This Lancia Stratos Is Still Getting Dirty and Winning Rallies

With former F1 driver Érik Comas at the wheel, this Stratos won a championship last year. Not bad for a 44-year-old machine.

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YouTubePetrolicious

With only around 500 produced, and three World Rally Championships (WRC) to its name, the Lancia Stratos is a true collectible. That doesn't stop French racer Érik Comas from driving his Group 4-spec car like it's still 1974, though. And we're thankful for that.

Comas, a French former F1 driver, campaigns this Stratos in the FIA European Historic Rally Championship, taking it to first place last year. It's the perfect way to pay tribute to this incredible car.

The Stratos was one of the first cars to be purpose-built for the WRC. Its ultra-short wheelbase gave it incredible agility on tight European rally stages, while its mid-mounted 2.4-liter V6—sourced from Ferrari's Dino 246 GT—provided serious horsepower. This combination helped give Lancia overall WRC honors in 1974, 1975, and 1976, and the car even won races into the 1980s.

Add in incredible styling by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, and you've got an all-time great in the Stratos.

"Of all the racing cars I've driven in my life, the Lancia Stratos is the one that gives me the highest emotions," Comas tells Petrolicious in this new video. "The handling is perfect."

Petrolicious captured Comas in his Stratos getting all sorts of sideways in the countryside, and you really owe it to yourself to watch. And make sure to turn up the volume real loud.

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