Designed by Marcello Gandini, the grandmaster of wedge design, the Lancia Stratos Zero idea automobile shocked the world when it was first unveiled in 1970. Final weekend, the legendary showcar really lived as much as its title when it descended for a sub-zero look on the frozen lake of St Moritz.
There’s quite a lot of speak about unknown objects travelling the stratosphere proper now, however regardless of its out-of-this-world look we are able to guarantee you that this wedge-shaped automobile on ice is neither a high-tech spying machine, a climate balloon or a UFO from outer area. Nonetheless, we wish to think about that the crowds on the 1970 Turin Auto Present should have marvelled on the automobile with the identical amazement because the ape people who surrounded the black monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 cult sci-fi film ‘2001: A House Oddissey’. In any case, the futuristic idea automobile seemed to be constructed from a stable piece of metallic, it was as flat as a flying saucer and so futuristically formed that it might have simply arrived from outdoors the photo voltaic system.
In reality, the mission of Bertone’s ‘Progetto Zero’ had been to reinvent the Lancia model and shock the producer’s managers with a dramatic follow-up idea to the vehicles that had began the wedge motion in automotive design: the Alfa Romeo Carabo that had been designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone in 1968 and the Ferrari Modulo that had been created by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina and unveiled at Geneva in spring 1970. When this Lancia was unveiled in Turin, the automobile was formally labelled “Stratos HF.” Nuccio Bertone had initially needed to name it Stratolimite, as in ‘restrict of the stratosphere’, clearly impressed by its space-age design and the final fascination round interstellar journey on the time. Nevertheless, it got here to be recognized just by its inside nickname: Zero.
It’s mentioned that Nuccio Bertone personally drove the showcar on public roads when he went to fulfill Lancia’s high brass a couple of months earlier to debate a extra reasonable sports activities automobile challenge which finally turned the Stratos Stradale. Though the manufacturing Stratos didn’t bear a lot resemblance to Marcello Gandini’s dream, its function in reinventing the Lancia model by way of its success in rally racing can’t be understated. Even so, the Stratos Zero must be thought of one of the vital spectacular creations within the historical past of the car.
Final weekend, the Lancia Stratos Zero prompted greater than a stir when it made a sub-zero look at The ICE St Moritz. Its proprietor, the Californian automobile collector Philip Sarofim, even took the idea automobile for a few laps across the ice monitor on the frozen lake – we will definitely not neglect the sight of the orange wedge racing throughout the ice in entrance of the alpine peaks anytime quickly. In any case, placing a one-off idea automobile with fragile mechanics, non-existent floor clearance and an total peak of solely 84 centimetres onto a frozen lake already qualifies for the stunt of the 12 months. Ultimately, Philip rightfully claimed this 12 months’s Better of Present trophy for daring to deliver the game-changing idea automobile to the Alps.
We at Basic Driver have had the pleasure of seeing the Stratos Zero within the flesh a few instances after it was offered at RM Sotheby’s in 2011. In 2018, the Stratos Zero shocked spectators and judges alike on the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Shortly after, Philip Sarofim gave us and photographer Kevin van Campenhout the chance for a rendezvous with the fantastic wedge within the South of France. Now, on the Sunday morning after the ICE, we and Kevin had the possibility for an additional tête-à-tête with the Zero, this time capturing it in freezing temperatures within the gorgeous setting of the Swiss Alps. Typically, even the wildest desires can come true!
Pictures: Kevin van Campenhout