In the Hot Wheels world, a general rule-of-thumb is that if a casting doesn’t appear for 5 years, there is a good chance that casting is gone for good. The Lancia Stratos recently defied the odds by making a comeback after a 7-year hiatus. Read about its comeback >> HERE <<.
The second-to-last release of the Lancia Stratos (before its hiatus) was in a 5-Pack labeled “Hot Wheels 5” in 2007. The 5-Pack wasn’t limited to just 5 cars as there were multiple versions of this 5-Pack. At first glance, these 5-Packs featured Hot Wheels in previous-released decos. However, if you looked closer, you realized the subtle differences between the releases.
Take the Lancia Stratos for example. Originally appearing to be a re-hash of the exclusive version from the 2003 Hot Wheels Cliff Race track set, the Lancia Stratos actually appeared noticeably different. Please view >> THIS << beautiful comparison at hobbydb.com. As you can see by the photo, the graphics are different and its easy to distinguish the two based on this photo.
Originally introduced as a 2002 First Edition, the Lancia Stratos sat as a “pegwarmer” on retailer peghooks in the United States. The sentiment just wasn’t behind an Italian-produced rally car–even as the winner of the 1974, 1975 & 1976 World Rally Championships. Had American collectors been more familiar with the WRC at the time, I’m sure this castings would have been more popular, seeing how the real Lancia Stratos is a WRC legend.
RELEASE DETAILS: White Body (metal). Dark-Tinted Windows. Black Interior/Louvers. Gold-Chrome 5-Spoke (5SP) Wheels. Black Base (plastic). Made in China. Toy# L6997. Released in 2007 as part of the Hot Wheels 5 5-Pack.