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1954 Lancia D50 news, pictures, specifications, and information

Chassis Num: 0004R
 
This is a 1954 Lancia D50 with chassis number 0004R. In 1953, Automobili Lancia commissioned a new Grand Prix car. The famous Italian designer, Vittorio Jano, used a tubular space-frame chassis incorporating the engine as a stressed member. Output for the four-camshaft V8 was a reputed 260 bhp and a 280 lb weight advantage.

The most visually striking aspect is the twin ponnier-type fuel tanks located on faired outriggers between the wheels. Jano's objectives were improved airflow between the wheels and a constant weight distribution.

Alberto Ascari was signed to drive the new car. On its 1954 debut, the car was fastest in practice and lead on lap three, setting the fastest lap before retiring due to clutch problems. Unfortunately, the staggering expender for such a small company could not be sustained.

In 1955, Lancia turned over the entire team of eight D50's to Ferrari, continuing run as Lancia Ferrari's through the 1957 season. Heavily modified by Ferrari, the cars were eventually broken up.

Throughout the 1960's, 70's & 80's, Guido Rosani made it his life's project to gather all the remaining D50 components. This car was reconstructed by Jim Stokes, using all the remaining components of chassis number 0004. The car's return to competition has delighted racing fans across the world.
The Lancia automobile company was an Italian based company created in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia. It remained in production until 1969 when it became part of the Fiat Group. The company has a legacy of building reliable and unique production road-going automobiles and for their accomplishments in racing, particularly in rally events. They have won the World Rally Championship in 1972, 1974-1976, 1983, and 1987-1992. They are the most statistically successful marque in the sport.

After the close of the Second World War, Lancia, backed by the enthusiasm of Vincenzo Lancia's grandson, Gianni, worked aggressively towards building competitive racing machines. Vittorio Jano, of Alfa Romeo and Ferrari fame, was recruited to aid in the creation of a sports-car for the Lancia marque.

When most designers were using engines in straight (inline) configuration, Jano chose to use the 'Vee' configuration. The resulting engine was placed in the D50 and made its Grand Prix racing debut in 1954 at the Spanish Grand Prix. This was Lancia's first attempt at contesting a Grand Prix race, and they were doing it with Jano's 'V'-configuration engine, a rather bold step. The car and its mechanical components were not the traditional Formula 1 style, which had the crowd stunned, as the vehicle proved it was a capable machine, with Alberto Ascari driving it to pole position.

The Lancia D50 was a technological marvel that had a very compact engine design, excellent weight distribution, and superior handling. Many of the F1 cars of the day were designed to slide through the corners. The car was less prone to accidents, spinning, or going off course. The compact V8 engine was able to be placed directly between the wheels. It was shorter then smaller engines, such as a straight six, and had a low center of gravity. Its boxy design meant that it could be used as part of the spaceframe chassis, providing structural rigidity as a stressed member. The five speed transaxle was placed in the rear and integrated as part of the rear axle. By having the engine in the front and the gearbox in the rear, weight was evenly distributed. The driver was positioned in-between these two components and left little room for the fuel and oil tanks. In keeping with the weight-distribution concept, the fuel and oil tanks were placed alongside the vehicle, flanking the driver on either side. In traditional designs, the fuel tanks were located behind the rear axle, but this design would not have accommodated Jano's quest for weight distribution. The large panniers that held the fuel and oil actually improved the vehicles airflow. They were positioned between the two tires, so additional surface area was not sacrificed.

Located at all four corners were the popular drum brakes. The suspension was comprised of a tubular double wishbone setup and a rear DeDion axle. The total ensemble weighed a mere 1350 pounds and had a top speed of over 185 mph. The eight-cylinder engine produced an impressive 260 horsepower with the help of four Solex carburetors. The rear-mounted five-speed manual gearbox sent that power to the rear wheels.

In the capable hands of Ascari, the Lancia D50 was piloted to two pre-season victories. One of the more memorable races for the D50 was at the Monaco Grand Prix. Ascari was negotiating his car into the lead position when he missed a chicane and crashed, sending himself and the car into the harbor. He had gained the lead, but it had resulted in a premature retirement from the race. Ascari survived; a few days later, on May 26, he was testing a Ferrari sports car at Monza and crashed on the Curva di Vialone, a high-speed corner on the course. The accident claimed his life, bringing to a sad close the life of the two-time World Champion.

Lancia found themselves without a world-class driver. Lancia sold their project off to Ferrari, as the prospects in the sport had gone bleak and the experience had brought the company towards the brink of bankruptcy. Ferrari made minor changes to the car and, with the retirement of Mercedes-Benz, was able to claim the 1956 World Championship with the help of the very capable Juan Manuel Fangio.

