Posts Tagged ‘Phil Hill’

taffy

(Archie Smith)

Taffy von Trips settles himself into his F2 Ferrari Dino 156 ‘0008’ on the grid of the 1960 Italian Grand Prix, Monza, September 6…

The cars designer, Carlo Chiti looks on. Click on the link below to my article, i have converted a 100 word ‘quickie’ on a vista of Monaco in 1960 into a feature on a significant Ferrari thanks to a tangent introduced by reader Grant Perkins for reasons which are clear in the text.

https://primotipo.com/2015/10/04/monaco-panorama-1958/

This car, Ferrari Dino 246P/156 ‘0008’ is the Scuderia’s first mid-engined car.

severi

Ferrari factory test driver Martino Severi drives the brand new, mid-engined 246P ‘0008’ on 22 May 1960 at Modena. Ginther and Hill also drove the car that day. Its a week before its Monaco GP debut. Not as gorgeous as it became in Fantuzzi bodied 1961 156 form but luvverly all the same. (unattributed)

Dino 246P ‘0008’s evolution from 2.5 litre mid-engined GP prototype in Ginther’s hands at Monaco 1960 to 1.5 litre Dino 156 Syracuse 1961 GP winner for Giancarlo Baghetti within 12 months is an interesting story…

richie

Richie Ginther at Monaco 1960 for his, and Ferrari Dino 246P ‘0008’s Grand Prix debut. (unattributed)

Photo Credits…

Archie Smith

monaco 1958

Quite a stunning 1960 Monaco Vista…

I was trawling the internet, as i do, looking for the photos which inspire the articles i create, one of the reasons why this blog is so nuttily diverse is to do with that approach.

I found this shot, unattributed as most of them are, but saying ‘Monaco 1966’ which it most definitely is not!

Its one of those ‘the more you look, the more you see shots’; the steam train, four nurses sitting together, the working port, none of your fancy-schmancy big yachts of today and of course the car itself!

Thats the tricky bit; its not sharp in focus but i think it might, might be Luigi Musso’s #34 Ferrari Dino 246 in the ’58 race.

richie

GP debutant Richie Ginther on his way to 5th place in the Ferrari Dino 246P ‘008’, Monaco 1960. (unattributed)

Since posting this shot reader Grant Perkins has done some research and confirmed the photo is actually of Richie Ginther at Monaco in 1960 in the Ferrari Dino 246P…

Stirling Moss won the race in Rob Walker’s Lotus 18 Climax, Chapman’s first championship win as a manufacturer, from Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T53 Climax and Phil Hill’s Ferrari Dino 246.

The shot is historically significant as Ginther made his GP debut that weekend and his mount, the Ferrari 246P, the Scuderia’s first mid-engined racing car, competed for the first time.

Monaco 1960 is also significant for the long awaited but far too late appearance of Lance Reventlow’s Scarabs. These superbly engineered but heavy, unwieldy front engined cars entered GP racing just as Ferrari, the last team racing a front-engined car experimented with its mid-engined replacement. A tangent too far for this article but an interesting topic for another time.

scarab

Monaco 1960. #46 Chuck Daigh and #48 Lance Reventlow Scarab’s #34 Ginther’s Ferrari 246P. (Dave Friedman Collection)

Ferrari built the 246P in secret, it was tested at Modena by Hill, Ginther and factory tester Martino Severi on 22 May, the design perceived by its drivers to have too much weight at the rear causing the nose to lift under acceleration.

Despite the fact that a Cooper won their first Grand Prix in Argentina in 1958, in Moss’ hands and Jack Brabham’s Cooper win in the 1959 World Championship was the first for a mid-engined car and further that Ferrari’s front engined Dino’s were struggling to keep up, Carlo Chiti had to fight hard to build a mid-engined prototype.

Ferrari’s conservatism was proven time and again over the years, they were not often innovators or early adopters, some examples; the change from drum to disc brakes, wire wheels to alloys, carburettors to fuel injection, ladder frame to spaceframe chassis, spaceframe chassis to monocoque and so on.

Fortunately the car, allocated chassis number ‘246-0008’, showed enough promise to race at Monaco on 29 May. By the end of the year ‘0008’ had morphed from a prototype 2.5 litre F1 car into a 1960 1.5 litre F2 ‘156’, becoming an F1 156 with the GP rule change from 2.5 to 1.5 litre engines from 1 January 1961.

