Few automotive nameplates have a better batting average of successful joint ventures than Ferrari and Lancia. After Lancia was forced to withdraw from Formula 1 for financial reasons in 1955, the company’s racing operations, including its grand prix car – the radical D50 – was given to Ferrari, who used it (with some modifications) to win the 1956 world championship with Juan-Manuel Fangio. The 1970s saw Lancia turn the rallying world upside down with the spacey, Bertone-styled Stratos, which was propelled by Ferrari’s 2.4L Dino V6.
Consequently, when rumors of a new Lancia-Ferrari road car collaboration began circulating in the mid-‘80s, not many people were caught off-guard by them. However, the vehicle behind said rumors – the Thema 8.32 – raised more than its share of eyebrows. And if you ask us, it still does.
The thought of being able to cover long distances quickly, comfortably and in high style gives grand tourers immense appeal among car buffs. And few nations are better at building grand tourers than Italy. Whether it’s cruising up the autostrada to attend a business meeting in Milan, squiring your signora to a weekend getaway in Tuscany, or pretending you’re Nino Vaccarella as you bomb around the rural mountain roads of Sicily, being behind the wheel of an Italian gran turismo makes a memorable motoring experience unforgettable.
Here, then, are 10 GT’s hailing from the land shaped like a boot that we consider to be unforgettable.
Supercars are great for going fast and looking cool on land, but what if you want to do the same on the water? Why, you buy a long, slender and stupendously speedy powerboat, of course. But with so many competition-inspired (and in some instances, competition-proven) vessels from which to choose, how do you know which ones are really worth your (hundreds of thousands of) hard-earned bucks? By looking at the list that follows after the jump, silly. Think of it as the Tubbs and Crockett of the high-end powerboat buyer, ridding the streets of your mind from the criminal element known as indecision.
(Speaking of everyone’s favorite pastel-wearing lawmen, you might want to click here for a short but appropriate aural companion for this list to set the scene of this breed of watercraft’s glory days of cruising Biscayne Bay, weekend blasts to Key West and nocturnal pick-up and delivery of Latin American “pharmaceuticals.”)
Among famous automobiles, the Lancia Stratos is perhaps not as well known as it should be. Maybe because only 492 such cars were ever built between 1972 and 1974. It could also be because the Stratos mostly competed in rally racing, which is an oft-overlooked form of motorsports. Maybe it is because people never realized how great the Stratos really was.
Whatever the case, Lancia is bringing the Stratos back into the 21st century. Based on the chassis of a Ferrari F430 Sucderia and with a 540 horsepower engine, this new Lancia Stratos is sure to attract some much-due attention.