Six of Lancia’s exquisitely made pannier-tanked D50 Grand Prix cars are being recreated in Italy around some original V8 engines and transmissions discovered in a fortuitous scrapyard clearout at Ferrari’s Maranello works. While five are bound for museums, Robin Lodge’s example is intended to race, its debut targeted for Goodwood.
Designed by the veteran Vittorio Jano, the D50, with its superb stressed powerplant, was the only machine capable of holding a torch to Mercedes-Benz’s W196 in 1955. When the financially-strapped Lancia concern was forced to pull the plug on its team in ’56, Enzo Ferrari took the cars over and signed Juan Manuel Fangio in a bid to revive his scuderia’s fortunes.
Aided by Peter Collins selflessly handing over his car at Monza where Stirling Moss won the Italian GP in the offset Maserati 250F which Murray Smith will race at Goodwood the Argentinian duly won his third successive World Championship. One of the D50s is being built in Lancia-Ferrari trim.
All of the original cars were scrapped. Two were assembled from parts, however, and remain in the Lancia and Biscaretti Museums. The chassis of the factory’s example is understood to have been cloned for the ‘continuation’ cars in the same spirit that Cameron Millar built a run of 250F replicas.