‘008’ became Giancarlo Baghetti’s race chassis for 1961 and part of the amazing start to his F1 career; the Italian famously winning his first 3 GP’s; Syracuse, Naples and finally the French GP, in so doing Giancarlo became the only man to ever win his first championship GP.

So ‘0008’ won the first of many GP’s the 156 design took in 1961 on its way to dual World Titles; the Drivers and Manufacturers in 1961.

Their isn’t a happy ending for the chassis though, Giancarlo spun out of the wet British GP at Aintree a week after his Reims win doing enough damage to ‘0008’ that it was scrapped…mind you, Ferrari famously destroyed all of the 156’s at the end of the 1962 season when the cars were as uncompetitive as they had been fast the year before.

From mid-engined 2.5 litre F1 prototype at Monaco on May 6 1960 to 1.5 litre F1 winner at Syracusa on 25 April 1961, ‘0008’s story is a short but historically significant and interesting one.

ginther

Enzo Ferrari and the Ferrari 246P designer, Carlo Chiti, watch Martino Severi testing their first mid-engined car ‘246-0008’ at Modena May 1960. (unattributed)

 

modena

Phil Hill testing the Ferrari 246P at Modena 1960, the suburb oh-so-close to the circuit! Compare the body of ‘0008’ here with its Italian GP spec. (unattributed)

1960 Monaco Grand Prix…

Ginther qualified the new car 9th, between the front engined Dino’s of Von Trips 8th and Phil Hill 10th. In the race Hill was 3rd, Richie 6th and Von Trips 8th but not running at the finish.

ginther monaco

29 year old Richie Ginther makes his GP debut at Monaco 1960. Ferrari 246P. (Dave Friedman Collection)

 

monaco

Ginther’s new developmental mid-engined Ferrari Dino 246P-0008 #34 beside the conventional front-engined 3rd placed Dino 246 of Phil Hill at Monaco in 1960. Difference in size not that great at this stage. Some sources say Ferrari acquired a Cooper to understand that cars packaging and suspension geometry ‘tricks’. (unattributed)

 

fazz zand

Ferrari 246P in the Zandvoort pitlane 1960. (unattributed)

The team took the 246P to Zandvoort for the following Dutch GP

However, the engine, which had not been rebuilt was burning and blowing so much oil that it was unraced.

Ginther ran a conventional front engined Dino as did his teammates, they were comprehensively blown off by large numbers of Lotus and Coopers, Ginther in 12th was the quickest Ferrari qualifier- Von Trips was 5th, Ginther 6th and Phil Hill retired with engine failure on lap 13.

The race was won by Jack Brabham’s Cooper T53 Climax on the way to his second title on the trot.

zandvoort

Cars being marshalled before the start of the Dutch GP on June 6 1960. #3  Ginthers Ferrari Dino 246, #5 Alan Stacey Lotus 18 Climax DNF, #12 Bruce McLaren Cooper T53 Climax DNF, #9 Tony Brooks Cooper T51 Climax DNF, #6 Jim Clark Lotus 18 Climax DNF. (unattributed)

Ferrari Dino 246P Technical Specifications…

Whilst ‘0008’ car didn’t race at Zandvoort, photographer George Phillips took some rare shots of a Ferrari too little has been written about, the car practiced with the number ‘3T’.

front

246P front suspension by upper and lower wishbones, coil spring/koni dampers and roll bar. Disc brakes. (George Phillips)

 

side

Chassis ‘Tipo 543’, welded tubular steel, described as ‘Cooper’ in style if not in the quality of the welding! Borrani wire wheels 15 inches diameter, Dunlop tyres 5.25/6.5 inches wide front/rear. Wheelbase 2300mm, track 1200mm front and rear. Fuel capacity 150 litres. Weight wet 452kg. (George Phillips)

 

engine

Engine ‘Tipo 171’ derived from the Tipo 134. 65 degree, all alloy, DOHC, 2 valve V6. Bore/stroke 85X71mm, capacity 2417cc. 3 Weber 42 DCN carburettors, twin plugs fired by Marelli magneto, dry sumped. 265bhp@8300rpm. (George Phillips)

 

rear sus

Rear suspension upper and lower wishbones, coil spring/Koni dampers and roll bar. Gearbox ‘Tipo 543’ 5 speed and reverse, LSD, note also the clutch location at the back of the ‘box. You can just see the top of the inboard brake rotor beside the chassis member. (George Phillips)

Development of the 246P and its Evolution into the 156…

Ferrari decided to abandon further development of the 246P as a 2.5 litre GP car and focus their attention on the front-engined Dino’s for the balance of the season and the future 1.5 Litre GP car for the new Formula 1.