Six cars had been created, but when the program was canceled, many of the cars were destroyed. Only two were spared. They currently reside in Italian museums where they spend most of their time. They are rarely brought to the track; replica's were created from several of the remaining engines and transaxles that survived.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2007
1954 Carrera Panamericana: Courage to Go On
Suddenly the Ferrari 340 Mexico would break loose on Hill. Careening down over the ledge, the car would be battered and bruised, coming to a rest finally with its occupants none the worse for wear. It would be a scary moment and the mangled bodywork would suggest it would be wise never to take part in the event ever again. Richie Ginther's own racing career had only just got underway when he was approached by a well known friend. Richie had met Phil Hill a couple of years before and would dev...[Read more...]
1954 British Grand Prix: An Argentinean at Home in England
Long before the Falklands War cooled feelings between England and Argentina, Jose Froilan Gonzalez would show himself to be right at home on English shores. Having put his name in the record books as Ferrari's first Formula One victor, Gonzalez would be back with the very same team looking to see if he could repeat the achievement. Jose Froilan Gonzalez had struggled in Formula One throughout his debut season in 1950. His prospects seemed to be all gone by the end of the season. However, an i...[Read more...]
1951 British Grand Prix: Tapped for a Special Moment in History
The lead and the victory were firmly within his grasp, but would the moment be taken away from him? He had been in a similar situation before and then there would be a tap on the shoulder and he was forced to give up what he had fought so hard to earn. Would this be another one of those moments? Thoughts raced through his head, and then, there was a tap on the shoulder once again. Prior to the 1951 season, Jose Froilan Gonzalez had shown little of his true potential. After making his debut in...[Read more...]
British Grand Prix - Rich Pickings At This Event
Formula 1 isn't football and some parallels are usually a bit of a stretch, but it's definitely not going too far to claim that Ferrari will be playing away from home at Silverstone. In a few dozen square miles around this circuit, you can find the headquarters of no less than eight of the eleven teams entered in the world championship. In fact, this weekend's venue has hosted no less than 46 of the 63 British Grands Prix, the other venues being Aintree and Brands Hatch, meaning that this and th...[Read more...]
Grand Prix Circuits: Pau Circuit
Some grand prix circuits just have a mythical status about them. Besides the drivers and great races, a lot of the equation comes down to how memorable the circuit truly is. In the case of the Pau Circuit, its sheer place in motorsport history and lore makes this tight, twisting circuit a true legend. From its very beginnings, Pau would be at the heart of travel and transportation. Situated in a rather deep valley with the Pyrenees mountains lending an imposing back-drop, the area that would ...[Read more...]

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Lancia: 1951-1960
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Related Drivers

 Alberto Ascari
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Related Teams

 Scuderia Lancia

Related F1 Articles
 
Scuderia Lancia: 1955 Formula One Season
Scuderia Lancia: 1954 Formula One Season
 

