Jump to content


Photo

Jano


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 31 October 2009 - 11:28

Hi all -

New one to the forum, but wanted to ask:

I am working on a history of De Virgilio, a leading engineer at Lancia in the 1950's (actually 1940's through to the 1970's). He worked closely with Jano, who was at Lancia from 1937-1955. There is very little documentation or other information on Jano - he doesn't seem to have written much.... does anyone have anything to share from his post-Alfa, pre-Ferrari years? It would be nice to have something from him as well, other than the Borgeson book to refer to. And in the 18 years at Lancia, there must be something out there.....

As you may recall, Jano and his team at Lancia (Zaccone Mina) developed the D series car, most notably the D50 which was pretty radical for its time. Jano went to Ferrari with the cars in summer of '55.

Thanks,

Geoff

Advertisement

#2 marlondylan

marlondylan
  • Member

  • 49 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 31 October 2009 - 21:49

Hi all -

New one to the forum, but wanted to ask:

I am working on a history of De Virgilio, a leading engineer at Lancia in the 1950's (actually 1940's through to the 1970's). He worked closely with Jano, who was at Lancia from 1937-1955. There is very little documentation or other information on Jano - he doesn't seem to have written much.... does anyone have anything to share from his post-Alfa, pre-Ferrari years? It would be nice to have something from him as well, other than the Borgeson book to refer to. And in the 18 years at Lancia, there must be something out there.....

As you may recall, Jano and his team at Lancia (Zaccone Mina) developed the D series car, most notably the D50 which was pretty radical for its time. Jano went to Ferrari with the cars in summer of '55.

Thanks,

Geoff


Geoff,

I suppose some information regarding Jano should be distractable from the book "La scomessa di Gianni Lancia" by Valerio Moretti (1986). Only problem is, at least for me, it's written in italian.
Additional information regarding Jano can also be found in "La Lancia" by Wim Oude Weernink (1979 and 1991).

Best
Boudewijn

Edited by marlondylan, 31 October 2009 - 21:50.


#3 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 01 November 2009 - 03:19

Geoff,

I suppose some information regarding Jano should be distractable from the book "La scomessa di Gianni Lancia" by Valerio Moretti (1986). Only problem is, at least for me, it's written in italian.
Additional information regarding Jano can also be found in "La Lancia" by Wim Oude Weernink (1979 and 1991).

Best
Boudewijn


Thanks for the thoughts. Good ideas - I've looked them both over, and La Scomessa is a good place to look further (and will have to brush up the Italian...). But in Wim's book, it is hard to discern the "Jano hand", as it is inferred from the activities of the company, but not explicitly noted. Did he talk at any conferences, present papers, etc? Might anyone have anything from 18 years of his career?

Geoff


#4 Ivan Saxton

Ivan Saxton
  • Member

  • 62 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 02 November 2009 - 01:56

Thanks for the thoughts. Good ideas - I've looked them both over, and La Scomessa is a good place to look further (and will have to brush up the Italian...). But in Wim's book, it is hard to discern the "Jano hand", as it is inferred from the activities of the company, but not explicitly noted. Did he talk at any conferences, present papers, etc? Might anyone have anything from 18 years of his career?

Geoff

Two books that should be helpful to you are Lancia: The Shield And Flag by Nigel Trow ISBN 0 7153 7882 1, And
Automobile Design: Great Designers and Their Work by Barker & Harding ISBN 0 7153 4905 8.
I just looked these up on one of the used book sites and there are copies available from about US$ 40 for either.
There is also good coverage on Francesco de Virgilio in Automobile Quarterly Vol 34 # 3. ( This is a good one to get because it also has an excellent article on Mercer, with several good pictures of Ralph Buckley's 1914 T-head Raceabout, which he once insisted that I drive with him in 1980. I recall the impression at that time that it somehow felt and handled much like a Lancia. I have several Mercers; and also B22 Aurelia, which is astonishing for a 4 door saloon how it will do half an hour in 20 minutes when you are not hurrying).
Probably Paul Vellacot in Melbourne or someone like Roland Grazebrook in the UK could direct you to other extensive references on Jano and de Virgilio. Also you should probably seek Dott.Ing. Stephano Falchetto, who must surely have known both well. He is Patron of the Australian Lancia register; and when he was Guest of Honour at Castlemaine a few years ago, his daugther also came because he considered her English was better than his; though his was perfect in my opinion.
regards, Ivan Saxton

