Customs & Classics
What were the best looking Grand Prix cars of the 50s and 60s, before advertising stickers and wings ruined them?
Well, here's our picks and thanks to Kevin Pierce for the suggestion.
Designed by Vittorio Jano for Lancia in 1954, the D50 made its debut that year with Alberto Ascari. Following Lancia's collapse, its racing assets were given to Scuderia Ferrari who continued with the car which Juan Manuel Fangio took to the 1956 World Championship as the Ferrari D50.
The Mercedes-Benz W196 was the company's first Formula One entry after WWII and in 1954 and 1955 it won nine of 12 races entered at the hands of Juan Fangio and Stirling Moss. It used desmodromic valves and fuel injection and helped Fangio take the 1954 and 1955 world titles.
The ''shark-nose'' V6-engined 156 was Ferrari's first car for the 1.5 litre Formula One specifications introduced in 1961. The 156 was also Ferrari's first mid-engined Grand Prix car and with Phil Hill of the US at the wheel, it won the 1961 Drivers' and Manufacturers' World Championship titles.
In 1963, Jim Clark won his first World title in the Lotus 25, after missing out in 1962 to Graham Hill through engine-failure. The car also won Lotus-founder Colin Chapman the first of many constructors' titles. The 25's basic design principles are still followed today in F1 racing.
The Porsche's fan-cooled 804 was Grand prix racing's first and only flat-eight engined racing car and was produced and raced in 1962 for the new 1.5-litre formula, taking Dan Gurney of the US to victory in the French Grand Prix. The pretty wee Porsche didn't win another championship event.
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