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January 3rd, 2017

Its been more than four decades since the last time the mighty Lancia Stratos was seen tackling the world rally circuits and annihilating everything that came in its way. The Bertone-designed mid-engined masterpiece took home a hattrick at the world rally championship by consecutively winning in 1974, 1975 and 1976. The Stratos rally car continued its domination in the hands of privateers for another decade before the cars that were remaining out of the original 500 examples ever produced became so precious that they started getting tucked away as high-value-high-prize possessions. Today, a well-maintained as-good-as new Lancia Stratos would fetch over a million dollars, not that there are many to be readily available for sale anyway.

Lancia Stratos WRC Victories

Lancia Stratos WRC Victories. Source: Wikipedia

All these factors haven’t stopped ex-Formula 1 driver Erik Comas from recreating his childhood fantasy into reality. As a man growing up in the south of France and seeing the Lancia Stratos rally car winning at the Monte Carlo Rally, Erik went on to compete in Formula 1, JGTC in Japan and WRC. Eventually though, his attention turned back to the rally legend that had inspired him to find his footing in motorsports in the first place, the 1974 Lancia Stratos.

But Erik didn’t just want to own his childhood hero and keep it in a hermetically sealed, air-conditioned chamber for safekeeping like most of the Lancia Stratos club members would imagine doing. Instead, he wanted his Lancia Stratos to once again compete in championships… with him being the man behind his wildest childhood dream. Since 2011, Erik started competing in events with his Stratos rally car, soon racking up the Italian Championship, Tour de Course and the Targa Florio title under his belt.

Erik brings hope for those (including me) who love seeing classic racing cars re-living what they were originally made for. His efforts being a spark of enthusiasm to those who one day dream of piloting their childhood dream machine to the last drop of fuel they can acquire. Unfortunately, experiences like these don’t come cheap, as Erik explains in the video about how each and every part that is broken or needs replacement has to be re-built by hand, since (off course) no single component of the original Stratos or its marvelous Lancia V6 (originally Dino v6) is available anywhere.

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