THE CAR THAT CHANGED RALLYING
The 1972 Lancia Stratos brought Italian supercar glamour to rallying but Lancia struggled to sell the 500 examples required for homologation. The final batch was sold unfinished and it’s believed that just 492 were actually made. That the Stratos won the 1975 and ‘76 World Championship of Makes, the European Rally Championship in 1976 and ’78, and helped Markku Alén to an FIA Cup for Drivers’ title in 1978, is only a part of this car’s allure, much of which pivots on its still-remarkable design.
It would have won more, too, had Fiat not ended the internecine warfare created by simultaneously running works Fiat Abarth and Lancia rally teams. One team had to go and it was Lancia; commercial logic dictating that the 131 – a three-box saloon saved from stultifying dullness only by its fizzing twin-cam engine – continue to campaign.