reinforcements.

    Upon inspection of the car, try to determine what kind of chassis uses. Unlike replicas that are produced nowadays with tubular frame, the true Stratos uses a monocoque steel sheet. Check carefully - and preferably from a specialist - the chassis of the state steel, which in addition to damage inflicted during a strike, it may present areas with corrosion.
    Interestingly, the true usually are faulty in assembling the body, contrary to the apparent perfection of the replicas. In terms of colours, the Stratos was originally marketed in yellow, light blue, dark blue, green and red, the latter the most popular of all.

    Suspension

    Using a suspension entirely devoted scheme for the competition, Stratos HF used in the front axle and triangles helical springs, and one rear axle MacPherson type structure triangles and lower coil springs. For its delicate and exposed nature, the triangles are components that require close attention, especially in models with racing history. Also, the buffers are considered elements of rapid wear and must follow a strict maintenance regime.

    With the car on the lift, check the state of the triangles, silent blocks and bushes, looking for obvious signs of wear or damage caused by accident or use more "lit". Essential for the proper functioning of the chassis, these elements are of great importance for those who want to enjoy your car.

    Brakes

    Equipped with ventilated discs in front and solid back, without the aid of servo, the Lancia Stratos HF has these two elements mechanical reliability pillars. Suffering with only normal wear over time, the brakes must be checked in the state of disks, pads and quality of the liquid in the hydraulic circuit, which should be appropriate to the type of intended use. Also check the condition of the pipes to be strengthened.

    Direction

    The steering box, type rack and pinion, is another sensitive Lancia Stratos HF points. Direct and precise, providing scant 3.2 Top wheel turns the top, it tends to suffer from corrosion, but mainly with problems of clearances and lubrication. Check the condition of the steering box, including how this was maintained over the years.

    Electricals

    Like any good Italian built in the 70's worth its salt, the electrical part of 12 Volts, supplied by Marelli, is a real disgrace, and strongly recommended to replace (if this operation has not already been done) in order to prevent malfunction or, in extreme cases, principles of fire. Although rare, most of the pieces were donated by other Fiat models, must be sought in cars donors.

    Interior

    Built solely as a vehicle homologation, the Stratos HF Stradale is quite rudimentary inside, suffering from lack of development in this area in particular. Very brittle, the interior of Stratos tends to disintegrate (literally) to the first contact with moisture, which causes quite a few cars today keep all the original elements with which it left the factory. The good news is that it is relatively simple quilt Lancia Stratos HF one, but the middle loses the component originality. To help case the plastic side windows are handled through a rudimentary regulator, not perfectly sealed, which in turn causes the passenger compartment fills with water when left in the open air. Therefore, check the inside of carefully, looking for watermarks.

    Conclusion

    Produced in a very limited amount - 492 functional units over three prototypes - and own a truly impressive pedigree of competition, the Lancia Stratos HF Stradale is a rare (and very expensive) collection of jewellery, available to a handful of lucky. Which is not to say that you are not one of them. So, for we've saved one last piece of advice: look for your dream calmly Stratos, using professional services. And do not try to restore the garage. You're rich, and subcontract shake the local economy. You will be best served.

    The electrical part is a major cause of headaches in the Stratos and is therefore one of the first areas to be reviewed for a more careful restoration or maintenance

    Tips & Market
    Useful links
    Lancia Portugal (www.lancia.pt)
    Lancia Club Portugal ( http://lanciaclubeportugal.full-forum.com)
    Stratos Enthusiasts Club (www.stratosec.com)
    Lancia Stratos.com (www.lanciastratos.com)
    Lancia Stratos Owners Club (www.lanciastratos.jp)
    Lancia Motor Club (www.lanciamotorclub.co.uk)
    Lancia Club Sport (www.lanciasport.com)
    AUTORICAMBI d'Epoca (www.autoepoca.it/lanciaparts)
    Unique Cars and Parts (www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au)

    Designed and built by Bertone, the Stratos Stradale models are quite raw in terms of finish
    Having served for type approval that won the World Rally Championship for three consecutive years, the Stratos Stradale maintains a series of coming competition details. The shortage of parts makes its restoration difficult

    Lancia Stratos
    Use 2
    Maintenance 3
    Reliability 4
    Valuation 5
    Buy it now!
    Model Lancia Stratos
    Years of production 1973-1975
    Total production 495
    Strengths Weaknesses Originality Pedigree Mechanical Parts Market Rarity difficult Restore Quotation 100% Stadale € 180,000
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    Lancia Stratos

    Lancia Stratos / Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
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