Put yourself in the shoes of Michael Stoschek – successful entrepreneur, collector and driver of historic racing cars and overall motorsport junkie. One day you decide to add another car to your collection, a New Stratos, successor to the iconic The Lancia Stratos HF rally car.

But wait, Lancia ceased production of the Stratos in 1974 after only 492 cars were made and despite various concepts displayed at motor shows since, there is no ‘New’ Stratos.

At this point any normal enthusiast would smile wistfully and dream of what could have been – but Michael Stoschek, chairman of the global automotive supplier Brose, is no ordinary enthusiast. Instead he decided to commission Pininfarina to design and build a one-off Stratos using the most modern technology and the 4.3-litre V8 engine provided by Ferrari’s F430 Scuderia.

When seeking to create an agile mid-engine sports car, there are few better examples than Ferrari's 430 Scuderia.

Now put yourself back in Stoschek’s shoes, two years after the project began you’re at the Pininfarina factory ready to collect your very own Stratos. It’s a dream come true.

Just in case you’re thinking, yeah some rich guy builds himself a supercar – so what? Perhaps it’s best to hand the story over to Michael Stoschek to tell in his own words:

“When we first presented the New Stratos on our website, I had absolutely no concept of the enormous interest the project would be met with. As you know, as a collector of historic rally cars and driver of a Lancia Stratos Gr. 4, the building of the New Stratos is the realisation of my long-held dream. It was also my ambition from the outset to allow other Stratos enthusiasts to share in the project’s progress.

For these reasons, the stupendous – and overwhelmingly positive – response from website visitors, internet platforms and trade magazines has thrilled me, while I’ve still endeavoured to take the few critical voices quite seriously.

Your continued interest in the development of this project will bring me even greater satisfaction. I would like to thank you on behalf of the entire team for your attention and involvement.”

On Monday this week Michael travelled to Turin for the handover at Pininfarina, again we’ll let him describe the moment, “Turin. Monday, November 8th, 2010. Draped in black cloth, the New Stratos stands waiting in a Pininfarina production hall for its new owner. Work on the details – painting, polishing, etc. – has been underway up until the final hour. Now, at handover time, the automobile is near perfect.

A big kudos is due to the Pininfarina team, which after two years of hard work delivered a perfect car. Only upon reviewing the comprehensive photo documentation, can the amount of work that’s gone into the construction of this one-off vehicle be truly appreciated. Right down to the very last detail the finish is exceptional for an one-off car.

What a wonderful feeling it must have been for Michael to collect his own sports car from the Pininfarina factory.

Engineers and technicians take the New Stratos for a few further short test drives around the Italian design company to make absolutely sure everything is in perfect working order. Adjustments are made once more; final details optimized. Then, at last, the glasses are raised, words of thanks exchanged, and the obligatory handover celebration goes on late into the night.

The following morning, the time has come: the New Stratos sets course for its new home – and although the highway isn’t the racecar’s preferred territory, it delivers some real driving pleasure right off the bat, on the first entry ramp.

In the coming days, the sports car will add several miles to the 3,000 test kilometres it clocked up in recent months at various racetracks and handling circuits. Final performance figures have to be determined, objective measurements transformed into verifiable data.

After all, there are only a few more weeks to go until the New Stratos’ presentation to the international press at the Paul Ricard Circuit… Two weeks – to be exact.”

What an amazing story, we’re full of admiration for Michael Stoschek’s vision and ambition. Earlier in the project he mentioned that he may consider a limited production run of the New Stratos depending on demand and we’d be very surprised if that’s not exactly what happens.

Note: We’ve shown you just a few quotes and images from the project, but there’s plenty more to see over at New Stratos website. You’ll notice that 11 chapters have been completed with 4 more to go, so clearly this is a journey that is far from over.