There are few cars that change the entirety of their field. The Lancia Stratos is one of those. The 80s was a time when every manufacturer was trying their hand in rallying. This meant a stream of some of the wildest cars were being passed through production lines in homologation numbers to enable the brands a shot at a world title.

Group-B rallying gave the car world some of the most prolific and interesting cars ever. The likes of the Audi Quattro, the Renault 5 GT Turbo, and even the Peugout 205 Rallye. But none of them came close to the untamed animal that was the Lancia Stratos. For many reasons, we think it's one of the best cars ever made, and even Clarkson agrees with us.

The Stratos set the tone for what was soon to become the golden era of rallying. An era where "what's the worst that can happen" was the attitude and the barriers were nowhere to be seen. The Stratos encapsulates all of this in an extremely beautiful bit of packaging. Let's take a look at how much you'll be looking to pay if you want to buy one of the most iconic and successful rally cars of them all; the Lancia Stratos.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE - New Stratos Sold 8 Of The Planned 25 Units So Far

The Lancia Stratos

via Automobile Magazine

It first appeared as a concept car in 1970, designed by the head designer of Bertone, Marcello Gandini. This itself was a huge change for Lancia, who had a very tight-knit relationship of design with Pininfarina. It is clear to see when looking at the concept where it gets the majority of its elegant lines from, although it is a lot sharper and slabby than the final outcome. The prototype was a sign that the futuristic '70s had fully arrived.

Lancia Stratos HF Rally Car
via AutoClassics

The Stratos would come as a replacement for the Fulvia HF. HF meaning High Fidelity, a moniker passed down to the Stratos. Lancia racing team director Cesar Fiorio compiled a team to work on the car that would take over from the Fulvia in the Lancia rally scene. The brief was simple. It needed a short wheelbase, good aero, 2 seats, a powerful engine in the middle, and most of all; traction on all possible rally surfaces. This started a whole new era of cars, it was the first of its kind to ever be built with one sole purpose; to go rallying.

The magic number was a homologation run of 500 to allow the Stratos into the rally championship. In 1971, the Stratos HF was presented at the Turin Motorshow. The engine? A mid-mounted Ferrari Dino V6. The wheelbase? Under 2 meters. Weight just 950kg the compact package was enough to propel itself to win 1973, 4, and 5 World Rally Championships.

Buying A Lancia Stratos

Lancia Stratos
via BH Auction

Here's the thing. When Lancia launched the Stratos to the public market, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The 1970s oils crisis was in full swing and the last thing on anyone's mind was buying a super thirsty rally car. Lancia send one out to each of their dealers anyway, and as you can imagine, they were a hard sell. But as always with these, things, hindsight and forwards thinking are your best friends. If you want to buy one today, expect to be paying a pretty penny for one of the 500 original cars.

Lancia strators HF 1975 for sale switerland
Via Niki Hasler AG

Of those 500, currently for sale are but 2. And here is the first. This example is presented in perhaps the most classic non-rally livery spec is an absolute stunner. The red paintwork with the signature chunky wheels finished in a dark metallic gold make for an incredibly pretty car. To top it off, a pair of beige Alcantara-trimmed seats greet you inside. Offered with a full history, this 1975 example is available from an official Ferrari dealer in Basel, Switzerland. Price only available on asking.

31730-891470-car-20220303_154202-lancia-stratos-group-4-img_9370s
Via Classic Driver

Another example available is this absolute peach. Presented in full rally car spec, this one ticks the box if history and charisma are your two main criteria. Fully stripped out inside with fixed Alcantara-trimmed bucket seats and harness, expect this driving experience to be as unique as they come. Painted in stunning rally colors and boasting an impressive competition history with Bellosta / Bodensan rally teams. Available again, with price available upon request.

For a true gauge on price, these examples are as close as we will get. Due to the scarcity and popularity of the Lancia Stratos, it's extremely rare to see one up for sale. According to past sales, it's been since late 2020 since one publicly sold. That last one to sell went for just shy of $500,000. So, accounting for the soar in car prices since the pandemic, expect to be looking north of half a million dollars if you want to get your hands on one.

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