It seem’s to be getting quite a regular affair, companies popping up offering restomods and homage to car greats from the past, some better than others but certainly offering a modern take on the classic original.
One such company who know how to do these things the right way and produces the stunning the car you are looking at. formerly known as ListerBell Automotive, LB Specialist Cars produce the STR, a reimagination of the Iconic 1970’s Lancia Stratos. Their mission is to produce the STR in such a way that it pays homage to the original Lancia and therefore maintains all of the visual presence and character of the genuine Stratos but is engineered and advanced in a way better suited to this millennium.
The original Lancia Stratos must now sit comfortably amongst the top 5 most iconic cars of all time and in an era where classic and rare cars have reached values far beyond the reach of most people then an owning an original Stratos has become little more than a dream to the majority of potential buyers. Factor into this already burgeoning price the additional maintenance and running costs then we find that more and more cars are being stored away in collections and are now being bought as assets rather than as cars which we will actually see out and being driven.
Step forward the STR, a car built with the ethos of the original Lancia but one which can actually be used in the real world without the fear of damage or reliability issues all for a fraction of the cost of an original Lancia.
Whether it be the traditional Stradale shape that ticks the boxes or a fully fledged GP4 rally lookalike with Alitalia livery and additional lamps and scoops, LB Specialist cars can cover the bases all with a healthy dose of modern engineering and thinking incorporated into the design.
With its torsionally rigid chassis and compliant suspension the STR is equally suited to life as a fast road car or grand tourer but also lends itself to participating on track days, sprints or even hill climbs. Safety is never a concern due to its fully integrated roll cage and braking capabilities. Various engine options are available with power options ranging from the 2.5litre Alfa V6 with 190Hp through to the 3.5litre supercharged Toyota V6 with 350Hp+ which is more commonly found in the back of the Lotus Evora or Exige. With enough authentic features either factored into the design or available as options then it is possible to configure the car to the point where it can confuse all but the most ardent of enthusiasts.
The base of the car is a torsionally rigid CAD designed space frame chassis which is constructed using a semi monocoque central structure, tubular section front and rear cradles and a full integral roll cage. The chassis has been designed to mimic certain elements of the original Lancia’s appearance whilst adding in some modern day safety features along with a few additional creature comforts.
The preferred engine options are the transversely mounted Alfa Romeo “Busso” V6 in 2.5, 3.0 or 3.2litre variants, the Toyota derived 2GR-FE V6 and the transverse Ferrari motors in either V6 or V8 format. Exhaust systems are fully repackable, are constructed from stainless steel and come with catalytic converters where required. Engines are controlled by either the OEM engine management systems or in the case of tuned or non standard motors by means of a fully programmable after market ECU system.
The front suspension is based around an aircraft grade billet aluminium upright this is located by means of a double wishbone assembly which is fully adjustable for castor, camber, toe and ride height. Damping is provided by Nitron coil over dampers with single way adjustment as standard. The rear suspension is again based around an anodised billet alloy upright which is inkeeping with the original Stratos. This is controlled by a strut type rear suspension system with an adjustable lower wishbone. Damping in this case is provided by a bespoke Nitron strut and the suspension is adjustable for camber, toe and ride height. Adjustable anti roll bars are fitted front and rear. All pivots are PTFE lined rod end and spherical bearings for minimal stiction and adjustability. The springs fitted are dual rate to allow comfortable progression under normal conditions but with increased resistance under hard cornering scenarios.
Steering is provided by a custom built steering rack with 2.6 turns lock to lock. This is controlled directly by bespoke steering shafts and a 350mm diameter steering wheel in either leather or suede. Speed sensitive EPS systems are available for those who may feel they need a little assistance at parking speeds.
The braking system is an controlled by a dual circuit bias adjustable pedal box with a 6.25:1 pedal ratio. The system is un-servoed and features 4 piston calipers on both the front and rear axles which in turn clamp onto 300 x 24mm discs as standard. Depending upon the wheel option chosen upgrades to 325 x 25mm with separate anodised bells are available for both axles.
We offer all three of the conventional Stratos body options, Stradale, Gp4 round arch & Gp4 square arch. The body can either be in pre polished gelcoat GRP or it can be painted in a colour or livery of choice. In the case of the Gp4 cars LB Specialist Cars can offer a full range of optional add ons such as lamp pods, roof scoops, chin spoiler, mud flaps etc etc.
The suspension and brakes of the STR have been designed specifically to accept either the more traditional 15” coffin spoke wheel options or the increased diameter versions of the famous Campagnola wheel which their cars tend to run. Whilst the 15” wheels will always appeal to the more traditional customer the tyre choice is somewhat limited to Historic race tyres such as the Michelin TB15 and the Pirelli P zero Corsa Classic. The 16 & 17” options they offer can open the tyre selection up to some more modern street based tyres. Typically they would run with a 16” wheel both front and rear on the Stradale cars where the Gp4 cars can run with either a 16” or a 17” on the front but will have the 17” on the rear.
As homage cars to greats such as the Lancia Stratos go the STR is a serious piece of kit, have we driven it, well no not yet but fingers crossed the opportunity might be just around the corner. To find out more, contact LB Specialist Cars here