Lancia Stratos

A classic car collector is suing his estranged son after he allegedly failed to return four rare exotics that were lent to him.

The action, which is valued at £2.5million, has been brought against Christian Hrabalek, after he borrowed four of is father's Lancia Stratos rally cars and failed to return them, according to court documents.

Mr Hrabalek, 36, who is considered one of the world's leading Stratos collectors, owned nine examples of the Italian two-seater.

His father alleges that he was lent four vehicles for display at a classic car museum in Berlin, from his own collection, and that the cars were never returned.

As a result, the pair's relationship deteriorated, with the London Evening Standard reporting that Hrabalek sent his father a text saying the cars would be returned "providing they never saw each other again".

However, the cars were not returned and his father has now resorted to litigation to ensure that he gets either the cars back or damages totaling three million euros.

Lancia Stratos rally cars are highly sought after due to their iconic design and competition pedigree, having won the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

Christian Hrabalek has had a long career in the car design industry and has experience as an automotive strategy consultant, beginning at Porsche in 1997, before stints at Audi, Volkswagen, Lancia, BMW and Skoda.

He founded automotive design consultancy Fenomenon Holistic Design in 2002 – a venture that subsequently went under in 2011.