Bugatti, Lamborghini and… Dallara. Yep, they can all be mentioned in the same breath.
OK, the Stradale in episode 3 of TG TV series 27 with Chris Harris at the helm is the first road car to bear a Dallara badge, which isn’t quite the same storied past as the other two can claim.
Let’s be honest – Dallara’s not a household name. If you’re of a motor-sporty disposition or indeed an American, you’ll likely recognise Dallara’s name (or at least its handiwork) as 36 of its creations fling around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at supremely puckering speeds. But as road cars? The brand recognition is right up there with Autobianchi or Intermeccanica.
But Dallara’s been a part of more amazing road cars than you’d notice at first blush. Remember how we said Lamborghini and Bugatti? Oh yes…
Bugatti Veyron and Chiron
If you’re going to start something, do it with a bang, no? That’s why perhaps the most recognisable land rocket of all time tops our list. Yes, it’s a Volkswagen project, built in France, but Dallara’s research and development work went into the original epoch-shifting hypercar and its somehow even faster descendant, the Chiron.
Yeah, everyone’s heard of the KTM X-Bow, but what about the Z bike?
Dallara designed and produced the chassis for TG Hero Alex Zanardi’s bike for the 2012 London Paralympics, where he took home two gold medals. And a silver, but who’s counting?
You didn’t think we were going to ride past this one, do you?
This is perhaps the genesis of Dallara – yes, Giampaolo had worked at Ferrari and Maserati before heading to the Raging Bull, but the absolute motoring landmark that was the Lamborghini Miura was definitely how he arrived.
When you think Lancia, you think rally, right? Well, it’s certainly what they were best at, but Lancia’s racing aspirations went beyond alpine passes and dark forests.
What you’re looking at here is Lancia’s stab at a Le Mans car, designed by Dallara and powered by a twin-turbo Ferrari V8. Oh yes.
OK, not the regular F50 (if such an appellation can be applied to an Ferrari F1 car-based road weapon) but the F50 GT, a car that we should have seen a lot more of. Blame Porsche for that one – because of the ‘totally not a race car’ 911 GT1’s debut in the GT1 class of racing, which was supposed to be modified production cars like the McLaren F1 and Ferrari F50. So, not slow cars by any stretch of the imagination, but not custom-designed, spaceframe racers, either.
And that’s quite a shame, because Ferrari, Dallara and Michelotto’s work on the F50 GT was wondrous. Apparently, during a test in 1996, Ferrari found that the F50 GT was faster than its 333 SP Le Mans prototype. Yowza.
Renault R.S. 01
Let’s just give you the cliff notes: power from the Nissan GT-R’s 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V6, dry-sumped for extra racing kudos. Chassis design and construction by Dallara, which, according to them is “similar to the Formula Renault 3.5”. If that’s not enough to put a lepidopterarium’s worth of butterflies in your stomach, nothing will.
And if it has, watch Chris Harris fling around Silverstone in the vid here.