RM Sotheby's has a pristine example of the limited-edition Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evolution Martini 6 up for auction in Paris come February. And we desperately want it.
Lancia's death is sad for many, many reasons, chief among which is the end of its wonderful, wild rally heritage. While the brand might best be known for the Stratos and the Delta HF Integrale, there was another big name model, called the 037, that did its best to live up to the family name.
The Lancia Stratos might be one of the few cars of the '70s that looks as jaw-droppingly perfect today as the moment it went on sale. For a model that's around 40 years old, the Lancia still looks both mean and modern. Even better, this Italian rally legend can back up its razor-sharp styling too, thanks to its Ferrari V6 mounted behind driver.
Lancia gets a bad rap. Sure, the more modern examples have had a history of rusting and rampant reliability woes, but before that, they were certifiable rally weapons. And even before that, Lancia was just a maker of truly gorgeous cars. Cars like this aluminum-bodied 1967 Flaminia Super Sport, which benefits from the good styling sense of Zagato. It's the latest subject for the team at Petrolicious.
Lancia has been on the decline for decades. But those lingering fans of the marque will be disheartened to learn of what Sergio Marchionne plans to do with it next. Speaking with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Marchionne indicated that the Lancia brand will be stripped down to one model, and even that will only be sold in Italy itself.
Naturally, you'd expect a massive automaker like Fiat to have an in-depth plan to exit the current European-market doldrums, and you'd expect that plan to include plenty of new vehicles to attract those precious buyers that still remain despite the financial downturn. And you'd be right, though Fiat does seem to have a few unexpected twists up its corporate sleeve.
There's been a bit of a shakeup among the executive ranks at Chrysler and Maserati, as the Italian sports car manufacturer has appointed Peter Grady as its new North American CEO. Grady, who we imagine is about to get a very nice upgrade to his company car, will retain his role as vice president of dealer network development for Chrysler and Chrysler Capital, and is replacing Bob Graczyk at Maserati.
Like a scene out of Forza Horizon, finding something like an ultra-rare 1972 Lancia Stratos is a dream. The Ferrari-engined, Bertone-bodied rally car is one of the automotive highlights of the 1970s, winning the World Rally Championship three straight times (1974, 1975 and 1976). And while there were some 492 road cars produced, none were formally exported to the United States. Which makes the appearance of this red, Stradale variant quite a find.
"Lancia Stratos." Say the words, and anyone with an enthusiast bone in their body will proceed to go googly-eyed and giddy at the hearing. The cars were built during the golden age of the World Rally Championship to do precisely one thing: win. In order to do that, Lancia had to build a handful of "street" cars to meet homologation rules at the time. Automotive history would never quite be the same.
Where do concepts go when their auto show circuit life is over? For many, it's off to the scrap heap, while others manage to find their way into various automotive museums and private collections. Yet it is a select few that enjoy the honor of actually being driven on open roads. What you see here is the latter.
Motor Trend reports that Lancia isn't headed for the scrap heap after all. Chris Brown, a spokesperson for Chrysler, told MT the automaker will live on and continue to manufacture its Ypsilon hatchback in Italy. The remainder of the brand's vehicles will be built in America by Chrysler. What's more, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has said future Lancia models will be co-developed with Chrysler. That's a big shift from what we heard last week. As you may recall, the German site Automobilwoche reporte
Just because Ferrari nixed the New Stratos doesn't mean the existing high-performance wedge can't have a little fun on its own. This past March, the F430-based tribute to the rallying great led a littany of classics as the pace car for the Rally Isla Mallorca. The 2012 race marked the one-year anniversary of its debut at the event.
Head overseas and you may run into a Chrysler 300 wearing a distinctly foreign badge: that of Lancia. The awkward stepchild of the Fiat group rebadges Chrysler vehicles as their own and gives them nameplates from their own back-catalog. Lancia calls its rebadged 300 the Thema, but aside from the handle, it's pretty much the same. But could Chrysler's Italian cousin prompt the development of a coupe version?