Friday 12 September 2008

Vanwall: The Seeds of an Industry

1/18 diecast Mettoy Vanwall made for Marks & Spencer (missing windshield, and possibly driver), England, circa 1959

The Vanwall was a British race car that got it's name from the combination of the team-owner Anthony (Tony) Vandervell’s name and that of his company's patented “Thinwall” bearings.

The first cars raced in 1954 with Peter Collins at the wheel, but without much success. By the end of 1955, Vandervell hired young Colin Chapman to redesign the chassis, with Frank Costin redesigning the body. The racer showed more potential through 1956, with a win at Silverstone in the hands of Sir Stirling Moss.

Frank Cooper Ltd. marmalade pot, England, 1959

oss decided to join the team for 1957, along with Tony Brooks and Stewart Lewis-Evans, and as the season unfolded, the Vanwalls became faster and more reliable with wins at the British, Italian and Pescara Grand Prix.

In 1958, Vanwall won Grand Prix's in Holland, Portugal and Morocco (Moss) and in Belgium, Germany and Italy (Brooks), thus winning the Constructor's Championship.

After the death of Lewis-Evans in Morocco in 1958, the team continued half-heartedly until 1961 when it closed all together.

Corgi #150 Vanwall Formula 1 Grand Prix, England, 1957

The international motorsport industry developed from the seeds sown by companies like Vanwall, BRM, Lotus, Cosworth and many others in Britain is such that there are now as many as 4000 companies involved in motorsport manufacturing in the U.K.

In Formula 1, 7 teams competing in the 2008 season are based there: McLaren, Williams, Renault, Super Aguri, Red Bull Racing, Force India and Honda.

Pencil and Prismacolor pencil on coloured archival paper 12"x 9" © Paul Chenard 2008

Available as limited edition premium archival Giclee prints (part of a series), 14.5''x 11'' (image size 12''x 9''), signed and numbered to a limit of 125 of each. The suggested retail price is $100 CDN each plus shipping/handling, or all 4 from the series for $325 CDN plus shipping/handling.

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