27 June 2022
Ixo Lancia Stratos HF - 1976 Rallye Monte Carlo - Alitalia
PRICE: £47.99 each
REF NO: RAC380A (#10), RAC380B (#6) & RAC380C (#8)
The 1976 Rallye Monte Carlo was the almost perfect result for the Lancia Alitalia Rally Team. The mighty Stratos HF was clearly in its element on the twisty, challenging roads in and around the principality.
The Lancia Stratos HF (Tipo 829) was both a road-going sports car and a prolific rally car. The HF stands for High Fidelity. It was a very successful rally car, winning the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976, the 1974 Targa Florio, the Tour de France Automobile on five occasions and three editions of the Giro d'Italia Automobilistico.
The 44th Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1976, to give the event its full title, was the first round of that year's World Rally Championship. It was run from 17th to 24th January.
The works Lancia Alitalia Rally Team had entered three of its Stratos HFs for the season-opener. Car number 6 was driven by Björn Waldegård (who would become the 1979 WRC champion, driving for Ford) with Hans Thorszelius as his co-driver. Number 8 had Raffaele Pinto (1972 European Rally Champion) and Arnaldo Bernacchini aboard and number 10 had Sandro Munari (1973 European Rally Champion) and Silvio Maiga. So quite a line up!
The number 10 entry of Munari and Maiga were victorious overall, with the Waldegård/Thorszelius car (number 6) 1 minute and 27 seconds behind in second place. The third works entry of Pinto and Bernacchini failed to round out the podium for the team after an engine failure part-way through. However, it was still an all-Stratos podium, with the privately-entered car of Team Chardonnet (Bernard Darniche with Alain Mahé) finishing third, 6 minutes and 13 seconds in arrears. The team would go on to win the 1976 WRC title with nearly double the points of its nearest challenger (112 to Opel's 57).
The Stratos HF would score 18 WRC victories during its career. After the works team disbanded at the end of 1976 (parent company Fiat wanted to use its 131 for the 1977 season onwards), the cars continued on in private hands, still winning as late as 1981, thanks to Team Chardonnet's continuance.
Ixo's trio of replicas from the 1976 Rallye Monte Carlo are the latest versions in a long line of its excellent Lancia Stratos HF rally replicas. The Alitalia livery looks every inch the part and is superbly applied.
Everything part has been modelled, right down to the mud flaps, correct registation plates, race numbers and driver names, event stickers and, of course, not forgetting those outstanding banks of four nose-mounted auxiliary spotlights, nestled neatly between the popped-up headlights. Imagine the light that these threw down the road on the night stages!
These three were announced at the same time as a new 1/43 scale Fiat 673 Racing Transporter 1976 Lancia Alitalia Rally Team model. That will be here in time for next month, so expect to see these three appear again as its cargo. Ixo has been producing some truly excellent replicas for many years, but this set will be right up there as one of our favourites once the Fiat 673 is here. Watch this space...