Home » The Best Car For Exiting A Helicopter: Cold Start

The Best Car For Exiting A Helicopter: Cold Start

Lanica Kapp

The last time I was on a helicopter it was a Marine UH-1Y Venom (shout out Red Dog Squadron) and the car waiting for me when I landed was a minivan. I like a minivan. What I really wanted was a Lancia Kappa.

Lanca K4

Granted, this thought did not occur to me when I landed. I was mostly happy to be getting off the helicopter. I enjoyed the ride up and down the coast and around the Statue of Liberty the Marines provided, but flying around thunderstorms with the doors open required me to focus on how cool it was and not how strange it was.

Had this Lancia been waiting for me on the tarmac perhaps I could have distracted myself better. I love this photo of a bunch of dudes being extra 1994 next to the Kappa and a helicopter. We’ve got all the mid-’90s Italians: guy with a cell phone, guy with a briefcase, guy with black jeans and white tennis shoes.

The Kappa itself is not the most remarkable car produced in the era, but the T-square angles come courtesy of Turin’s I.D.E.A. (Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering), the relatively short-lived design house responsible for a weird string of cars ranging from the Fiat Tipo to the Tata Nano. You can see the most successful of their designs, the Alfa 155, faintly in the lines of the Kappa.

Lancia Kappa Interior

The interior is also pretty nice.

Photo Credit: Lancia via Wheelsage


Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

25 Responses

  1. I love that Jason has had to pass the torch (notice what I did there?) on the “Cold Start” feature so he could engage in at least one literal “cold start” per day during the road trip saga.

    1. Nah, more like, “Vito got a little too close to the tail rotor, just like you said he would. Now what about Billy White Shoes here, what happens to him?”

    2. And the guy with white sneakers is doing ’90s comedy?

      “Did you ever notice how in car ads, they always put the car way too close to the other stuff? What’s the deal with that – are they also selling this as an ad for the helicopter, showing the kind of car helicopter people drive?!”

    1. Maybe it’s too many middling 90’s action/thriller movies, but W140 runs the gamut of helicopter people. Maybe a W126 depending on the budget and/or their likelihood of an explosive end.

      1. Hahah there’s a stretched white 960 that’s been up for sale for months now where I’m from (asking price is/was €12K if I’m not mistaken; may have been sold recently, I can’t seem to find the ad anymore). I never expected to hear someone mention it as their limo of choice. You, sir, are a man of exquisite taste.

  2. I’ve never been in a Lancia Kappa, but I did own a 155 2.0TS for a while when I lived in Germany. Sooo goood!!!..

    I wish it was easier & cheaper to import one over here, especially since they’re over 25 years old now..

    1. The Kappa was the base for the 166; the 155 was related to the Lancia Dedra and the Fiat Tempra.

      I’m always jealous of people who had good experiences with Alfas. I was very briefly the owner of a 145 which seemed a lot of fun for a while, and then just turned into a bad caricature of an Alfa Romeo, with multiple mechanical and electrical failures in just a couple months, spending full weeks in the shop and some new problem popping up on the drive back, stuff that broke down weeks after it got fixed with new parts by specialised mechanics, the whole shebang. I just couldn’t believe a car could be that bad. Ended up sending it to the crusher when the clutch died a few days after some expensive electrical work was done.

  3. The car:wheel ratio is the so far removed from what “designer who shall not be named” would use that I’d like to propose that he take a crack at sketching it.

    1. Stare into a mirror and say my name three times, and I appear and I sketch your car with oversized designer wheels.

      And steal the cheese from your fridge.

  4. While the Kappa is undeniably cool, make mine the longroof version with either the Busso V6 or 20V turbo 5. Either one of those motors can transform an ordinary car into super hero instantly with a turn of the key.

    Also, I’ll never understand the obsession of Italian manufacturers in the 90s shooting promotional interior shots with every flashlight illuminated. I have a Alfa 164 brochure that is similarly hexed.Do they want us to play up tired, old stereotypes?

    1. I always assumed the lights were all on because the mechanics couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the promo car and the budget didn’t allow for a photographer to just stick around waiting for the issues to get solved.

Leave a Reply