When it came time to design the STR, our interpretation of the Lancia Stratos, we wanted to build a car that paid homage to the original Lancia but also one that wasn’t constrained by the use of rare or outdated components in an attempt to create either a rivet replica or a continuation car.
With other established companies in the UK already producing their interpretations of the iconic car we needed to come to the market with a product that was either more authentic than the other companies or with one which was engineered to a level more appropriate to this millennium.
Given that a replica can never really be authentic due to its space frame chassis design, its fibreglass body construction and the realisation that not many people would really specify a Ferrari Dino V6, then the logical path was to approach the build the car from an engineering perspective rather than that of authenticity. Drawing on our previous experiences whilst building Ultima’s, Cobra replicas & the Corse Stratos kits and also by speaking to owners of all previous marques of replica we learnt what the limitations and pitfalls of these types of car were. We then started with a clean sheet of paper and designed the chassis from the ground up which allowed us to design in features which had previously been absent from other marques.
Once we had set ourselves on this path then we created a short list of essential features which we wanted to include in the car. We still wanted the car to tick the boxes for those who are passionate about the traditional aspects of the Stratos so we retained the visual appearance of the rear chassis cradle, we wanted to retain the suspension layout and it was essential that we could fit the 15” Coffin spoke wheels which had become de rigueur in the replica market.
Once we had established the basics of the traditional appearance we then started work on the extras we could add in. Firstly we wanted to have the option of air conditioning, other replicas had no facility for the routing of AC pipes from the engine bay to the front of the car so we designed this in from chassis number 2.
Whilst we wanted to retain the suspension layout from the original the components used on the original car were not readily available so we designed our own billet alloy uprights from scratch which allowed us set our own geometry and it also allowed us to design in a 4 piston brake caliper package from the outset. This was sized specifically so that the aforementioned 15” wheels could be fitted without complication.
Even before we launched the company we had been working on new moulds for the bodywork and these have evolved over the last 8 years so that in addition to the recognised body shapes of Stradale, Gp4 square arch and Gp4 round arch, along with all of the additional options associated with a full rally replica we can now also offer heated front screens and correctly E marked glass side screens.