The Japanese Supercar That Almost Was – The Dome Zero – Design You Trust

The Japanese Supercar That Almost Was – The Dome Zero

What do you get when you mix Japan’s burgeoning fortunes as an automaker in the 1970s along with a passel of frustrated racers?

One of the first Japanese supercars, that’s what. The Dome Zero’s road to the 1978 Geneva Motor Show was paved with broken marriages, infrequent bathing schedules, and a nearly impossible deadline. It sounds like an episode of Monster Garage, now that we think about it. The wedgy, Italian-esque body evokes the finest work of the House of Nuccio. Power came from a Datsun inline six, offering a power to weight ratio on par with Porsches of the day.

Dome was a racing shop initially, so the learning curve to road vehicles was a steep climb. The marathon finally finished, the Zero took the stand at the 1978 Geneva Motor Show. Enough of a stir was whipped up that several Japanese toy manufacturers approached Dome about licensing the design. Looking to bring the actual car to market, Dome entered into agreements with the toy manufacturers. The sales of the little cars funded the development of the real deal to the point where Dome built a new HQ in Kyoto.

The Zero progressed nearly to production, but was derailed after over a year of wrangling unsuccessfully with Japan’s Ministry of Transport. Failing to gain approval to homologate the car in Japan, Dome decided to try building the car in the United States and reimporting Zeros into Japan. We’re not sure what finally caused the project to grind to a halt, but a few prototypes with chunky US-spec bumpers are all that remains. Dome went back to racing, and paid homage to this star-crossed road car by naming their first LeMans entry the Dome Zero RL. Thirty years on, all we can do is gaze at the pictures and dream of what might have been.

h/t: autoblog












If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

This Apartment Has A Full-Size Supercar Pagani Zonda As A Room Divider
Energy-Saving Lighting System Turns Night Sky Purple in Sweden
World's First 3D Printed Car
Finally, LEGO Announces Its Own Foldable Device , An Antidote To Folding Phone Mania
Bluetooth Speaker Ingeniously Disguised As Cotton Cloud That Floats Inside Your Home
The 1955 GMC L’Universelle Dream Truck
The Rhino: A Bizarre Experimental All-Terrain Vehicle, 1954
Surface by Microsoft
Mercedes-Benz Unveils Scale-Covered Concept Car Inspired By Avatar Movie
Hyundai Motor Pays Tribute to Original Grandeur Flagship Sedan with Heritage Series EV Resto-mod
Cool Pics Capture People Posing With Lancia Cars From Between The 1920s And ’60s
A Flash Drive Made To Look Like You're Storing Data On A Fish's Brain
The Light Phone
1977 Pontiac Phantom, the Last Car Designed by Bill Mitchell, One of the Automobile Industry’s Best Known Designers
iPhone 5 Transparent Edition
Man Puts V8 Lexus Engine And Automatic Transmission On A Bike
Facebook's New Headquarters in Menlo Park, CA
Artist Transforms Present Technologies Into Objects From The 1980s
Bruce Campbell's Boeing 727 Home Project
Futuristic Vehicles by Mikhail Smolyanov
Polish Stalkers Turned The Lights On In Pripyat, 31 Years After Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
Planet Mercury Unmasked: Fantastic Photos Of Crazy New Discoveries
The Biggest Anamorphic Illusion In The World Has Been Successfully Revealed On The Largest Outdoor Advertising Screen In South Korea
3D Printing Fashion: How I 3D-Printed Clothes at Home