The basis of the new 1.5 litre F1 engine was the Vittorio Jano designed 1.5 litre ‘Dino V6’ already used in Ferrari’s front engined F2 car’s which first raced in 1957. Von Trips won the 1960 F2 season opening Syracuse GP in March 1960 in one of these cars, ahead of 2 Coopers.

syracuse

Taffy von Trips winning the 10th Syracuse GP, 19 March 1960. Ferrari Dino 156. He won from the Cooper Climaxes of Trintignant and Gendebien. (George Phillips)

Chiti progressively modified the engine, initially retaining the 65 degree angle but then changed to 120 degrees, the wide Vee angle has the benefit of the very low centre of gravity and rear bodywork which was as much a styling signature of the 1961 156 as its ‘sharknose’. ‘Definitive’ spec 1961 156’s raced with the 120 degree engine, but the 65 degree was also used. ‘0008’ was always fitted with the 65 degree spec unit.

solitude

Taffy von Trips at Solitude in ‘0008’ in 1960. LF wheel off the deck. Ferrari 246P/156, victorious over the Porsches. (unattributed)

The test bed for the new engine was the 246P ‘0008’.

After the car with revised bodywork and 1.5 litre V6 was fitted it was tested at Modena and then entered at the 10th Solitude F2 GP, Germany on 24 July where Taffy von Trips belted the Porsche 718/2’s, a great F2 car on their home ground, the aristocrat lead home Hans Hermann, Jo Bonnier, Graham Hill and Dan Gurney, all in factory Porsche’s.

Further testing and development of ‘0008’ followed. With many of the British teams punting on the Intercontinental Formula for 1961, Ferrari were developing a formidable weapon for the new 1.5 F1, the implementation of which was confirmed, much to the Brits chagrin as they wouldn’t have competititive engines until 1962.

At the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September Ferrari raced ‘0008’ in what was getting close to the 156’s definitive 1961 specification.

‘0008’ in 1.5 litre F2 form was raced by Taffy Von Trips to 5th place fitted with an auxiliary fuel tank amongst the 2.5 litre GP cars.

taffy front

At the Italian GP in September 1960 Ferrari ran Taffy von Trips in 246P/156 ‘0008’. Both this and the shot below show how much more ‘svelte’ the car became compared its Monaco spec in May…not as small as the best of the British cars mind you, but in ’61 the Brits were hamstrung by lack of suitable/competitive engines. (Archie Smith)

von Trips had the 1.5 ltre F2 class to himself outrunning Hermann’s Porsche 718/2 by a full lap.

Phil Hill won the race, the final GP victory for a front engined car but it was a hollow one; the sneaky Italians decided to have their 1960 race on the combined Monza road course and banking to maximise the chances of the old-tech Fazz’s winning the race- power the Ferrari’s only advantage over the four cylinder Coventry Climax FPF and BRM engined cars. The Brits then told the organisers to ‘jam it’ on safety grounds and most boycotted the event.

taffy rear

von Trips 246P/156 ‘0008’ in the 1960 Monza paddock. Note how much different the rear bodywork is compared with its 246P Monaco spec. (Archie Smith)

 

grid

Phil Hill’s winning Ferrari Dino 246/60 ‘0007’ # 20 is pushed onto the 1960 Monza grid ahead of von Trips Ferrari Dino 246P/156 ‘0008’. (Archie Smith)

 

von trips

Taffy von Trips ready for the off, Monza 1960. Ferrari Dino 346P/156. (Archie Smith)

VI Gran Premio di Modena F2 1960…

The final race appearance for the ‘0008’ in 1960 was Ferrari’s home event at Modena on 2 October.

In the same way that Ferrari beat the Porsche’s at Solitude in July so it was that Jo Bonnier’s Porsche beat Richie Ginther in the front-engined 156 from Taffy von Trips in the new 246P/156 suffering from fading brakes.