#5 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:26

Two books that should be helpful to you are Lancia: The Shield And Flag by Nigel Trow ISBN 0 7153 7882 1, And
Automobile Design: Great Designers and Their Work by Barker & Harding ISBN 0 7153 4905 8.
I just looked these up on one of the used book sites and there are copies available from about US$ 40 for either.
There is also good coverage on Francesco de Virgilio in Automobile Quarterly Vol 34 # 3. ( This is a good one to get because it also has an excellent article on Mercer, with several good pictures of Ralph Buckley's 1914 T-head Raceabout, which he once insisted that I drive with him in 1980. I recall the impression at that time that it somehow felt and handled much like a Lancia. I have several Mercers; and also B22 Aurelia, which is astonishing for a 4 door saloon how it will do half an hour in 20 minutes when you are not hurrying).
Probably Paul Vellacot in Melbourne or someone like Roland Grazebrook in the UK could direct you to other extensive references on Jano and de Virgilio. Also you should probably seek Dott.Ing. Stephano Falchetto, who must surely have known both well. He is Patron of the Australian Lancia register; and when he was Guest of Honour at Castlemaine a few years ago, his daugther also came because he considered her English was better than his; though his was perfect in my opinion.
regards, Ivan Saxton


Ivan -

Thank you for this. I will pursue the AQ - I have an earlier one but didn't know of this. Mercers are great fun, and one is seen up at the Milwaukee mile. Congrats on yours, but more importantly the B22 is great to have. There is another in France, but they are rare.

Might you have any contact info on Falchetto? He would be good to talk to. I had talked abouthtis project last year with Paul Velacott, and need to follow up with him.

As to Nigel Trow, his book is very familiar: we have been in close touch for several years on this project, and have discussed this at length. His Shield and Flag is wonderful - in fact, its listed on a site I've put up on Aurelias: http://web.me.com/ge...rs/Library.html, or more generally, www.lanciainfo.com, and see "libraries".

Thanks for the tip on Barker and Harding - a quick visit to the shelves, and a tidbit emerges: that in 1955, after Fessia comes into Lancia, Jano is given a three year consulting contract with Lancia. This cannot be confirmed by the De Virgilio archives, altho the date of Jano's change of position is confirmed by factory memo.

Is it too much to think that somewhere Jano must have written or said something in these 18 years? Is there no primary information available? Just hoping someone has something tucked away.... somewhere.

Best,

Geoff





#6 Manel Baró

Manel Baró
  • Member

  • 134 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:48

Thanks for the thoughts. Good ideas - I've looked them both over, and La Scomessa is a good place to look further (and will have to brush up the Italian...).

Geoff


I shall be pleased to translate Moretti comments about Jano on "La Scomessa..."

#7 LOLE

LOLE
  • Member

  • 313 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 04 November 2009 - 12:54

This must be Mr JANO? Can anyone confirm this?

Posted Image

#8 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,331 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 04 November 2009 - 16:42

This must be Mr JANO? Can anyone confirm this? [/url]


No - this gentleman does not resemble Vittorio Jano. Too sturdy and robust looking.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 04 November 2009 - 16:44.


#9 klemcoll

klemcoll
  • Member

  • 152 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 04 November 2009 - 18:41

Here are two photos of Vittorio Jano, the first taken at the Belgian GP in 1955 when the Lancia D50 was still being run by Lancia, the second at Maranello in 1962 with Phil Hill. These are from The Klemantaski Collection archive.

Posted Image Posted Image



#10 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:48

I shall be pleased to translate Moretti comments about Jano on "La Scomessa..."


