What does a British Racing Green single-seater open-top racing car inspire thoughts of?
Maybe winding through narrow country lanes, leaving a faintly pleasant smell of petrol and swirling autumnal leaves in its wake. So if that ticks the right boxes, you will surely love this Vanwall F1 recreation – all fifties’ style and nostalgia.
Vanwall was actually a much-loved F1 racing team in the 1950s; they also built F1 racing cars too. The company is steeped in good old British smile-inducing nostalgia, so it’s with real delight that the company is being resurrected with the recent announcement of a 1958 replica F1 racer.
The has the idea come from a rather unlikely source; Iain Sanderson, a former powerboat world champion, is Vanwall’s Chief Executive Officer having acquired the ‘Vanwall’ name in 2012. Sanderson certainly knows what’s best to get the current wave of motoring nostalgia sweeping in his direction – and a classic F1 reproduction should do the trick nicely.
The Vanwall continuation project will be British made by the much-respected Hall & Hall. The small Lincolnshire company has generated a steady reputation over 40 years for building solid, classic racing cars. And their connection to Tom Wheatcroft and his Donington Collection is sure to provide some sure-footed knowledge with the Vanwall brand.
The project starts now. 62 years on from the 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix in which Stirling Moss achieved a famous victory in a Vanwall racing car, beating Ferrari racers Mike Hawthorn and Phil Hill into second and third places respectively (Hawthorn later became a Vanwall driver). Vanwall founder Tony Vandervell had always said that the job of Vanwall was to beat the ‘red cars’…
Now to the nitty-gritty; what exactly will these new cars consist of? Satisfyingly, the new Vanwall racer will be designed using the original blueprints and will feature a 2.5-litre 270bhp 4-cylinder engine. All pretty spot on then, though the cost may put you off somewhat at £1.65 million (plus VAT). There will only be 6 examples built and just 5 of those will be offered for sale, mind.
But don’t feel too downhearted, as these replica Vanwalls are designed to be pure show-stopping racers and a launch for the revitalised brand. Sanderson has already publicly stated his ambition to release a road-going car, though this will not materialise any time soon. In the meantime, the company plans some careful consideration as to how such a vehicle might exist in modern times yet still keep the heritage, respect and history of Vanwall’s not inconsiderable reputation intact. To my ears, that simply sounds like Sanderson is the right man for the job.
So from being the first British car to win an F1 Championship race to the perfect replica steeped in that autumn leaf swirling nostalgia, the first new recreation Vanwall F1 racer is expected to be completed and ready within 18 months.
Image source: topgear.com
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