Formed to Function: An Ode to the Lancia Stratos [Video]
When listing iconic performance cars of the 1970s (Yes, there were quite a few made despite the oil crises and overarching sense of global malaise.), one simply cannot leave out theLancia Stratos. Seriously, we’ve checked; it’s just not possible. With its strikingBertone-drawn body and eagerFerrari Dino V6propelling this mid-engine mite torallywin afterrallywin, the Stratos might not be the prettiest sports car ever made, but it’s unquestionably a frontrunner for the title of most distinctive.
And it was this distinctiveness (along with being exposed to competition versions of the car at a young age) that drew transplanted British artistPhillip Toledanoto the light blueLanciaStratos seen here. Philip freely admits that his ride is uncomfortable to sit in, twitchy and the limit and, somewhat surprisingly, not particularly beautiful to him as far as looks are concerned. But because it was so clearly designed around a purpose, maintains the expat Englishman, it has a beauty that goes well beyond skin-deep. And in many instances – whether you’re talking about objects or people – that’s the best kind of beauty.