Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Dome Zero

Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Dome Zero

This isn’t the first time the Dome Zero has been featured - both fintail and myself have posted the regular and Limited Tomica versions. Now it’s time for the 1/40 Dandy casting to get the spotlight.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Dome Zero

If you are not familiar with this car, you could be forgiven for thinking that this car is the love child of a Lancia Stratos and a Lamborghini Countach. But there is nothing Italian about it - it is 100% Japanese. (and pronounced dohmu zero).

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Dome Zero

Dome was and is a producer of open-wheel and GT racing cars. In 1975, they had the idea of producing a small-volume production car for the road. And the “Zero” you see here was the result, having its debut at the 1978 Geneva Motor Show. For whatever reason, the Japanese authorities “discouraged” homologation for road use in Japan, and Dome did not have the financial resources to push the issue.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Dome Zero

Dome then changed tactics and modified the design so it could be made legal in western markets - particularly the US. For that purpose, they developed the Dome P2 - essentially the same car, at least design wise - only fitted with US regulation bumpers, which didn’t help the looks.

Dome also tried a version of the Zero at LeMans in 1979 and 1980, but with less than spectacular results. A DNF in ‘79 and a stone cold last in ‘80 - not encouraging. Part of the problem were the engines - the prototypes were fitted with 2.8l straight six SOHC engines, putting out 145hp. The cars weighed only 920kg, so the power to weight ratio wasn’t all that bad, but still...

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Dome Zero

If the car had been made a bit later, it would have benefited from Nissan’s Turbo engines - but as it was, Dome had nothing better available at the time. Dome dropped the Zero project after 1980, and went on with other racing car projects.

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Illustration for article titled Land of the Rising Sun-Day: Dome Zero

The Tomica Dandy model is one of the nicest of its kind in my collection. Sharp details, opening everything and of course the headlights go and up and down as they should. Though the “Limited” version of my earlier post does have the better tampos - but it also came more than 20 years later.

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