Lancia Stratos HF Zero, the prototype that became a legend


Lancia Stratos HF Zero, the prototype that became a legend
Written by aquitodovale

At the time of the Lancia Stratos, people dressed in high-collared shirts and bell-bottoms. It was the seventies and some of the cars that would have written history were circulating on the roads. HF Zero was a unique “piece” that inspired the creation of one of the greatest reasons for the pride of Made in Italy

Andrea Brambilla

It was 1970 and at the Turin Motor Show, more precisely at the Carrozzeria Bertone stand, a concept with a high-sounding name was presented: the Stratos HF Zero. Nobody could know, but shortly thereafter, the legendary Lancia Stratos, the future winner of the World Rally Championship, would be born from this prototype. A model born from the pencil of Marcello Gandini, head of Bertone design from 1965 to 1979, who gave birth (among many others) to the Lamborghini Miura, the car that entered the history of the automobile as one of the most beautiful ever. realized. The Stratos HF Zero showed itself to the public with a design worthy of a science fiction film: there were no doors, you entered through the opening windshield and the shape was similar to that of an arrow. If you are wondering how to do it with the steering column, the answer is simple: it also moved to give the necessary space to be able to enter it, a bit like what happens in truck engines. A design from the future that marked a break with the past thanks to a new vision of style.

the technique

A very compact car with 3.58 meters in length even if it was the height from the ground that left you speechless: only 84 centimeters. Shapes to make your head spin and mechanics borrowed from the Lancia Fulvia from which it inherited the 1.6 V4 engine (recovered from a wrecker) and transmission. Looking at it, you realize that the rear axle is slightly wider than the front, a choice made to facilitate handling. The short wheelbase and a weight on the scales of around 700 kg closed the circle of a car that wanted not only to be beautiful on the eye but also fast on the road. The sharp rear and trunk makes a fine show of two gigantic off-center exhausts on the left from which a true and pure noise came out. In those days, in fact, cars moved only thanks to pistons and cylinders and not through a battery as happens today more and more often. In detail, the rear lights consisted of 84 bulbs that followed the entire design of the tail, while the front ones consisted of 10 individual headlights placed side by side on the car’s sharp nose. Today there is a lot of talk about “luminous signatures”, a detail that car manufacturers are very attentive to and of which they pride themselves on, but the reality is that they are already over half a century old and this car is proof of this.

the apparitions

In the recent past, the Stratos HF Zero was admired both at the Concours of Elegance at Villa d’Este, and overseas at Pebble Beach, before being auctioned off to a wealthy American collector. Even if it is a unique piece and very rich in history, the selling price was significantly lower than expected: “only” 761,600 euros compared to estimates of much more than one million. It is difficult to give a real estimate to this cult object. What is certain is that it is impossible to estimate the moral value that makes us Italians proud of our past.

#Lancia #Stratos #prototype #legend


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