poniedziałek, 23 kwietnia 2018

Stratopolonez - Lancia Stratos with Polonez shell

In late 70's in Poland, one of the best Polish rally drivers was Andrzej Jaroszewicz - the son of Prime Minister. Thanks to his driving skills and some political connections, he was able to show on Polish rally stages the most desirable rally cars, as Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Spider, or later the mythic Lancia Stratos. 
But not every rally has been finished on first place. Some of them ended also off the road on the nearby tree. From today's perspective - I'd say thankfully... Why?
In 1977 Polish Rally Andrzej unfortunately smashed his white-red Lancia Stratos. 
Picture from: Kronika Rajdów, by Mr. Bagiński
The car body was destroyed, beyond repair, but the mechanical elements like powertrain and suspension remained untouched. These elements were sent to the warehouse of OBRSO - the Research and Development Center of FSO factory, where in 1978 welding machines, and hammers went into motion. The aim was to build a race car with the Dino engine.
Front independent susspension, and whole rear subframe were squized into the FSO Polonez. Significant widening of the rear fenders was necessary, to cover huge rear tyres from Stratos. To improve weight distribution (end of course ensure proper cooling), big and heavy radiator form Polish truck STAR has been mounted in the front. And that is how the fastest ever Polonez, was born.
It was used in races by several Polish great drivers - Andrzej Jaroszewicz, Adam Polak, Maciej Stawowiak or Marian Bublewicz, until l985. It was tough to drive, but there was no comparison to any other racing car at the time. And since then it is kept in (usually) warm locations of Polish National Museum, from time to time beeing taken out for a short trip.

So Mr Clarkson - now it is clear why you hate Polonez. You just haven't choosen the right one!!!

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