That would be wonderful. How to encourage you?

Geoff

(send a PM?)

#11 Ivan Saxton

Ivan Saxton
  • Member

  • 62 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:51

Hi Geoff, Paul can put you in touch with Stefano. Doubtless roland or Nigel could too. Possibly another good source if he is still active would be Angelo Tito Anselmi: his book on Isotta Fraschini is something I treasure. I think there may have been a B22 on the recent Mille Miglia run; certainly it was the same military khaki colour as mine was originally before someone painted it black and wore it out. When I rebuilt it my ex insisted on a colour that was safely conspicuous on the road but was not original; and as it is not outlandish that is what it still is. I had all the brake cylinders sleeved in inch size stainless to overcome problem of availability of rubber ware; and i need to do a bit of other refurbishment to put it on the road again. The only other B22 owner I have met is Tom Stewart from Virginia. And as I recall the man in USA who produced and supplied Aurelia parts for owners some years ago had one that probably still belongs in his family. I am fairly sure that I have read somewhere that Jano put his signature for parts for the FIAT Tipo 510, a very nicely made 6 cylinder car of the early 1920's, which cost almost as much as a good V8 Cadillac in Australia then. He may have been involved earlier with the short wheelbase ,narrow track Tipo Zero FIAT. I have two of these to rebuild together; and the one that I got from Boorara Station near Hungerford in far south-western Queensland has a Farina touring body. I think of Jano when I look at the Tipo Zeros, the pointed radiator 510S Fiat, and the Aurelia.
When you look at biographical information of the best designers, it may be usefull to consider whether they have very high cognitive ability,
except with gaps in social areas, but with a range of obsessional interests and extraordinary detail in those. These can be indications of someone advantaged by Asperger's syndrome. If you have difficulty picking up listing of rare SH books, send me a p.m. An advantage is no longer if everyone has it. I am glad when any of my posts are helpful to someone. Regards, Ivan


#12 Manel Baró

Manel Baró
  • Member

  • 134 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 06 November 2009 - 11:46

That would be wonderful. How to encourage you?

Geoff

(send a PM?)


Hi Geoff!
Have sent a PM to you.
MB

#13 Eric Dunsdon

Eric Dunsdon
  • Member

  • 625 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 06 November 2009 - 14:43

I have read that the great man took his own life in 1965 in the mistaken belief that he was suffering from terminal cancer. Can anyone confirm if this tragic account is true?.

#14 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,331 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 06 November 2009 - 23:05

Here are two photos of Vittorio Jano, the first taken at the Belgian GP in 1955 when the Lancia D50 was still being run by Lancia, the second at Maranello in 1962 with Phil Hill. These are from The Klemantaski Collection archive.

Posted Image Posted Image



Are you sure about the top photo Peter? That looks more like Alfa's Dr Orazio Satta to me...or at least, pretty sure it's NOT Jano.

DCN

#15 klemcoll

klemcoll
  • Member

  • 152 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 07 November 2009 - 00:21

Are you sure about the top photo Peter? That looks more like Alfa's Dr Orazio Satta to me...or at least, pretty sure it's NOT Jano.

DCN


Doug,
You would know better than I, but Louis identified him as Jano.
Peter

#16 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 08 November 2009 - 05:04

I have read that the great man took his own life in 1965 in the mistaken belief that he was suffering from terminal cancer. Can anyone confirm if this tragic account is true?.


yes. I believe his brother had a long bout with throat cancer, and Jano was quite afraid of the same.

#17 Eric Dunsdon

Eric Dunsdon
  • Member

  • 625 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 08 November 2009 - 08:50

yes. I believe his brother had a long bout with throat cancer, and Jano was quite afraid of the same.



Thank you. Such a sad ending for one of motor racing's greatest names.

#18 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,331 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 08 November 2009 - 13:33

I think Jano's was the first obituary I was ever tasked to write, for 'Motor Racing' magazine. Pete Coltrin in Modena told us the feeling was that Jano had convinced himself he was terminally ill - his machinery was worn out - so he made the decision to scrap it. Looking back, that obit was a factor in strengthening my interest in what had gone before...

