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    Solid Car, Fractured Story: Why This Excellent D-Type Was a Bargain

    Amelia Island: RM Slices a Record $60m of the $116m Week

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    Next-Gen: 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z 432

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Collector Car News

  • Spyders and Roadsters at Auctions America California +

    A 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spyder races to the auction block at Auctions America California, July 17–18 in Santa Monica. Auctions America predicts the car will bring $2m–$2.6m. Other important sports cars include a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster ($1.2m–$1.5m), a 2004 Ferrari Enzo ($1.7m–$2.1m) and a 1964 Cooper Monaco Type Read More
  • Countdown to RM Sotheby's Motor City +

    Big-money highlights at RM Sotheby's Motor City auction include a 1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Speedster, a 1952 Mercedes-Benz 300 Cabriolet D and a 1988 Lamborghini LM002. The sale takes place July 25 in Plymouth, MI. View the current Motor City consignment list here. Read More
  • Ferraris Retrace Historic Road Race Course at Pebble Beach +

    Hopes ran high for Jim Kimberly's 1949 Ferrari 166 Mille Miglia when it pulled to the starting line of the second annual Pebble Beach Road Races in 1951. It was the first Ferrari ever to race in California. Just a few weeks prior, it had triumphed over the competition at its Read More
  • Ferraris, Astons and Porsches at Artcurial Paris +

    Artcurial brings a strong assortment of European sports cars to their Paris sale on June 22. Leading the charge are a 1991 Ferrari F40 (Artcurial estimate: $1m–$1.25m), a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring ($785k–$1m) and a 1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series II coupe ($450k–$550k). View all the Paris consignments here. Read More
  • No-Reserve 2004 Ferrari Enzo at Bonhams Goodwood +

    A 2004 Ferrari Enzo goes home to a new garage on June 26 at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed sale. Bonhams predicts the no-reserve car will bring between $930k and $1.2m. Other big-money highlights include a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster ($1.2m–$1.6m) and a 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series V convertible Read More
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The Lancia Stratos was the first car to be designed specifically for international rallies - in which it enjoyed extraordinary success - and because 400 examples had to be built, it allowed some lucky people to buy a competition machine for the road. It was a revolutionary design of timeless beauty which was among the first of the modern "supercars." With a top speed (in production form) of 143 mph (o-60 mph in 6.8 seconds) allied to superb handling and brakes, there are still few cars which can match it in real motoring conditions: driving from A to B along twisting roads.

The Stratos first appeared in 1970 as a styling exercise by Bertone on Lancia Fulvia running gear and was taken up by Cesare Fiorio who then was Lancia's competition manager. Before long a prototype was built using a Lancia engine, but the car's potential was so great the a 2.4 liter Ferrari Dino unit was substituted and a legend was born.

When it was run by the works in international rallies, the Stratos became possibly the first car in history which was expected to win. It was that good, and it took the World Championships in 1975 and 1976. Fiat, the parent company, then changed its competition policy and decided to win rallies with a different car, but that did not stop the Stratos. As late as 1979 a privately entered Stratos won the Monte Carlo Rally which is one of the most remarkable feats in modern competition history.

The example pictures above was imported from Germany and purchased by the current owner in 1982. It has been used by him as a road car and in historic rallies and tours, the most recent of which (this summer) took it as far as Czechoslovakia and back without even the slightest hitch.

The car has covered just 28,000 km and has never been restored; the lime green paintwork and beige suede upholstery are both original. It was featured on BBC's Top Gear program this August, it has been regularly maintained by Schledt & Pellet (who used to runa Stratos in Group 4 racing) and is in excellent condition throughout.

It is also taxed for the road and the lucky purchaser was able to drive this outstanding car soon after placing the winning bid.


{analysis}{auto}650{/auto} Alas, there was no winning bid when this Stratos was offered on 1 December. The high offer of $53,200 was not enough to cause the current owner to sell, despite a published low reserve estimate of $51,680.

"Strati" are odd ducks in collector car circles. While they have unimpeachable competition provenance, they also have a reputation for having "twitchy" handling due in part to their ultra-short wheelbase. In addition, counterfeit Stratos are a specialty of certain to-remain-unnamed Italian specialists.

The bid was high enough, and in line with current market values. - ED.
{/analysis}

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