The Lancia Stratos. What a great little car. Compact. Light. Tarmac. Rally. Mid engine. Naturally aspirated, Weber carburetor feed Ferrari V6. Italian, through and through. The successor to the Lancia Fulvia HF and the predecessor to the Lancia 037 HF, the Stratos HF not only sits in a nice spot amid Lancia’s history but among the greats of Italian sports cars.

The Hot Wheels casting does the car decent justice in my opinion and with the recent retooling has brought new found collecting interest to the little rally legend. Noticeably different between the new and old cast is the base which extends further up the back side of the car and does not use the radiator in the front as a securing point, the radiator now being part of the casting and using two rivets instead of one. Over time HW has released quite a few different variations of this car, usually with a rally/race theme. The original first edition casting in plain rosso red is my favorite though and what I used as my base for my custom.

I would like to think that the car I created is a Stradale model that the owner upgraded to an HF for a “rally for the road” look. The most apparent change to the original cast is the suspension drop and use of the gold 5 spoke RR wheels that I’ve had laying around since my wheel swap on the E30 M3 Road Racer edition. I feel like these wheels were always meant for this car, whether HW’s knew it or not. Externally all panel gaps were shadowed in and all lights, handles and latches detailed. The most obvious exterior additions are the gravel flaps at all four corners and the light pod up front. Lights were donated curtosy a HW Ford Escort. Out back the base was modified and two larger sport exhaust tips added about 1mm up from the original location for better ground clearance. Interior wise just a few small touches with a silver pen to highlight the 5 point harnesses and various trim pieces.

I couldn’t resist a small ORAT shoot with this one out in my backyard since all the grass is golden yellow and is reminiscent of a Tuscany evening. Enjoy!