Hans Hermann was 4th and Edgar Barth 5th, both also driving 718/2 Porsche’s.

bonnier

1960 Modena F2 GP. Jo Bonnier’s Porsche 718/2 leads #26 Ginther’s front engined Ferrari Dino 156 from von Trips mid engined 246P/156. (unattributed)

 

trips

von Trips Ferrari 246P/156 F2, #10 Edgar Barth Porsche 718/2, #28 Hans Hermann Porsche 718/2. Modena GP 1960 grid. (unattributed)

 

trips 2

Taffy von Trips, Ferrari Dino 246P/156 ‘0008’ F2, Modena GP 1960. (unattributed)

 

carlo

The brilliant, portly Tuscan engineer and 246P/156 designer Carlo Chiti explains to von Trips how to get the best from his car. Italian GP, Monza 1960. (Archie Smith)

1961 Beckons…

All of this development work on the new-fangled mid-engined concept was very successful, the 156 was the dominant GP car of 1961.

It took the Constructors Championship for Ferrari and Drivers title for Phil Hill, but lets not forget the role the 246P/156 ‘0008’ and Chiti’s development skills and prodigious work output made in that remarkable transition from the back to front of the grid in less than 12 months.

ferrari 156 cutaway

Cutaway drawing of the Ferrari 156 F2 car ‘0008’ in 1960 trim. Spaceframe chassis, double wishbone & coil spring/damper suspension front and rear. ‘Tipo 188’ 1.5 litre 65 degree, DOHC, 2 valve 2 triple -choked Weber carbed V6 giving circa 180bhp in 1960 spec. 5 speed gearbox, Dunlop disc brakes. (James Allington)

Etcetera…

front 2

More detail; von Trips Dino 246P/156 Monza 1960.  (Archie Smith)

 

butt shot

Ferrari Dino 246P/156 butt shot. Monza paddock, Italian GP 1960. Fairing of the chassis with bodywork of this series of cars, and its aero advantage, superb. (Archie Smith)

 

monza

Willy Mairesse in his 2.5 litre GP Ferrari Dino 246 tows von Trips 1.5 litre F2 Dino 246P/156 to a good time in the little car, Monza banking. Italian GP 1960. (Archie Smith)

 

ferrari

The boss at Monza to both suss his new car and the opposition. Enzo Ferrari, Monza, 1960, car is Barth’s factory Porsche 718/2 F2. (Archie Smith)

Etcetera The First 246 Test Session…

Here are a series of photos from the Getty Archives of the first test day at Modena in May 1960.

Ferrari is present as is Carlo Chiti, the driver in all of these shots is factory test driver Martino Severi. Car is unpainted, perhaps Ginther was not present on day #1.

enzo 1

Ferrari, Severi, Chiti (Getty)

 

enzo 2

246SP lines clear in this shot, front engined styling on a mid-engined car! Ferrari back to camera (Getty)

 

enzo 3

(Getty)

 

enzo 4

Hand formed aluminium panels of the prototype clear as are Borrani ‘knock-ons’ and Dunlop disc brakes (Getty)

 

enzo 5

The boss looks on and contemplates this big change in the design of his cars, the Scuderia got the hang of it quickly enough! (Getty)

Check out this brief article i wrote about the Ferrari 156 a while back…

https://primotipo.com/2014/12/21/ferrari-156-duet-ricardo-and-phil-spa-1962/

Also see this article on Giancarlo Baghetti which covers the 1961 record of both him and 156 ‘0008’ in 1961…

https://primotipo.com/2015/05/08/giancarlo-baghetti-lotus-49-ford-italian-grand-prix-1967/

Some great Monaco 1960 Race Footage…

Photo Credits…

George Phillips, Dave Friedman Collection, Archie Smith, Getty Images

Bibliography…

F1 Technical, F2 Register, 8W.forix.com, James Allington cutaway drawing, barchetta.cc, Doug Nye ‘History of the GP Car 1965-85’

Tailpiece: Lets Leave Monaco by Train as we Arrived…

train

(Dave Friedman Collection)

Finito…

 

martini and rossi

Nice ad featuring the winning and second placed Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa’s of #14 Phil Hill/Olivier Gendebien and #15 Giancarlo Baghetti/Willy Mairesse/Richie Ginther/Taffy Von Trips at Sebring in 1961…

image

Phil Hill, Ferrari Dino 246, Italian GP Monza 1958. His debut GP for Ferrari

Phil Hill looking fairly relaxed on the occasion of his Ferrari Grand Prix debut…

Hill had been part of Ferraris’ sports car squad since 1955 and ‘shamed’ the chief into promoting him by making his Grand Prix debut in the French GP in Jo Bonniers’ Maserati 250F.

He justified Ferrari’s faith in him placing 3rd in his Dino 246. Tony Brooks Vanwall won the race.

