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                THE RED ELEPHANT        
            There are many contradicting stories with regards to the origin of the red elephant on all Lancia's competition cars. We believe the following to be correct…  
            In 1952, Scuderia Lancia competed in the Giro di Sicily with an Aurelia Series 2 with a lowered roof line. One of the drivers - Enrico Anselmi - had used an elephant as a personal emblem on his car for some years. He allowed the Lancia team to use "his" elephant. That was the first time the elephant was used on a Lancia competition car.  
            The symbol of the galloping elephant apparently originates in Eastern mythology as a symbol of victory, providing the trunk is stretched forward. This is how the elephant chosen by Gianni Lancia was drawn, first in light blue and later as now in bright red.  
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                THE HIGH FIDELITY LOGO        
            In 1960, an exclusive club for loyal Lancia owners  - the Hi.Fi. Club - was set up at the Geneva Motor Show by Lancia's Dr. Alfredo Della Seta. "Hi.Fi." stood for High Fidelity and owners who had purchased at least 6 new Lancia cars during any period were eligable for membership. Their radiator badge was engraved with the initials of the owner and the year of their first Lancia purchase. Stars corresponding to the number of Lancia cars owned were attached to the badge (white star for one car, blue for five and red for ten).  
            In 1961, the Flaminia Coupes competing in the European Touring car series (of which one was driven by Giorgio Pianta, one of the engineers heavily involved with the development of the later sports and rally cars) started using the letters H and F.   
            In 1963, a group of amateur owners set up the unofficial Lancia competition team. By 1965 this group grew into the official Lancia Squadra Corsa which had Cesare Fiorio as a freelance manager. His team combined the galloping red elephant and the letters "HF" on their cars.  
            In 1966, the letters "HF" for the first time were included in the name of the legendary Fulvia HF coupe which remained practically unbeatable on the world rally stages. The incredible success of the Fulvia HF ensured the "HF" badge became associated with high performance in motorsport and it was decided to make the "HF" sign the official logo of the company's sports cars. This tradition was further implemented when the mythical Stratos HF dominated rallying between 1974 and 1978.  
            In 1983, the HF logo was adopted again for the Delta HF turbo and thereafter on the Delta HF 4WD and the HF Integrale. With the introduction of the Evolution model of the Integrale, the HF letters were combined with the galloping red elephant. The elephants had been on the original badges for the Fulvia HF and the Stratos, however, at that time there were four elephants displayed.  
   FORMULA 1 - LANCIA D50        
            In 1953, after Lancia had been very successful with its D23 and D24 road racers, Gianni Lancia decided to aim at competing at the highest level of motorsport, a domain that was "owned"by the giants of that era - the Ferrari Supersqualo and the Mercedes-Benz W196.
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            The most famous racing car designer of that period was attracted - Vittorio Jano - the man responsible for the legendary Alfa Romeos P2 and P3. By introducing innovative and revolutionary design measurements, he created an absolute masterpiece - not only from a technical point of view but also aesthetically the car turned out to be, compared to its competitors, one of the most harmonious and proportionally pleasing single seater racing cars of all time . The list of major innovations is impressive:  
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            1. The engine was tilted 12 degrees to its longitudinal axis. By doing this he was able to position the drive shaft adjacent the driver's seat as opposed to under the car. In turn this meant the frontal profile of the car was reduced and the centre of gravity was lowered, resulting in a more aerodynamic design with better road holding.    
            2. The gear box was combined with the differential and the multi-disc oil bath clutch. The entire unit was located transversely in the car to improve the weight distribution over both axles.    
            3. Two external fuel tanks were fitted between the front and rear wheels. This ensured again the weight of the fuel (whether the tanks are empty of ful) was evenly distributed. This also improved the aerodynamics of the car through continuity between front and rear wheels.    
            4. The 90 degrees V8 engine worked as a stress member in the metal tube chassis - the front suspension components were directly anchored to the engine. The use of the engine as a load bearing component of the chassis,  was light years ahead of its time and is even today still used in Formula One.    
            5. The 2.5 litre V8 engine had 4 overhead camshafts and twin ignition (new development!), developing (in its latest configuration) 260bhp at 8200rpm.    
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            The car had to retire in its first 2 outings (Spain & Argentina). In the 1955 Grand Prix of Turin, Alberto Ascari scored his first home win. In the Grand Prix of Pau, the car managed a 2nd, 4th and 5th place. At the circuit of Posillipo, Ascari again won outright with Villoresi ending 4th.  
            For the Monaco Gran Prix, Lancia fielded 4 cars - Ascari, Villoresi, Castellotti and Chiron. After leading the pack for 50 laps, Ascari slipped in a patch of oil and the D50 ended up in the water. Castellotti took the lead but spun and had to be satisfied with 2nd place. The other cars finished 5th and 6th.  
            Unfortunately Lancia was not to build on the success of the D50. Four days after the Monaco Grand Prix, Alberto Ascari died while testing a Ferrari Sport at the Monza race track. Gianni Lancia had gambled the companies funds on his F1 adventure - the debt loaded team, having lost its main race ace, had to sell the remaining cars to....Ferrari.  
            Although the D50 proved tremendously successful, for Lancia it simply was the first sign the company paid more attention to engineering masterpieces than ensuring the company's finances were in balance. Ferrari happily took the winning cars and rebranded them as Ferraris whilst introducing modifications. In 1956, Juan Miguel Fangio won the Formula One World Championship in Jano's masterpiece....unfortunately for Lancia for the wrong team!  
            In 1958, a new "Formula Junior" class was introduced which became immensely popular. It resulted in the development of many different concepts: constructors from America, Italy, England, Germany and France used 1100cc engines from Fiats, Fords, BMCs and Renaults and modified them to improve power. Angelo Dagrada of Milan was one of those constructors and he produced some of the fastest cars. The exact number of cars he produced is unknow but it is generally accepted he built between 9 and 11 cars.

