1958 Vanwall British Grand Prix Car

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 1958.

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 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.

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!

Image Credit: John Searle

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