Guido Rosani recently passed away in Torino during the night of October 14-15. While unexpected, he had been in poor health for some time and died from complications.
Rosani was well known in the Lancia world as a designer and fabricator and was a key fixture in the older Lancia community. Largely known for his work on the D24 and D50 recreations, cars he built over the past decades, he was most recently working on a recreation of a D20, the Lancia sports-racing coupe from the 1950s.
He was widely respected for his intimate and accurate knowledge of the Lancia company, and was, in many ways, the last voice of the 1950s company. His father, Nino Rosani, had been the factory architect from the 1940s, and designed the Lancia tower among other buildings. Young Guido had grown up around the factory, and recalled running through the racing department in 1953. Trained as a designer, he was intimately familiar with the company drawings and understood first hand Lancia’s notions of meticulous execution.
In the 1970s, he managed motorcycle racing teams and was briefly Ferrari F1 Team manager in 1976. His Lancia recreations were begun in the 1980s first with the Lancia Corsas, lightweight racing cars based on the B20, with Basso in Torino. From there, Rosani went on to build D24 recreations, superbly documented in his book, D24 e Le Lancia Sport, from 1991. His last major effort was the D50 recreation, fabricated in Torino then fettled by Jim Stokes Group in England. Both the D24s and D50s are familiar to automotive fans today, seen at Laguna Seca, Goodwood, and other notable events.
An acute historian, Rosani had intimate knowledge of the details of Lancia history. He was a major contributor to Storia della Lancia, the extensive company history published in 1992, and was working on a book on the D50 at the time of his decease. Anthony MacLean, Guido's partner in the D50 project, will endeavor to complete the projects which Guido and he started together.
On a more personal note, Guido was especially helpful to my efforts to record 1950s Lancia history. In our many meetings, he shared details of the factory and the family in those years. He and Manfredi Lancia restored the 538 motor, and Guido was intimately familiar with all the nuances of the D series cars. He was a keeper of the spirit of Lancia. For all who appreciate Lancias, especially their racing cars, he will be sorely missed.