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1975 Lancia Stratos HF Group IV

Girardo & Co. Ltd

1975 Lancia Stratos HF Group IV
Girardo & Co. Ltd
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SH ID

23-0803017

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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Sold

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United Kingdom

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Description

Boasting a beautifully documented period Italian competition history

 

Acquired new by the illustrious Works-affiliated Jolly Club Racing Team

 

Fully documented ownership history from new, with just five private custodians from new

 

European taxes paid

 

FIA Historic Technical Passport valid until 2027

 

Highly eligible for a plethora of prestigious historic motorsport events, including the Tour Auto Optic 2000, Modena Cento Ore and Eifel Rallye Festival

The Lancia Stratos HF Short, stubby and simply unstoppable, the Lancia Stratos HF won a staggering 18 World Rally events and no fewer than three World Rally Championships. Its formidable performance can be attributed largely to Marcello Gandini, the design wunderkind who, working under the Bertone banner, single-handedly revolutionised the world of car design. The introduction of the Stratos in 1970 heralded the era of the ‘wedge’ and petrolheads simply had no idea what they were in for. Arguably the very first thoroughbred rally car, no stone was left unturned by Lancia and Bertone’s designers and engineers in the quest for performance. The Stratos’ desperately short wheelbase (just 2.18 metres) coupled with its 880kg weight meant it was positively nimble and direct. It took a skip-full of skill to master it, which explains why Sandro Munari ranks so highly in our list of great drivers. For the heart of its new car, Lancia approached Ferrari, a company whose legend was forged around the power and reliability of its engines. A 2.4-litre six-cylinder ‘Dino’ engine was chosen and tucked transversely right behind the cabin. It produced a mighty 300HP in Corsa spec. And it sounded a rabid dog barking for its life. “Short, stubby and simply unstoppable, the Lancia Stratos HF won a staggering 18 World Rally events and no fewer than three World Rally Championships.” Crucially, the rallying rules of the time dictated that 500 road-specification cars were to be built in order to homologate a competition variant. In typically Italian fashion, Lancia didn’t manage to do that. It’s estimated that 492 Stratos HFs left the marque’s Chivasso plant, of which this fascinating Group IV-specification road-racing example from 1975 is one. Chassis number 001936 Born as a HF Stradale in 1975, this Lancia Stratos – chassis number 001936 – was acquired new by the illustrious Jolly Club Racing Team, the Milan-based outfit which operated with assistance directly from the Works in Turin. Upgraded by Jolly Club to full Group IV competition specification, the car was registered with the Milan number ‘MI Z87753’ on 31 October in advance of its maiden competitive outing: Rally Campagnolo. The penultimate round in the geo-based Nazionale Zona 2 series for 1975, the asphalt event saw 142 entrants take to the starting line, of which chassis number 001936 was one. The Italian Ferdinando Montaldo was in the driver’s seat, while Claudio Pozzi was alongside reading the pace notes. In what was an impressive start to this Stratos’ competition career, the duo finished fifth overall. Over the course of the next four years, Montaldo contested 13 further Italian events with this Lancia Stratos, including the very first editions of both the Rally Costa Smeralda and the Rally Autodromo di Monza. Standout results included a class victory (third overall) in the 1979 Rally dei Vini and fourth overall in the Rally Autodromo di Monza in 1980. Crucially, this car’s competition career is comprehensively documented in the most wonderful black-and-white and colour photographs, copies of which are included in our accompanying history file “Crucially, this car’s competition career is comprehensively documented in the most wonderful black-and-white and colour photographs.” In 1980, Montaldo officially purchased the Stratos with which he’d so closely bonded from Jolly Club, re-registering it in his native region of Cuneo. Just over a year later, chassis number 001936 was sold to France, more specifically a gentleman by the name of Guy Domet, who at the time was the sitting president of the Ferrari Owners’ Club of France. Domet retained this Stratos for 23 years, during which time it was refinished in the Works Alitalia livery and driven by the French tarmac-rally specialist François Delecour for a feature in the popular French magazine Sport Auto. Chassis number 001936 passed through the hands of two further French collectors before it was acquired by its final private owner, a keen historic racing driver from Switzerland, in December of 2011. In the years since, this Stratos has been diligently maintained by Tommaso Gelmini’s GPS Classics outfit near Modena. The car was awarded its Historic Technical Passport by the FIA in 2017 – certification which will remain valid until 2027. More recently, chassis number 001936’s six-cylinder Ferrari engine was comprehensively rebuilt, the body was refinished in its original shade of rosso and the exact livery from the 1978 Rally Costa Smeralda was reinstated. In June of 2023, our man Davide De Giorgi shook down the car on the historic Vernasca Silver Flag hill-climb in Emilia-Romagna. “To be able to paint such a clear picture of a Stratos’ history like this is, in our experience, incredibly rare.” Wanting for absolutely nothing, this EU-taxes-paid Group IV-specification Lancia Stratos would make for the perfect car with which to tackle such popular events as the Tour Auto Optic 2000, Modena Cento Ore, Rallylegend and the Eifel Rallye Festival. Unlike many Stratos’ prepared for historic competition today, chassis number 001936 has been set up slightly softer and with real-world road use in mind. This makes it the perfect counterpart for any drive, from a Sunday afternoon B-road blast to a 1000-mile regularity rally. This Lancia’s comprehensively documented period competition history in Italy is a significant string to its bow. As is the car’s short chain of only five private owners – to be able to paint such a clear picture of a Stratos’ history like this is, in our experience, incredibly rare. As our estimable leader Max Girardo maintains, every great collection needs a Lancia Stratos.