1954 Formula One Season
PosTeamConstructorChassisDriversPoints
 Scuderia LanciaLanciaD50 Italy Alberto Ascari
Italy Luigi Villoresi 
 Hans KlenkKlenk Germany Theo Helfrich 
 Vandervell ProductsVanwall
01 Special 
United Kingdom Peter John Collins 
 HW MotorsHWM
53 
United Kingdom Lance Noel Macklin 
 Equipe Simca-GordiniGordini France Élie Marcel Bayol
France Jean Marie Behra
Argentina Clemar Bucci
Belgium Paul Frère
France Roger Loyer
Belgium André Pilette
France Jacques Pollet
United States Fred Wacker 
 Officine Alfieri MaseratiMaserati
250F
A6GCM 
Italy Alberto Ascari
Thailand Birabongse 'B. Bira' Bhanudej
Argentina Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' Fangio
Spain Paco Godia
Italy Sergio Mantovani
Argentina Onofre Marimón
Argentina Roberto Mieres
United Kingdom Sir Stirling Moss
Italy Luigi Musso
France Louis Rosier
United States Harry Schell
Italy Luigi Villoresi 
 Harry SchellMaserati
A6GCM 
United States Harry Schell 
 Emmanuel de GraffenriedMaserati Switzerland Emmanuel 'Toulo' de Graffenried
Switzerland Ottorino Volonterio 
 Roberto MieresMaserati
A6GCM 
Argentina Roberto Mieres 
 Jorge DaponteMaserati
A6GCM 
Argentina Jorge Daponte 
 Carlos Alberto MenditeguyMaserati
A6GCM 
Argentina Carlos Alberto Menditeguy 
 Birabongse BhanudejMaserati
250F 
Thailand Birabongse 'B. Bira' Bhanudej
United Kingdom Ron Flockhart 
 Sir Stirling MossMaserati
250F 
United Kingdom Sir Stirling Moss 
 Owen Racing OrganisationMaserati
250F 
Italy Guerino Bertocchi
United Kingdom Kenneth Wharton 
 Gilby EngineeringMaserati
250F 
United Kingdom Roy Francesco Salvadori 
 Giovanni de RiuMaserati
A6GCM 
Italy Giovanni de Riu 
 Georges BergerGordini Belgium Georges Berger 
 Daimler-BenzMercedes-Benz Argentina Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' Fangio
Germany Hans Herrmann
Germany Karl Kling
Germany Hermann Lang 
 Scuderia FerrariFerrari
625
553
500 F2 
Italy Alberto Ascari
Italy Giuseppe 'Nino' Farina
Argentina José Froilán González
United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn
Italy Umberto Maglioli
France Robert Manzon
Italy Piero Taruffi
France Maurice Bienvenu Jean Paul Trintignant 
 Ecurie RosierFerrari
500 F2
625 
France Robert Manzon
France Louis Rosier
France Maurice Bienvenu Jean Paul Trintignant 
 Ecurie FrancorchampsFerrari
500 F2 
Belgium Jacques Swaters 
 Scuderia AmbrosianaFerrari
500 F2 
United Kingdom Reginald Harold Haslam Parnell 
 Peter WhiteheadCooper
T24 
United Kingdom Peter Whitehead 
 RJ ChaseCooper United Kingdom Alan Everest Brown 
 Goulds GarageCooper United Kingdom Horace Gould 
 Frederick Roberts GerardCooper
T23 MKII 
United Kingdom Frederick Roberts 'Bob' Gerard 
 Ecurie RichmondCooper United Kingdom Eric Brandon
United Kingdom Rodney Nuckey 
 Bill WhitehouseConnaught
A-Series 
United Kingdom Bill Whitehouse 
 Leslie MarrConnaught
A-Series 
United Kingdom Leslie Marr 
 Rob Walker Racing TeamConnaught
A-Series 
United Kingdom John Henry Augustin Riseley-Prichard 
 Sir Jeremy BolesConnaught
A-Series 
United Kingdom Donald Beauman 
 Ecurie EcosseConnaught
A-Series 
United Kingdom Leslie Thorne 

1954 Season Review
RaceCircuitDateWinning DriverConstructor
 Argentine Grand Prix  Oscar GálvezJan 1954  Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' FangioMaserati 
 Indianapolis 500  IndianapolisMay 1954  Kurtis 
 Belgian Grand Prix Belgian Grand Prix Spa-FrancorchampsJun 1954  Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' FangioMaserati 
 French Grand Prix French Grand Prix Reims-GueuxJul 1954  Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' FangioMercedes-Benz 
 British Grand Prix  SilverstoneJul 1954  José Froilán GonzálezFerrari 
 German Grand Prix  NürburgringAug 1954  Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' FangioMercedes-Benz 
 Swiss Grand Prix  BremgartenAug 1954  Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' FangioMercedes-Benz 
 Italian Grand Prix  MonzaSep 1954  Juan Manuel 'El Chueco' FangioMercedes-Benz 
 Spanish Grand Prix  PedralbesOct 1954  Mike HawthornFerrari 

Formula One World Drivers' Champions
1950 G. Farina
1951 J. Fangio
1952 A. Ascari
1953 A. Ascari
1954 J. Fangio
1955 J. Fangio
1956 J. Fangio
1957 J. Fangio
1958 M. Hawthorn
1959 S. Brabham
1960 S. Brabham
1961 P. Hill, Jr
1962 N. Hill
1963 J. Clark, Jr.
1964 J. Surtees
1965 J. Clark, Jr.
1966 S. Brabham
1967 D. Hulme
1968 N. Hill
1969 S. Stewart
1970 K. Rindt
1971 S. Stewart
1972 E. Fittipaldi
1973 S. Stewart
1974 E. Fittipaldi
1975 A. Lauda
1976 J. Hunt
1977 A. Lauda
1978 M. Andretti
1979 J. Scheckter
1980 A. Jones
1981 N. Piquet
1982 K. Rosberg
1983 N. Piquet
1984 A. Lauda
1985 A. Prost
1986 A. Prost
1987 N. Piquet
1988 A. Senna
1989 A. Prost
1990 A. Senna
1991 A. Senna
1992 N. Mansell
1993 A. Prost
1994 M. Schumacher
1995 M. Schumacher
1996 D. Hill
1997 J. Villeneuve
1998 M. Hakkinen
1999 M. Hakkinen
2000 M. Schumacher
2001 M. Schumacher
2002 M. Schumacher
2003 M. Schumacher
2004 M. Schumacher
2005 F. Alonso
2006 F. Alonso
2007 K. Raikkonen
2008 L. Hamilton
2009 J. Button
2010 S. Vettel
2011 S. Vettel
2012 S. Vettel
2013 S. Vettel

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