A Senior Junior – 1959 Lancia Dagrada Formula Junior

monzaFormula Junior, the fondly remembered but unfortunately short-lived racing series that lasted from 1958 to 1963, brought about many nifty and beautiful designs from all over Europe and North America. The series was first initiated by an Italian and the series first found popularity there, so Italian machines dominated the early days of FJ. Predictably, the Italian cars were also the prettiest. Many of them look like scaled-down versions of the front-engined Ferrari and Maserati Grand Prix cars of the day. The most recognizable makes of Formula Junior in Italy are probably Stanguellini and Bandini, but there were plenty of other 1100 cc Juniors to come out of that country, including the ones built by Angelo Dagrada in Milan. Dagrada had already made a name for himself tuning Alfas by the time Formula Junior came around, and he went at the new class with a handsome aluminum-bodied little car that, like many Italian Juniors, borrowed a large amount of its parts from the Fiat 1100. Where the Dagrada stood out, however, was in the engine. Instead of using the Fiat, he used a heavily modified version of Lancia’s 1098 cc V-4 from the Appia.

Somewhere between 9 and 11 Dagradas were built, and this one has been mechanically restored, with paint and assembly being the only major items left on the to do list. There isn’t a detailed history going along with the car, but it is represented as having raced on the international circuit at tracks like Monza (see photo), Monaco and Cuba. Two spare engines and transmissions are also included in the sale. This car would be a fantastic choice for historic racing. Formula Junior is popular in vintage clubs all over the globe, and the Dagrada’s history would get it into some of the more exclusive historic festivals out there.

Check out the 1959 Lancia Dagrada Formula Junior here on eBay, where the reserve is not yet met at $50,100.


  1. Terry Jacob says:

    Not sure what the reserve of this car was , but here in the UK $60,000 is not considered excessive for a nice , first generation , Italian , Formula Junior . This looks a real gem .

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