Love Hill’s natty race safety attire! Check, short sleeved blue shirt his first line of defence against fire, mind you the prevailing wisdom of the day was to be thrown clear of the car in the event of a ‘big one’.

It’s interesting to reflect on how far safety advanced in the following ten years- in cars advances included monocoque chassis, roll bars, six-point harnesses and fire extinguishers. In terms of driver safety ‘Nomex’ fire retardant ‘suits with Bell introducing the first ‘Star’ full face helmet in 1968 spring to mind.

Mind you the cars were far faster over that decade, the GP field was ‘winged by the end of 1968 with another leap in performance as a consequence. The circuits hadn’t kept pace though, the Jackie Stewart led Grand Prix Drivers Association crusade to improve circuit standards and safety was just underway, he was a pariah in the views of some traditionalists but many drivers lives were saved as a result.

We lost some of the visual splendour of classic circuits and Phils’ striped blue shirts…

enzo

Enzo Ferrari & Phil Hill Monza 1958- ‘just do as i say and you will be fine…'(Jesse Alexander)

 

italian

1958 Italian GP Start…# 28 Tony Brooks & # 30 Stuart Lewis-Evans, both in Vanwall VW57’s & Mike Hawthorns’ Ferrari Dino 246. Brooks the winner of the race from Hawthorn & Hill. Lewis-Evans DNF. (Unattributed)

 

phil 2

Phil Hill Ferrari Dino 246 Italian GP Monza 1958- that steering wheel is so ‘period’! (Jesse Alexander)

Etcetera…

Phil looking very youthful, 25 years of age, at Torrey Pines, California in July 1952, car is a Ferrari 212 Export- a win it seems!

Photo Credit…

Jesse Alexander

Finito…

Belgian+Grand+Prix+-+Spa+-+August+1962_DP+638+-+12+R+Rodriguez+-+Ferrari%2C+9+Phil+Hill+-+Ferrari.jpg.small

Phil Hill and Ricardo Rodriguez, 1962 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa. You can hear the crowd and smell the Ferraris’ in these magnificent John Ross shots…

Ferrari ‘stole the march’ on the competition in 1961, they were ready with a squadron of 156’s, whilst the British teams laboured with their 1.5 litre Coventry Climax FPF four cylinder engines until the BRM P56, and Coventry Climax FWMV V8’s were ready…

Only Stirling Moss provided much in the way of opposition to the Ferraris’ in 1961, Phil Hill winning the title. By 1962 the 156’s were as uncompetitive as they had been the class of the field the prior year.

Colin Chapmans monocoque Lotus 25 made its debut at Zandvoort in 1962, and Coventry Climax and BRM V8’s were plentiful, Graham Hill winning the title in his BRM P57, Clarks 25 suffering unreliability it was not to have in succeeding years…

Hill and Rodriguez duelled throughout the race, Hill pipping the Mexican by a tenth of a second from Clark and Hill, first and second!

Belgian+Grand+Prix+-+Spa+-+August+1962_DP645+-+12+R+Rodriguez+-+Ferrari%2C+9+Phil+Hill+-+Ferrari.jpg.small

Hill and Rodriguez into the downhill plunge before Eau Rouge during their long duel (John Ross)

Ferrari 156 arrives at Spa - transporter

Phil Hill #9, and Willy Mairesse #10 156’s arrive from Maranello atop the Fiat transporter, a third car is underneath, Ferrari entered cars for Ricardo Rodriguez and Giancarlo Baghetti as well, we may well need 4 car teams in 2015 to swell the diminishing list of solvent entrants in GP racing! (unattributed)

Credit…

John Ross Motor Racing Archive

collins

Peter Collins photographed by Louis Klemantaski aboard their Ferrari 335S during the ill-fated 1957 Mille Miglia…

This stunning, evocative shot, one of motor racings’ most famous, was taken by acclaimed photographer Louis Klementaski who ‘navigated’ for Collins capturing the essence of the event and times which seem so long ago.

Klemantaski picks up the story in ‘Automobile Year 44’…’In the fateful Mille Miglia of 1957 I was in the Ferrari Team in the car driven by Peter Collins, a 335 Sport. This model was the ultimate achievement of Ferraris’ creativity of that period. Peter said it was the best handling sports-racing Ferrari he had driven so far. It was certainly the most powerful and I had to adjust my course notes accordingly’.

