Lancia Stratos LB Project: Alfa-to-Ferrari “Engine Conversion”

September 18, 2012

The original Lancia Stratos was powered by a 2.4 litre Ferrari V6. My Stratos will be powered by a more reliable Alfa Romeo V6 with 2.5 litre displacement.

A few weeks ago I visited the Lister Bell workshop to see the progress of the buildup and bodywork. I also checked the Alfa V6 donor engine and thought that it would be neat to change the Alfa Romeo branding into Ferrari. To give the impression of a real Ferrari powerplant. Therefore measures from the valve cover and the plenum were taken and noted.

Alfa_2_Ferrari

Back in the office, research on Ferrari engines was done and then 3D renderings for engine covers were created. The 3D data was sent to a company specialized in CNC aluminium parts. One week later the engine covers arrived. For the finishing touch the parts were painted black and the embossed structure sanded and polished on top.

Also a badge for the Oil Filler cap was designed and a decal produced. The illusion of a real Ferrari engine is now perfect.

-> Gallery: Alfa-to-Ferrari “Engine Transformation”

Lancia Stratos LB Project: Donor Parts & Authentic Bits

August 19, 2012

To make a Stratos Replica look as close as possible to the original car, parts sourcing plays an important role.

The Lancia Stratos shared a lot of parts with Fiats, Lancias and italian sports cars from back then. Gauges and switches on the dashboard came from Fiat. So did the head- and taillights or even the door handles (Fiat X 1/9). Side repeaters were borrowed from the Lancia Fulvia and inner door openers, front indicators and front fog lamps can be found on Lamborghinis, Maseratis or even Ferraris from the 70s.

Donor_Parts

Christian, who has built a Hawk Stratos Replica himself, helped with a lot of Fiat X 1/9 donor parts and several Lancia items like the super rare nose-badge. He and his wife run the Austrian Fiat X 1/9 Club and also deal with Fiat X 1/9 spares.

A complete instrument panel with gauges and switches from a Fiat 124 Spider came from a ebay seller in the U.S.A.

Some period perfect bits were found on ebay Italy, like a Momo steering wheel from the late 70s or a Cromodora Astro mirror that looks close to the original mirror (very rare now).

The decals for the body were ordered in the UK or custom cut in vinyl by a decal shop.

Other very hard-to-find items like the front indicators and the Carello front fog lights are going to be supplied by Craig (Lister Bell) who found them in the “For Sale” section on the Stratos Enthusiasts Site.

-> Gallery: Sourcing Donor Parts & Authentic Bits

Lancia Stratos Project in cooperation with Lister Bell Automotive

July 6, 2012

The creations of design genius Marcello Gandini who worked for Carozzeria Bertone have strongly contributed to and influenced automotive design. Gandini created concepts and production cars such as the legendary Miura and Countach for Lamborghini, the Alfa Romeo Carabo or the Lancia Stratos Zero. The production version of the Lancia Stratos (only 500 were built) is one of my favourite sports cars. Furthermore, it is regarded as one of the best cars ever made. This machine was developed for only one purpose: winning Rallies. The car won the World Championship 3 times. Besides superb performance and handling the Stratos has a unique and outstanding body – typical 70s Gandini/Bertone style. The market value of Stratoses ranges from € 200.000,- € 300.000,- for the Stradale version and up to € 400.000,- for cars in Group 4 configuration. Because of the high market price and low production number the dream of owning and driving a Lancia Stratos only comes true for a few.

Lister Bell Automotive from UK has specialized in Lancia Stratos Replicas. Their cars are hand-built and drive and look just like the real thing. On the one hand, the main difference to the original is the powerplant: Instead of the rare Ferrari Dino V6 engine an Alfa V6 (2.5) or Ferrari V8 (308) are on the options list. On the other hand, a turn-key Stratos Replica from Lister Bell costs about one-fith compared to the market price of original Stratoses. In addition Lister Bell has also improved the bodywork with a more exact body fitting.

