Ferrari blocks production of New Lancia StratosS

The revived Lancia Stratos engineered into reality by a German millionaire was expected to spawn 40 copies for wealthy fans of the resurrected rally champion. That plan has now been blocked by a key player — Ferrari.

The new Stratos was built on the chassis of a Ferrari F430, and given bodywork by Pininfarina meant to evoke the spirit of the original. German backer Michael Stoschek had full cooperation during the construction from Ferrari, with president Luca di Montezemolo even taking the wheel for a test drive and praising the setup.

But that cooperation apparently ends at car number one. Stoschek planned to have Pininfarina craft additional bodies that could be mated to a donor Ferrari F430 or F360. That's where the trouble begins:

Pininfarina, however, has advised us that they will only carry out construction of a limited run with the express permission of Ferrari. Despite Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's excellent assessment of the New Stratos after his test drive at Fiorano, Ferrari does not consent to construction of the planned limited run by either Pininfarina or any other Ferrari-dependent suppliers.

Stoschek's group now says they will have to build any copies of the New Stratos "only via companies that are not dependent on Ferrari."

It's not surprising that Ferrari, part of the Fiat corporate empire, would want to quash the build of a few dozen vehicles that trade on a history it owns but no longer knows how to exploit. Even allowing the name "Stratos" to be tossed around by outsiders raises all sorts of legal copyright issues. Buyers might think that this combination of a gorgeous design with a chassis shortened for maximum agility might have the full faith and credit of the Scuderia's crest.

Best to ensure the Ferrari name isn't sullied with such associations.