‘ This photograph was taken as we went through a series of hairpin bends in the Abruzzi Mountains on the way to l’Aquila and Rome. There were no trees around and Peter could see the whole road for quite a way ahead, so I was able to take some time off from giving him signals as to the severity of the next corner and take some shots of the cockpit and him in action. As the G-forces were considerable, I had to make the exposure on the right-hand corner, so that I would be thrown outwards and away from him. We had no seat belts in those days and it was very difficult not to impede Peter on occasion. In those very tight corners first on one lock and then the other, Peter could cope without changing the position of his hands on the wheel, which was just as well, as the corners came up with remarkable rapidity. This is my favourite Ferrari photograph because it was of a Ferrari in action, taken from a Ferrari cockpit- and how much closer to the spirit of these wonderful cars can you get?’

Scuderia Ferrari entered five cars in the 1957 event... 315S models for Piero Taruffi (his car fitted with a 335 engine) and Count Wolfgang ‘Taffy’ von Trips, and the latest 4 litre quad-cam 335S models for Collins/ Klemantaski and Marquis ‘Fon’ de Portago and Ed Nelson. Finally, a 250LWB was entered for Olivier Gendebien and his navigator M Washer.

Taruffi won the race and then retired with Von Trips in second. The Collins car retired at the 5 hour 3 minute mark with a broken driveshaft. Sadly, and infamously de Portago/ Nelson perished in a gruesome accident also which took the lives of nine spectators, five of whom were children in the village of Guidizzolo, Lombardy, 110 Km east of Milan.

Some reports say de Portago should have changed his tyres earlier, a blowout the cause of the accident. The race was banned as a consequence, and so ended a tradition which commenced in 1927, the event run 24 times from then until 1957.

on root

The view at speed…somewhere in Italy! Klemantaski shot from the Collins 335S (Louis Klemantaski)

The Mile Miglia was started by Count Aymo Maggi and Franco Mazzotti… after the Italian Grand Prix was moved from their home town of Brescia to Monza. They chose a race from Brescia to Rome and back, a figure-eight course of 1500Km or 1000 Roman Miles.

mille

1957 Mille Miglia course, the race won by Piero Taruffi, Ferrari 315S, from Taffy Von Trips in a similar car and the Scuderia Ferrari 250GT LWB of Gendebien/ Washer

de Portago Mille 1957

Fon de Portago/Ed Nelson in their Ferrari 335S go thru the Futa Pass on their fateful ’57 Mille run. (Yves Debraine)

Various courses were used over the years with many of the greats of the day winning. Tazio Nuvolari Alfa 6C 1750 in 1930 and 8C 2300 in 1933, Rudy Caracciola in a Benz SSK 1931, Achille Varzi Alfa Monza 1934 and Alberto Ascari in a Lancia B24 in 1954 included.

Over the years Italians won the race the most, from 1953 to 1957 the event was a round of the World Sports Car Championship, Stirling Moss famously winning navigated by ‘Motor Sport’ magazines’ Denis Jenkinson, the pair setting the fastest ever time of 10 hours 7 minutes and 48 seconds.

The team covered six reconnaisance laps, Jenkinson making ‘pace notes’ on a scroll of paper contained in an aluminium housing. Dennis ‘calling’ the corners and the stunning ability of Moss resulted in an emphatic and famous 1955 victory in their Mercedes Benz 300SLR.

brochure

The 1957 Ferrari 335S…was a development of the 860 Monza and 290 MM sports racers of 1956.

le mans 5

The Collins/ P Hill Ferrari 335S at Le Mans 1957, DNF engine failure on lap 2 (Unattributed)

A tubular steel chassis frame was fitted with independent unequal length wishbones, coil springs and hydraulic shocks at the front. A de Dion rear axle located by twin radius arms, transverse leaf spring and hydraulic shocks was fitted at the rear.

Drum brakes were used all round, steering was by worm and sector. A strong 4 speed transaxle took all the torque of the big V12 with 6X16 inch and 7X 16 inch tyres fitted front/rear, the whole lot weighing a relatively light 880Kg dry.

The 335 Sport was the height of development of Ferraris’ complex but powerful 4 cam front-engined sports cars which won the World Sports Car Championship in 1957, defeating arch rivals Maserati in the process.