Stratos-Design-Final

In order to make my dream of a Lancia Stratos come true I got into contact with Craig White – founder of Lister Bell – and talked with him about a Stratos Replica project. I showed him the design illustration, we discussed the details and the order was fixed. After me having placed the deposit, the team from Lister Bell has now started working on the build-up of my car.
Technical-wise the car will be outfitted with a reliable Alfa V6 with 190 bhp connected to a 6-speed transmission.
On the outside, the car will sport original style coffin-spoke wheels measuring 16” front and 17” rear. Other highlights are Group 4 round arches and Prototipo hood vents. Bodywork will be finished off in shiny dark, black-blue color.

The concept rendering illustrates how the finished car will look like.
More news on the building process to come soon!

Fabricated Honeycomb Grille – Road Runner Concept Update – Chapter 8

June 26, 2012

RR-Lower-Grille

King Hardeman wanted the lower front grille insert to look like in the concept drawings with the honeycomb design.

Creating one-off parts can be quite expensive and for projects like this some invention is needed and can save some money.
One day when King went to the shopping mall a simple shopping cart with a basket out of honeycomb mesh gave him inspiration.

So he searched the web and contacted a company that sells shopping baskets. It took some time to get them to agree to sell what he wanted. The first basket sides he received were too small. It took more E-mails to get the shopping cart company to send sides from a larger basket.

With the correct honeycomb base material in hands King now fabricated a frame to fit the lower grille opening and then cut the basket sides to fit. The outcome looks very good and proves that inventive talent pays off.

-> Gallery: Honeycomb Grille

Citan Bodykit Design for Hartmann Tuning

May 14, 2012

Citan_Hartmann

The recent styling concepts for the new Mercedes Citan were very well received. And one step led to another. Hartmann Tuning aka Vansports – a specialist in Van and Transporter styling – asked for their own bodykit design for the Mercedes Citan. Hartmann required the parts to reflect their current design philosophy and easy (self)installation for customers. The bodykit consists of a front spoiler, LED-unit for the grille, side skirts and rear valance. Physical implementation will start as soon as the first Mercedes Citan production models are out.

-> Bodykit Hartmann Citan

Mercedes Citan Styling Concepts

April 2, 2012

CitanHotRod

Mercedes-Fans – a leading online magazine dedicated to Mercedes-Benz Cars – commissoned styling concepts for the new Mercedes Citan. The next urban transport vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz range (coming in autumn 2012) offers serious potential for fresh styling ideas to make delivery business more exciting.

-> Mercedes Citan Styling Concepts

New Color Combination – Road Runner Concept – Chapter 7

March 24, 2012

RoadRunnerVitaminC

The original concept pictures show the car in “Triple Black” and “Lemon Twist” color. King Hardeman (builder of the Road Runner Concept) decided to go a different route by using deep Orange combined with brown metallic strobe stripes.

After discussion with King the concept images were updated to give an impression how the result will look like: The new color direction looks just right on the body.

-> Gallery: Road Runner Color Concept

Sneak Peek: Upcoming Project

February 29, 2012

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New project in the pipeline. More details coming soon. Stay tuned!

Road Runner Concept Build featured in Auto Enthusiast Magazine

October 27, 2011

V8 Magazine
In their current November issue Auto Enthusiast Magazine brought a four page feature on the progress of the Road Runner Concept build. It’s great to see that the project gets the attention it deserves – especially for their builders King Hardeman and Pierre Mabile. Get to know more and check your local news stand for Auto Enthusiast Magazine.

-> Auto Enthusiast Feature November 2011 issue

Finished: One-Off Wheels by Boyd Coddington Wheels – Road Runner Concept

August 8, 2011

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The finished wheels (19″ in front and 20″ in rear) from Boyd’s Wheels just were delivered to King Hardemann. They now appear like intended: a brushed look with the face of the spokes polished. The red line tires were done by Diamondback and are also a one-off creation.

The tire & wheel combination looks totally stunning and just like in the concept illustrations.

-> Gallery: Road Runner Concept Wheels