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            Angelo Dagrada was born in 1912 and made a living as a mechanic. After WWII, he built a number of race cars for the popular Italian 750 and 1100cc races. Making a name for himself, Dagrada modified the Fiat 1100-Siata head and combustion chambers, resulting in some specatuclar wins. Unfortunately, a number of road accidents in the early 1950's meant he had to cease further race car development until his return to racing in 1955, mainly with Alfas.

            D50 4.jpgA young Giancarlo Baghetti - part of the Baghetti family who owned a foundry in Milan - showed keen interest in becoming a race car driver. Baghetti came to an agreement with Dagrada for him to secretly modify his father's Alfa 1900 sedan at night, when his father was not around. When his father collected the Alfa the next day, he could not figure out why it was so much faster.

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Whilst Baghetti mainly drove Alfas and Abarths on the local tracks, Dagrada was hoping to build a special car to compete in the new Formula Junior. The usual set up for the cars in that period - a tubular frame chassis combined with a Fiat 1100 front suspension and a live axle at the rear - was simple, primitive, and not always effective. While most other Italian Formula Junior constructors used the Fiat engine, Dagrada decided to use the 1098cc Lancia Appia engine. The Appia unit was a light weight, robust 10-degree V-4 cylinder cast-iron block with the correct displacement, and was readily available. However, the design of the intricate aluminum head prevented any attempt to make it a breather. Dagrada virtually re-designed the head, creating new intake and exhaust ports, resulting in a fire-breathing cross flow head with a Weber 38 DCO fitted to each side of the block He subsequently tuned the exhausts, unevenly pulsating through two megaphone exhaust pipes (although some used a combined system). These modifications resulted in doubling the power from 48 bhp to nearly 100 bhp. The whole set up was then covered with an aluminum body, similar in styling to the 250F Maserati.  
            D50 4.jpgBy 1960, the young Baghetti was keen to race in the new Formula Junior and purchased a Dagrada from his old friend. He won the first time out on March 27th at Monza and placed himself well in three other races, winning the Vigorelli Trophy races on April 25th. In the spring of 1961, Baghetti was approached by Enzo Ferrari. The rest is history.....  
            So was the Dagrada, which, like so many others, was made obsolete by the British rear-engine revolution. One of the Dagradas, chassis number 009, was imported into the USA by Marty Biener of Great Neck Long Island. The new owner drove it in a few races, and parked it, eventually selling it in 1980 to Armand Giglio, an American Lancia enthusiast. In 1988, Giglio persuaded the retired Baghetti to drive the car at the Pittsburgh Vintage races. Despite a misfire, Baghetti finished in front of the rest of the front-engined Juniors. "It's an old car," said Baghetti, "but I was very happy to race it again.

            Where are the cars now