The home of engineering innovation within Italy has always been Lancia. A company with more mechanical claims to it name than any other, one of the company’s quirkier ideas was their 1954 Grand Prix entry, the D50.
Unsurprisingly, the most striking feature of the D50 are the twin fuel tanks straddling the fuselage. Done so for multiple reasons, the twin tanks stabilised the car, improving weigh distribution, reduced drag and increased clean air flow around the wheels. Fitted with a 2.4-litre V8 mounted at 90˚ kicking out around 290 horsepower, the 400kg rocket ship had quite a bit of poke; enough to propel the D50 at the hands of De Portago and Ascari to win 5 Formula 1 races.
The collapse of Lancia’s racing program lead to the D50’s being acquired by Ferrari, who, renaming the cars Lancia-Ferrari’s, fettled with the single seaters, improving them enough to propel one at the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio to win the 1956 Formula 1 Championship.