DCN

#19 Manel Baró

Manel Baró
  • Member

  • 134 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 16 November 2009 - 17:52

Doug,
You would know better than I, but Louis identified him as Jano.
Peter

As far as I recall, O. Satta-Puliga sported a deep dimple in the chin (like Kirk Douglas), and forehead pronounced entries.

Advertisement

#20 klemcoll

klemcoll
  • Member

  • 152 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 16 November 2009 - 18:41

As far as I recall, O. Satta-Puliga sported a deep dimple in the chin (like Kirk Douglas), and forehead pronounced entries.


Probably correct. Here is a photo from our archive, identified by Franco Lombardi as Satta-Puliga, taken at the GP des Nations in Geneva in 1946.

Posted Image



#21 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 20 December 2009 - 12:03

Found this on line at Biscaretti.

Interesting quotes - I wonder where they came from?

http://www.museoauto...t...e&Itemid=59

Anyone know Biffignandi, the author?

#22 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,331 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 20 December 2009 - 15:39

Isn't Donatella - female - one of the curators at the Biscaretti, or at the Fiat Centro Storico? Or some such?

DCN

#23 Tuboscocca

Tuboscocca
  • Member

  • 1,010 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 20 December 2009 - 15:53

Isn't Donatella - female - one of the curators at the Biscaretti, or at the Fiat Centro Storico? Or some such?

DCN

Doug, Donatella IS Museo Biscaretti, she and another dottoressa are responsible for 'Centro di documentazione e Biblioteca'
She is absolutely knowledgeable, helpful and authored many articles herself.

Without her ,I think, the Black book wouldn't have been possible...

Regards Michael



'

#24 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,088 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 20 December 2009 - 21:53

Are you sure about the top photo Peter? That looks more like Alfa's Dr Orazio Satta to me...or at least, pretty sure it's NOT Jano.

DCN


Doug,
You would know better than I, but Louis identified him as Jano.
Peter


I am pretty sure the top picture is NOT Jano. Jano was already balding after the war. He also wears tinted glasses in most pictures I know.

#25 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 1,391 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:29

Ivan -

Thank you for this. I will pursue the AQ - I have an earlier one but didn't know of this. Mercers are great fun, and one is seen up at the Milwaukee mile. Congrats on yours, but more importantly the B22 is great to have. There is another in France, but they are rare.

Might you have any contact info on Falchetto? He would be good to talk to. I had talked abouthtis project last year with Paul Velacott, and need to follow up with him.

As to Nigel Trow, his book is very familiar: we have been in close touch for several years on this project, and have discussed this at length. His Shield and Flag is wonderful - in fact, its listed on a site I've put up on Aurelias: http://web.me.com/ge...rs/Library.html, or more generally, www.lanciainfo.com, and see "libraries".

Thanks for the tip on Barker and Harding - a quick visit to the shelves, and a tidbit emerges: that in 1955, after Fessia comes into Lancia, Jano is given a three year consulting contract with Lancia. This cannot be confirmed by the De Virgilio archives, altho the date of Jano's change of position is confirmed by factory memo.

Is it too much to think that somewhere Jano must have written or said something in these 18 years? Is there no primary information available? Just hoping someone has something tucked away.... somewhere.

Best,

Geoff


Geoff,

Thank you for mentioning those web sites. I am trying to educate myself about B20s as I am thinking of acquiring one. Are there any other resources or references you could recommend? (Assistance or suggestions from any other forum members is also welcome, of course!)

Thanks again.

Jack

Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 21 December 2009 - 01:32.


#26 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:39

Geoff,

Thank you for mentioning those web sites. I am trying to educate myself about B20s as I am thinking of acquiring one. Are there any other resources or references you could recommend? (Assistance or suggestions from any other forum members is also welcome, of course!)

Thanks again.

