The Original Vanwall British Grand Prix Winning Car Returns to Sefton

The Original Vanwall British Grand Prix Winning Car Returns to Sefton

7-17 July 2017

The Atkinson, Southport PR8 1DB

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the famous win by Sir Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks at the British Grand Prix at Aintree, which also had the prestige of being the Grand Prix D’Europe for 1957.

The Vanwall Grand Prix car made motor racing history and was the last hurrah of the soon-to-be obsolete front engine Grand Prix cars as it scooped the first ever constructor’s World Championship.

With its new ‘teardrop’ design and guest driver Stirling Moss  aka ‘The Boy’ as he was affectionately known, the Vanwall drove to victory at a time when the red of Italy dominated Formula 1 racing.

What started out as a hobby of the hypercompetitive millionaire, British Industrialist, Mr Anthony Vandervell developed into a life’s obsession. As an early backer of the BRM V16 Grand Prix Car he quit and embarked on his own team so he could have sole control.

The name Vanwall was an amalgamation of Vandervell and Thinwall [Thinwall Bearings were Vandervell’s Company’s best known product]. The first Vanwall Special was built for the new Formula 1 regulations for 1954. The Vanwall engine consisted of four  500 cc Norton  engines combined into one 2-litre unit. The engine was designed by Norton engineer Leo Kuzmicki . Vandervell was able to use Norton engines and expertise due to the fact that his father was Chairman of Norton!

At the end of 1955, Vandervell commissioned a young aircraft engineer, Frank Costin, to design a new sleek, aerodynamic body shape for the Vanwall and Colin Chapman (Lotus) to design the chassis. This resulted in an immediate success as Stirling Moss won the 1956 International Trophy at Silverstone in May

150,000 people are estimated to have been spectators at Aintree in 1957 as the now three-car Vanwall team took on the power of Lancia-Ferrari and Maserati. After Moss qualified on pole, on lap 27 he had car failure and with Brooks still bandaged from his crash at Le Mans, he brought in his sister car and handed over to Moss – who re-joined the race and won at our home Grand Prix for an unprecedented win!

This was the first World Championship win for a British car and Moss and Brooks were the first British drivers to win the British Grand Prix in a British Car.

The Vanwall’s history may have been short-lived but it had paved the way for other British constructors to challenge and beat the best of the continental powers.

The Vanwall historic motor racing car will take pride of place in The Atkinson foyer for 2 weeks from 7-17 July thanks for the generosity of our sponsors AJEstate Agents, Fletchers Solicitors and Stubbs Parkin Chartered Accountants. They have made it possible to have the Vanwall in Sefton for this time and during the British Grand Prix Weekend, which will make it extra special for motoring fans.

Emma Anderson, Director The Atkinson said:

After the huge success of the Segrave event last March that received national PR coverage, and was witnessed by over 10,000 people we wanted to continue the celebration of Sefton’s sporting heritage, and what a year to do it!

 Not only do we have this incredible piece of motoring history on display but we are also the hosts of the 146th Open championship. It’s an incredible year for the borough and we should use this time to share our stories and create a real sense of place for both visitors and residents.

We would like to say a huge thankyou to the Donington Museum for lending us the Vanwall and to Peter Cowley and John Searle who have worked so hard with us to make this piece of history come to life.”

A special celebration event is being held at The Atkinson on Thursday 13 July to celebrate Sefton’s sporting heritage and to fundraise for The Atkinson Development Trust, which works with the collection to help families, schools and the community access the arts.

Image Credit: John Searle


For more information or images about the Vanwall Grand Prix Winning Car please contact  / 0151 934 2129

This project was only made possible thanks to the generosity of our sponsors’


The Atkinson is supported by

The Atkinson
Lord Street


In person: Visit The Atkinson box office on Lord Street

For tickets: visit the website or call box office on 01704 533333



About The Atkinson

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. The stunning 19th century buildings were refurbished in 2013 to create a really welcoming family friendly multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.

The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wander through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

Find out about Sefton’s heritage with amazing tales of the sea, Red Rum, Dan Dare and Motor racing in the Museum and then ‘Discover Ancient Egypt’   in our Egyptology Gallery, this remarkable collection of archaeology was  discovered by Mrs Goodison from Bootle and until 2015 had not been seen for over 40 years.

Our lovely gift shop is well worth a visit, with its handmade in Merseyside jewellery and crafts collection and Southport memorabilia and then relax and take in your day in our Bakery with a scrumptious café and coffee.




Posted on 4 May 2017 under Just announced

Share your comments