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I Have Never: Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

9 months ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


8 November 2023

You’d think I was lying if I said there was quite a lot of space inside a Stratos. How could that possibly be? Everybody knows these Lancias are tiny, more like a child’s pedal car than the real thing. The average person must fill its claustrophobic cabin like a hermit crab in urgent need of a bigger shell.

Expecting the same, I ducked under the very low roofline, twisted myself into the cabin, shoved the seat as far back on its runners as it would go…and found I couldn’t quite reach the pedals. At least not comfortably. It feels airy inside a Stratos, probably because of that sensational wrap-around windscreen that’s more like a visor. And the door pockets! They’re vast, designed to swallow a couple of racing helmets (the passenger – or rather co-driver, because this is a rally car at heart – has one to match).

Headroom is the only real struggle inside a Stratos. At first I thought I would have to drive with a crick in my neck to keep the top of my bonce clear of the headlining, but after a couple of miles and once I’d properly settled into the ribbed bucket seat, there was clear air between the two. And that’s how I found myself driving a Lancia Stratos HF Stradale for the very first time, slowly getting a feel for the clutch pedal weighting and the manual gearshift, waiting for the spindly needle in the little Veglia-Borletti oil temperature gauge to begin moving through its arc…

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