I had always wanted to visit one of the classic rallies for a chance to see classic rally cars that competed in the ’70s and the Group B years that followed. Luckily, I didn’t have to go abroad, as two of those legends came to my home town of Prague to participate in an event called the Prague Rallye Revival.
Yes, a Lancia Stratos and Lancia 037 were at the starting point of the rally and what’s more, they were wearing their most iconic of liveries: Alitalia and Martini respectively.
They’re both epic looking cars with many specific details. They also have unmistakeable shapes: you’d always be able to correctly guess what car was in the picture even from a close-up.
Have a look at those amazing pipes of the Stratos: they protrude nearly half a meter out the back!
The Alitalia livery is definitely best known on the Stratos. The first time it participated in a rally was in 1974 on the Rallye San Remo.
The successor to the Stratos was the Rally 037, built between 1981 and 1984.
And who was driving that car but one of the most popular tuners in the world of rally, Giuseppe Volta, who’s had a long association with the Lancia brand.
This passionate Italian was smiling, giving signatures, talking to the fans, posing for the photographers and making time for the many spectators.
He also opened the hood when he saw that I was interested in the engine. Look at this amazing piece of engineering! In the Rally 037’s ultimate Evolution 2 specification its supercharged four-cylinder engine was stretched from 1995cc to 2111cc, lifting output to 325hp.
And what may we expect from the interior? It’s as crazy as the rest of the car! Who knows what every button is for?
Volta was wearing vintage overalls, naturally also in the Martini colours.
Cars had to move from the paddock to the city centre where the rally was officially started.
It was a crazy experience to watch these cars running in Friday traffic through the middle of the Czech capital.
People were staring and wondering what on earth was going on. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be on the way home after work and to see these cars roaring past!
Here’s the Stratos being followed by a great looking Delta Integrale that also participated in Prague Rally Revival – and by a police car!
When the cars entered the Wenceslas Square, people went crazy and life in the town stopped for several minutes.
The Rally 037 was maybe waiting with these other taxis for a passenger. Anybody want a pick-up for the ride of their life?
Giuseppe Volta made a small burnout to put on a show for the people, which went down a storm.
This is his Rally 037 at the main place where the 1989 Velvet Revolution started in the Czech Republic. After the start, Volta waited for his teammate in the Stratos before they left together, with a final wave to the spectators before heading out to tackle the first stage! What a day!
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