Ferrari 335S cutaway

hawt

Side profile of the Hawthorn Ferrari 335S on the exit of Tertre Rouge corner Le Mans 1957. He shared the car with Luigi Musso, and again DNF due to engine failure (Louis Klemantaski)

pitstop

4 litre V12 engine of the Collins 335S during a Mille Miglia pitstop (Louis Klemantaski)

The engines of the 290, 315 and 335S were primarily designed by Vittorio Bellantani…the ex-Maserati engineer received assistance from Vittorio Jano, some elements of the engine having a passing design relationship to Janos’ fabulous D50 Lancia V8 of 1954/55. Jano of course came across to Ferrari from Lancia in the deal which ‘saved Ferrari’s bacon’, devoid of a competitive Grand Prix car at the time.

The 60 degree all aluminium V12 displaced 4023cc with a bore/stroke of 77X72mm. DOHC were deployed with 2 valves per cylinder. Six Weber 44DCN carbs fed the engine with twin plugs and four coils providing the spark. Maximum power was 390bhp @ 7400rpm.

The Klemantaski Archive quotes Phil Hill as saying ‘the 335S was the best front-engined car ever built by Ferrari and certainly the fastest’.

cockpit

Cockpit of restored 335S ‘0764’ . 4 speed rear mounted transaxle, worm and sector steering. (Unattributed)

 


 

Etcetera…

scud

Scuderia Ferrari in Brescia before the 1957 MM start. #534 Collins/Klemantaski, #531 de Portago/Nelson, #417 Gendebien/Washer, #532 Von Trips and the privately entered Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa of Gino Munaron

taruffi

Piero Taruffi in the winning 335 engined Ferrari 315S. MM 1957. This very successful driver retired after winning the event then writing ‘The Technique of Motor Racing’, a rather good book! (Unattributed)

cuta

portago

De Portago and Peter Collins in colored beanie before the MM start. Louise Collins in the striped blouse at the rear (Louis Klementaski)

image

de Portago and Nelson leave the Rome control in 4th place (Louis Klemantaski)

Photo Credits…

Louis Klemantaski Archive, Yves Debraine, G Cavara cutaway drawing

Tailpiece…

fon

An equally stunning shot as the one at the start of this article. It reflects the fanatical Italian crowd and their proximity to the cars. Its poignant for that reason as it is one of the last shots of ‘Fon’ de Portago before the fatal accident which took his and ten others lives. Ferrari 335S ‘0676’ Mille Miglia 1957. (Unattributed)

Finito…

olivier 2

Olivier Gendebien in the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 59 he shared with Phil Hill to second place in the Nurburgring 1000Km in 1959…

Olivier was an interesting driver, born in Belgium in 1924 he fought the Germans as part of the Belgian Resistance movement, joined the Britsh Army and became a paratrooper.

After the War he worked in the forestry industry in the Belgian Congo and met a rally driver, commencing his own rally career. He won the Tulip Rally with Pierre Stasse in an Alfa 1900 Ti in 1954 and soon  came to the attention of Enzo Ferrari who signed him as both a Sports Car and occasional Grand Prix driver.

ring

Another view of Gendebiens # 4 TR at rest in the ‘Ring pits. #1 is the winning DBR1 of Moss/Fairman, #15 is the Porsche RSK 718 of Umberto Maglioli/ Hans Hermann (Pinterest)

Grands Prix…

belgian

1961 Belgian GP, Spa. Gendebien finished fourth in a Ferrari 156, behind the other similar cars of Phil Hill, ‘Taffy’ Von Trips and Richie Ginther, Hill on his way to the 1961 World Championship.Gendebiens car is painted in Belgiums national racing color, yellow, the car entered by ‘Equipe National Belge’. Less powerful than his teamamtes cars, the 156 was still a formidable weapon (Pinterest)

He competed in 15 Grands Prix, making his debut in a Ferrari 625 in Argentina 1956 finishing fifth. His best season was in 1960 at the wheel of a ‘Yeoman Credit’ Team Cooper Climax , his best results in the French and Belgian Grands Prix.

bristh

Olivier Gendebien in the 1960 British GP, Silverstone. ‘Yeoman Credit’ Cooper T51 Climax (The Cahier Archive)

Sports Car Ace…

sebring 19659

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 59, Olivier Gendebien, Sebring 1959. Gendebien shared the car with Americans Chuck Daigh, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney (Pinterest)

Whilst he was quick in a single-seater he was supreme in Sports Cars, Phil Hill the only driver who was his equal in the Ferrari Team during this period.

