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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

  • Blue-Chip Ferraris Benefit British Lifeboat Charity +

    A 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB and a 1967 275 GTB/4 will sell at H&H Classics' October sale in Duxford, U.K., with proceeds benefiting the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The late British V12 Ferrari collector Richard Colton requested that the money raised from the sale of his cars be used Read More
  • Exclusive! Donald Osborne on the New Maserati Mostro +

    During my extraordinary month of classic car events here in Italy, I had the privilege of previewing Maserati's stunning new Mostro coupe two days before its public debut at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. The private reception rook place in Milan at the former Alfa Romeo test track, now a Read More
  • 1951 Simca Abarth Supercharged Cabriolet at Dragone Westport +

    Notable Etceterinis at Dragone's May 30 sale in Westport, CT include a 1951 Simca Abarth supercharged cabriolet (Dragone estimate: $400k–$500k) and a 1974 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino ($425k–$475k). A 1964 Pontiac Banshee XP-833 concept car is expected to fetch $600k–$650k. View all the consignments here. Read More
  • 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Cal Spyder Leads Villa Erba Offerings +

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  • Denise McCluggage: 1927-2015 +

    Denise McCluggage died on May 6. From the very beginnings of The Alfa Romeo Market Letter, she was friendly and supportive of my publishing endeavors. When I was reviewing cars for the New York Times, our paths crossed many times at events. I remember thinking, “This woman raced Porsches and Ferraris, 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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