Dallara was born in Parma.
He graduated from Politecnico di Milano university, majoring in aeronautical engineering. He joined Ferrari in 1960, and next year moved to Maserati. In 1963 he was hired by Lamborghini as their chief designer, where he (along with Paolo Stanzani, and Bob Wallace) designed the chassis and dynamics of the Lamborghini Espada and Miura. In 1969 he started to design race cars for Frank Williams, founder and manager of the Williams F1 Formula One team.
In 1972, Dallara founded and established Dallara Automobili in Parma, Italy. Starting from 1974, Dallara and his company started designing a Formula One car for the Williams Team. Another project included designing a race car to Formula 3 standards. This resulted in victories in Italy, France, England, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, USA, Russia, and Austria.
In 1997 Dallara and his company expanded into IndyCar racing, with many victories from 1998 until 2003. Dallara later branched out into F1 projects in the mid-1990s, but by the end of 1998, Honda, coming to the new project as full constructor, called on Dallara to design the new F1 chassis for BAR-Honda. Later Honda cancelled this project.
Begin in 2000, after the cancellation of the Honda project, Dallara embarked on a new project. He and his team were to build a race car for French team, Oreca in Le Mans series. In the August 2004, it was announced that Dallara and his team were signed by Alex Shnaider to build a chassis for the erstwhile Jordan team, Midland. Later, Dallara brought along Gary Anderson to handle this project. But by mid-2005, Dallara pulled out from the project.
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