Jack


Jack -

Take a closer look on the www.lanciainfo.com site; there is a long article on the B20's there, as well as pages on internet resources, books, and tech'l info on the Aurelias in particular. You should be able to find all you need there.

Geoff

Edited by geoffg, 24 December 2009 - 15:19.


#27 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 1,391 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 23 December 2009 - 04:07

Jack -

Take a closer look on the www.lanciainfo.com site; there is a long article on the B20's there, as well as a parge of internet resources, books, and tech'l info on the Aurelias in particular. You should be able to find all you need there.

Geoff


Geoff,

Thanks, I did that after I posted above. Wonderful resource!

If you could direct me to any good B20's that may become available I would appreciate a PM.

Thanks again for the great information.

Jack


#28 Kaha

Kaha
  • Member

  • 72 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 25 February 2010 - 00:18

Hi all -

New one to the forum, but wanted to ask:

I am working on a history of De Virgilio, a leading engineer at Lancia in the 1950's (actually 1940's through to the 1970's). He worked closely with Jano, who was at Lancia from 1937-1955. There is very little documentation or other information on Jano - he doesn't seem to have written much.... does anyone have anything to share from his post-Alfa, pre-Ferrari years? It would be nice to have something from him as well, other than the Borgeson book to refer to. And in the 18 years at Lancia, there must be something out there.....

As you may recall, Jano and his team at Lancia (Zaccone Mina) developed the D series car, most notably the D50 which was pretty radical for its time. Jano went to Ferrari with the cars in summer of '55.

Thanks,

Geoff


I find that the book "Rivals, Lancia D50 & Merceds Benz W196" by Chris Nixon contains lots of information about Janos last years with Lancia.

If de Virgilio is your main interest I guess that you aught to speak with Niels Jonassen, who did quite an extensive reaserch on him for his "Aurelia in detail" book

/Karl

#29 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 1,333 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:58

Here are two photos of Vittorio Jano, the first taken at the Belgian GP in 1955 when the Lancia D50 was still being run by Lancia, the second at Maranello in 1962 with Phil Hill. These are from The Klemantaski Collection archive.

Posted Image Posted Image


These three photo's are reported to be Vittorio Jano

http://www.velocetod...ober 05/at3.jpg

With Gianni Lancia

http://img111.images...17/glancia1.jpg

With Enzo Ferrari and family

http://www.elenaferr...net/015e01c.jpg


#30 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,088 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:11

These three photo's are reported to be Vittorio Jano

http://www.velocetod...ober 05/at3.jpg

With Gianni Lancia

http://img111.images...17/glancia1.jpg

With Enzo Ferrari and family

http://www.elenaferr...net/015e01c.jpg

Indeed, those three links are indeed pictures of the man. Jano was wearing a moustache before the war as well as a cap in most pictures. After the war he looked a fragile man in a way, but quite proud and modest at the same time.

#31 geoffg

geoffg
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 20 July 2010 - 11:50

I find that the book "Rivals, Lancia D50 & Merceds Benz W196" by Chris Nixon contains lots of information about Janos last years with Lancia.

If de Virgilio is your main interest I guess that you aught to speak with Niels Jonassen, who did quite an extensive reaserch on him for his "Aurelia in detail" book

/Karl


Thank you for this. I've been in touch with Niels, and his book has been quite helpful. Niels was able to talk with De Virgilio in the early 1990's, that must have been interesting.

It has been illuminating to pour over the De Virgilio papers and focus on one person's contribution to the Aurelia and other Lancias in a level of detail not possible if one were writing the more complete history of the Aurelia. No earthshattering revelations, but an assembly of a lot finer grain. Some things (invention, development, the 1955 crisis) can now be more precisely understood - although never completely!

It remains peculiar how difficult it is to find Jano's "fingerprints" - here was one of the most important Italian engineers, and to date, I have only found one letter written byhim. No engineering papers, no lectures, no drawings.... are they in an archive (ex-Borgeson, perhaps), or even w/ Ms. Cherritt? Anyone seen anything?

He must have left some paper traces somewhere, right? Anyone seen a drawing?

Geoff