Motor Valley Stories
Giampaolo Dallara: from Miura to Dallara Automobili
Giampaolo Dallara was born in Varano de ‘Melegari, in the province of Parma, on November 16th, 1936.
After graduating from the “Guglielmo Marconi” high school in Parma in 1954, he enrolled in the aeronautical engineering faculty of the Milan Polytechnic, where he graduated in 1959 with a thesis on a supersonic statoreactor.
In 1959 Giampaolo Dallara also joined Ferrari, as assistant engineer to Carlo Chiti, who at that time was the technical director of the Maranello Racing Department.
After two years of experience with the Formula 1 cars and the race cars with covered wheels (prototype sport and gran turismo) of Ferrari, the young engineer moved to Maserati, where he stayed for two years, working alongside the engineer Giulio Alfieri, technical manager of the racing department. At Maserati, Dallara participated in the design of the Type 64 sports car and the GT Type 151 car.
In 1963, Giampaolo Dallara moved to Lamborghini, where he remained until 1969, directing the team of technicians who in 1966 created the most beautiful of all the Gran Turismo Lamborghinis, the Miura. He also dealed with the design and development of the 350 GT and the Espada.
In 1969, the designer from Emilia went to De Tomaso, where he designed a highly innovative Formula 2 car, characterized by a monocoque tubular frame in spiked metal with aeronautical inspiration, with a high torsional rigidity.
In the grand prizes of the European championship with Frank Williams, participating alternately with Piers Courage, Jackie Ickx and Jonathan Williams, Dallara’s car showcased good technical characteristics, which formed the basis for the development of the 1970 De Tomaso F1, led by Piers Courage.
In 1972 Giampaolo Dallara became an entrepreneur, founding the “Dallara Automobili da Competizione”. The first car designed and built in-house by the technician from Parma is an interesting prototype of 1,000 cubic centimeters, followed by other prototypes of 1,300 cc and 1,600 cc and became advisor for Alfa Corse.
In 1973, Giampaolo Dallara began to collaborate, as a consultant on the Formula 1 Marlboro Williams Formula 1 car designed by John Clarke, with which the company from Varedo participated in the World Championship alternating several riders (Nanni Galli, Howden Ganley, Jackie Ickx , Henri Pescarolo). At ISO, the technician also followed the production of the Gran Turismo series, powered by powerful American Chevrolet engines.
Parallel to its own design activity, from 1974 onwards, Dallara also collaborated with Lancia on the projects of numerous racing cars, from Stratos Gr.4 to Beta Montecarlo Gr.5, from LC1 to LC2.