Articles: Who Needs A Dining Table When You Have The Lancia Stratos HF Zero?

Who Needs A Dining Table When You Have The Lancia Stratos HF Zero?

Shayan Bokaie By Shayan Bokaie
July 24, 2018
8 comments

Photography by Jimmy Ban

If I were to suddenly declare the Lancia Stratos HF Zero as the most iconic concept car ever I’d not only be a few decades late to the party, but most likely speaking into an echo chamber (unless you’re some sort of counter-culture automotive hipster). Opinions have been established, designs have been studied, books have been written—the word is in. In case you need a refresher, the HF Zero was a mic drop by Marcelo Gandini of Bertone in their design bakeoff with Pininfarina which led to the big bang of wedge-shaped super cars of the ’70s. Since its explosive debut, it’s been immortalized by evocative photoshoots, featured in films, restored by Bertone, and changed hands a few times.

So now you might wonder, what is the car doing in a dining room?

Well, it’s quite simple: it’s being devoured. Celebrated. Enjoyed. Appreciated. While it may look the part, it’s 1.6L V4 Fulvia-sourced engine means the Zero won’t be pulling big G-forces at Laguna Seca any time soon (though we’d love to see it try). Frankly, it’s doing exactly what it should be doing; bringing people together, just like a dining table.

Our pal and mega car enthusiast Phillip Sarofim recently acquired the Zero from longer-term ownership where the car was mostly off the radar. Every collector certainly has a right to privacy but when people like the Bruce Meyers or Jay Lenos of the world make their cars available for creative shenanigans, geeking out, or just a couple photos the automotive universe becomes that much tighter.

Now, the Zero’s appearance in the dining room was just a fun and temporary gig. Its next stop was a bit of a homecoming at Villa d’Este where it had actually never been shown. This was a significant moment considering it’s a crown jewel in the Italian design portfolio. With so many enthusiastic, talented photographers (yes, you too car spotters) and publications creating content, the digital world and Instagram were flourishing with photos and videos allowing us to relish the wedge from every possible angle and bask in all its iconoclastic glory.

Showcasing and sharing cars is far from a new idea, but in a digital-first world the idea of such sharing has an exponential upshot which makes this passion so much more accessible, addicting, and inspiring. It’s my opinion that sharing cars digitally is the most proactive thing we can do to continuously grow the hobby, though I would argue that in some respects the pre-war cars and community (by virtue of timeline) have missed the opportunity to milk benefits of digital content and interest—while ardently followed by their base, they remain niche. The bright side is that it seems the following generation have caught the digital bug (yes, I’m talking to you cool dads of Instagram) and interest in post-war car appears to be growing increasingly popular among the younger enthusiasts and those new to the hobby in general.

The Zero may have missed out on Best in Show from its Best in Class finish at Villa d’Este, but it won the vote of the “Under 16-Year-Old” category from the youngsters in charge, and to us that’s the one that truly matters when you’re in the realm of absurdly impractical shapes like this. Oh, and as a result the car will be a future prize in the video game series Gran Turismo, giving gamers a taste what it’s like to even sit in this thing, albeit digitally. The early stage of the Zero’s reemergence is a motivating case study and reminder for all of us to continue sharing our cars, whichever ones we’ve got our hands on—and if you can manage to break the Internet, go for it. We’re looking forward to the Zero’s next adventure in its perpetually interesting life. Okay, pep talk over, enjoy the rest of the photos.

 

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Stratos Zero fanj kevin pikeMaxKevin PikeJacque Richardson Recent comment authors
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Stratos Zero fan
Stratos Zero fan

Besides the errors in the article already pointed out by others, the Zero was always kept in the public eye on public display by the first private owner, who believed the iconic design was an important cultural legacy and should always be out there to inspire future generations. It was only based on the commitment of the current owner to continue that tradition did the first private owner consider passing on the mantle of stewardship, and Philip has done a fine job of that and of keeping his word.

j kevin pike
j kevin pike

Last one of these left, given to me by Bertone!

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j kevin pike
j kevin pike

I enjoyed having it at my studio and making three exact replicas for Michael Jackson’s film, “Smooth Criminal”.

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Jacque Richardson
Jacque Richardson

In looking at these photographs, and at the placement of the SV in the modern decor of this residence, it seems to counter the argument that many of us espouse that vintage cars are meant to be driven and not to spend their “restored” lives as garage queens. This car, to me, particularly as photographed and presented, is truly a work of art, a fine sculpture and certainly seems properly displayed in this setting.

Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka

Correction ; ‘One’ of the more iconic Italian designs . Not THE most iconic . And definitely not the most iconic car ever ! Not even close . That crown crown belongs firmly upon the Lamborghini Muira . The car that changed the course of exotic road cars ( and was major inspiration for the Stratos Zero concept – re; ” Lancia Stratos ;thirty years later ” by Andrea Curami * ) for ever . And yes the Stratos Zero had been seen at Villa d’Este previously * also a strong argument can be made that the Pininfarina Ferrari Modulo… Read more »

Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka

FYI ; The Zero has been anything but ” off the radar ” as the author claims as everyone and anyone involved with Italian exotics and collector cars in general has know exactly where the Zero has been and who has owned it each and every year since its debut in 1970 .

Max
Max

Come back when you can at least spell Miura right…

auro
auro

“Its next stop was a bit of a homecoming at Villa d’Este where it had actually never been shown. This was a significant moment considering it’s a crown jewel in the Italian design portfolio.” what do you mean? I have seen it there in 2002!