Jano eventually left Alfa (or was asked to leave!) because the poor man was being asked to produce competitive cars—my Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8c-3 being an example—on a comparative shoe string, against the might of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union.
Exceptional drivers like Nuvolari (the greatest of them all, in my opinion), would occasionally achieve a win, but clearly the Alfas, Maseratis and Bugattis were all swamped by these high tech, and heavily subsidized, German teams, so this was truly a David vs. Goliath period in motor racing history.
To everyone’s relief, Jano, upon leaving Alfa, joined Lancia and with the two ’50s Lancias that I own today, I can experience the book ends of his great career.
In short, I have wanted to experience, first-hand, how far Jano had come with his design and technology philosophy since his Fiat/Alfa days.
What do you find special about the D50?
The D50 was as radical in its day as any car we have seen since. Again, a very low budget effort. In fact, racing put Lancia out of business, and thus these wonderful Lancias ended up with Ferrari whose own GP car at the time was the Super Squalo, which was hopelessly non-competitive.
D50s certainly saved Ferrari’s hide. By that time, of course, Jano was heading up a design team, and certainly could not claim 100% responsibility for any of the Lancias of the period.
Sadly, the great Jano, having been told that he had a terminal illness committed suicide. There was a subsequent autopsy, and he was found to be 100% healthy.