At the 1970 Turin Motor Show, Italian design house, Bertone, revealed to the world an automotive design so radical that it marked a new era in exotic automotive design, taking risks that seemed borderline insane. The 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, or just “Zero” rocked automotive circles like practically nothing else before it. Bertone did not disappoint, delivering the Zero at a mere 33 inches tall. The crazy wedge shaped concept was, even by today’s standards, remarkable.
It was not only revolutionary in its design, it was also a fully functional concept car. It utilized a 115 horsepower 1.6-litre Lancia V-4 engine from a Fulvia HF and the suspension and chassis were taken from a Fulvia HF that had wrecked. The body creases and absence of any real side or rear windows made visibility a challenge, but everything about the vehicle bowed to the overall chiseled design theme. The cocooningly small cockpit was topped off by a hydraulically operated windscreen and had to be accessed by retracting the telescoping steering column. The wild side hinged triangular engine cover was shaped to draw air into the rear mounted engine. In all its craziness and then futuristic sophistication, it is unlikely that we will ever see a concept so prominent during its time period ever again. This icon in its original form, never saw production but famously launched the Lancia Stratos rally car, one of the true classics in the motoring world today. With meticulous attention to detail, it was fully restored to its original glory by Bertone in 2000 and on May 21st, 2011 this piece of automotive history will go on the auction block from the Bertone S.p.A. Collection at R&M Auctions and is expected to fetch upwards of $2.5 million. More images after the jump.