Tag Archives: Andruet

Fantastic Futurist – Lancia Stratos Stradale

In 1970 Bertone built a futuristic concept car called the Lancia Stratos Zero, the car was so low the windscreen also acted as ‘the’ door !

The following year Bertone showed the Lancia Stratos Prototype at the 1971 Turin Show, this car was a little more practical with two side doors and a mid mounted tranverse mounted V6 as per the Ferrari Dino from which it was sourced.

Lancia Stratos Stradale, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

In all 492 of the road going Lancia Stratos Stradales like the 1974 example seen here at last years Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham were built between 1972 and 1974 when production of the V6 Dino GT also ceased.

HF competition versions of the Stradale proved particularly versatile in 1974 Gérard Larrousse and Amilcare Ballestrieri drove a Stratos to victory on the Targa Florio.

The Stratos is probably best remembered as a superb rally car, Sandro Munari and Mario Mannucci won the 1974 San Remo Rally on the Sratos World Rally Championship debut. By 1981, 4 years after the Stratos programe had been closed down by FIAT; Jean-Claude Andruet, Björn Waldegård, Bernard Darniche, Markku Alén, Tony Carello and Antonio “Tony” Fassina had all also helped contribute to a total of 18 World Rally Championship wins credited to the Stratos which included 3 consecutive wins for Munari on the Monte Carlo Rally, ’75 – ’77, and five victories each on the San Marino and Tour de Course Rallies.

Franz Wurz became 1976 European Rally Cross champion in a Stratos and sold his car, later fitted with a 3 liter / 183 cui motor V6 to Andy Bentza who won GT Rally Cross Championship in 1978.

In 1973 Sandro Munari and Mario Manucci won the mixed discipline Tour D’France, the following year Jean-Claude Andruet and “Biche” won the similar Giro di Italia with a similar bodied turbocharged example.

The final competition evolution of the Stratos was a turbocharged Group 5 long tail silhouette racer of the type that Carlo Facetti and P. Sodano drove to victory on the 1976 Giro di Italia.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fantastic Futurist” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a couple of Lotus Indy Cars. Don’t forget to come back now !


Dominating Réunion – Alpine A110 1600S

Jean Rédélé’s rear engined Alpine A110 “Berlinette” launched in 1961 was an evolution of the A108. Distinguishing features include proprietary Renault R8 running gear in place of the Renault Dauphin running gear of the A108 and a larger tail for the fiberglass body to accommodate the larger R8 derived motors.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

The cars were manufactured at the Dieppe factory, which today operates under the the Renault Sport banner, with further cars being assembled in Mexico under the name Dinalpin and perhaps most unlikely of all from 1967 to 1969 in Bulgaria under the name ‘Bulgaralpine‘.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

Over the years of production up to 1977 the choice of straight 4 cylinder engine sizes ranged from 95 hp 1.1 liters / 67 cui through to 125 hp 1.6 liters / 97 cui, the latter giving the a top speed of 130 mph and zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

With these sorts of performance figures the vehicle was a shoe in for a successful competition career in particular on tarmac rallies, Jean Vinatier won the French National Rally title in 1969 in an A110 and both Ove Anderson (1971) and Jean-Claude Andruet (1973) won the Monte Carlo Rally in A110’s the latter victory contributing to Alpine Renault, rebranded after Renault’s 1970 buy out, winning the first World Rally Championship in 1973.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

The A110 cars also have a successful track racing history in Europe and the United State still winning its class in races as late as 1980.

During the course of finding out about the A110 I have found several inaccuracies one that the A110 was inspired by Colin Chapmans Lotus Elan, this is not true the A110 preceded the announcement of the Elan by 1 year. Also I have seen the A110 mentioned in connection with the Brazilian assembled Willys Interlagos, the Interlagos built from 1962 to 1966 and most successfully raced by Wilson Fittipaldi, brother of twice world champion and Indy 500 winner Emerson, was based on the A110’s predecessor the A108.

Alpine Renault, A110, 1600S, Castle Combe C&SCAD

This particular vehicle seen at Castle Combe Classic and Sport Car Action Day was originally exported to Renault St Denis, Il de La Réunion out in the Indian Ocean between islands of Madagascar and Mauritius, in 1973. It immediately made an impact sweeping Réunion’s two biggest events the ‘Mille Kilometers‘ and ‘Tour de la Réunion‘ from 1973 to 1975. The car was acquired by it’s current owner in 1991.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Dominating Réunion’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you’ll join me again. Don’t forget to come back now !


It’s The Real Thing – Ferrari 512BB

In 1974 Niki Lauda tested a prototype Ferrari 312 PB in preparation for the 1974 World Sports Car Championship and when Enzo asked him what he thought Niki is alleged to have said something to the effect that if Mr Ferrari wanted to win the Grand Prix World Championship he ought to forget about the prototype 312PB. Enzo seems to have concurred with his new drivers opinion and his cars were never to contest the World Sports Car Championship during his lifetime again.

However many privateers never tired of entering Ferrari’s in the World Sports Car Championships lesser IMSA classes and today we will be looking at the fortunes of 3 privateer Ferrari 512 BBs that I was lucky enough to see in the early 80’s.

The Ferrari 512 BB was an update of the 365 GT4 BB we looked at last week. Introduced in 1976 the 512 featured an enlarged 360 hp 4942 cc / 301 cui 180 degree 12 cylinder engine with a 9.2:1 compression ratio and dry sump engine lubrication which is ideal for the higher cornering forces experienced in racing cars. 929 examples of the 512 BB were made before the 512i BB was introduced in 1981.

512 BB / LM #27577 1980 Silverstone 6 Hours, O’Rourke/Craft/Norman Q18 F 7th o/a 2nd IMSA, those with an interest in all things musical might recognise EMKA and Steve O’Rourke in connection with Pink Floyd whom Steve is credited as managing post Syd Barrat, Nick Mason was listed to drive the #11 but didn’t, after Steve died in 1994 Nick acquired this car to join his 250 GTO.

On the inside you can just make out the winning #8 De Cadenet – Ford driven by Alain De Cadenet (seen here) and Desiré Wilson who I believe a couple of weeks earlier became the first female to win a World Championship race of any kind in the same De Cadenet – Ford with the same co-driver at Monza.

512 BB / LM #35523 1981 Silverstone 6 Hours, Phillips/Salmaon/Earle Q25 DNF (Flat battery) A not untypical horribly wet and cold day at Silverstone the race was won by a Porsche 935 which will be the subject of a future blog.

512 BB / LM #31589 Andruet/Ballot-Léna 1981 Le Mans 24 hours, Q 37th, F 5th o/a 1st in IMSA GTX, my first holiday abroad alone was always going to be to go see the Le Mans 24 hours and I was not disappointed. Bell & Ickx won and there was an entertaining battle between 5 of these 512 BB’s for much of the race, though all but one other did not finish.

512 BB / LM #35523 1982 Silverstone 6 Hours, Phillips/Earle/Jones Q34, F 17th, regrettably this was the last time I saw the 512’s on the track, these fabulous sounding machines continued to be raced until 1985.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s ‘It’s The Real Thing’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look at some Porsches from Thompson CT in the first day of my first Porsche week. Don’t forget to come back now !