He first won Le Mans with Phil Hill in 1958, winning again with him in 1961 and 1962. He also won in 1960 with Paul Frere, his fellow Belgian. He won the Tour of Sicily, the Tour de France, and the Reims 12 Hour twice. Victorious also in the Targa Florio and Sebring 12 Hours thrice, he won the Nurburgring 1000Km once.

Gendebien was from a wealthy family, and under pressure to quit racing by his wife, retired after his fourth Le Mans win in 1962 aged 38. During retirement he ran a succession of businesses dying in the South of France in 1998.

targa 1962

Pitstop for the Gendebien/Ricardo Rodriguez/Mairesse Ferrari Dino 246SP, Targa Florio winners 1962 (Pinterest)

le mans 59

Le Mans 1959. The Gendebien/Hill Ferrari 250 TR 59, with Olivier sitting on the car talking to Phil Hill. Salvadori/Shelby won in an Aston Martin DBR1. Car # 15 is the Cliff Allison/ Hermanos da Silva Ramos TR . Both DNF(Pinterest)

bubbles

Gendebien, left,  and Hill enjoy the spoils of their 1962 and last Le Mans victory together. Olivier retired shortly thereafter. Car was a Ferrari 330 TRI/LM. The last front engined car to win Le Mans. Hill competed well into the decade, his last international win the Brands Hatch 1000km in a Chaparral 2F in 1967. (Pinterest)

 


Etcetera…

frencj gp

1959 French Grand Prix in a Ferrari Dino 246. Olivier finished fourth in the race won by his teammate Tony Brooks in a similar car. Olivier made his GP debut in a much less competitive Ferrari 625 in Agentina 1956 but still finished 5th on debut (Pinterest)

fazz

Ferrari pits Spa 1961. The 4 156 cars being prepared, Gendebiens yellow car contrasts the # 2 car of Von Trips, the winning #4 of Phil Hill, and Richie Ginthers third placed car # 6. The more you look the more you see… (Pinterest)

gendebien

Same scene from the other side of the Ferrari pit (Pinterest)

bekoan butt

Belgian butt shot..rear of Gendebiens Ferrari 156, Spa 1961 (Pinterest)

olivier

Gendebien watching the Ferrari 250 TR 61 of Ireland/Moss/Fulp/Tavano whizz past. It was disqualified for illegal refuelling. Olivier finished second in a 250GTO with Phil Hill. the race was won by the Bonnier/Bianchi Ferrari Tr 61 (Pinterest)

Photo Credits…

The Cahier Archive, Pinterest

The End…

Stirling Moss on his way to Ain Diab victory in his Vanwall VW5, 1958 (Moss Archive)

Stirling Moss, Vanwall VW57 and Mike Hawthorn, Ferrari 246 went to Morocco for the final round of the 1958 Championship, with Moss needing to win and set fastest lap and Hawthorn to finish no lower than third to take the title…

Morocco had recently gained its independence from Spain and used the race to help establish its global identity. The newly crowned King Mohammad V attended ‘Ain Diab’, a very fast, dangerous road circuit on public roads near Casablanca.

Moss took the lead, with Phil Hill also starting well- Hill waved teammate Hawthorn through to chase Moss with Brooks challenging in the other Vanwall. Moss set a new lap record, Ferrari slowed Hill to allow Hawthorn into second. Moss ran into Wolfgang Seidels’ Maserati 250F, damaging the Vanwalls nosecone, but fortunately not the radiater core.

Tragedy struck on lap 42 when the engine in the Stuart Lewis-Evans Vanwall blew, the car’s rear wheels locked then the car careered into a small stand of trees- the vulnerable tail tank ruptured and caught fire, Lewis-Evans jumped out but was disoriented and headed away from fire marshalls who may have been able to minimise the terrible burns from his overalls- despite being flown home to the UK he died in a specialist hospital six days later.

moroc

Stuart Lewis-Evans, Morocco 1958. His death robbed Britain of its great ‘coming-man’ (The Cahier Archive)

 

moroc

Stunning Moroccan backdrop, Hawthorn, Ferrari Dino 246 (Unattributed)

 

moss morocco 5

Moss’ car survived the heat despite the damaged Vanwall nosecone having hit Seidel’s Maser 250F ‘up the chuff’ taking the win and the Constructors Championship for Vanwall (Unattributed)

 

Phil Hill turns his Ferrari Dino 246 into an open right hander on the prodigiously fast Ain Diab road circuit, Casablanca, Morocco 1958- he finished third (Unattributed)

Moss won the race, and Hawthorn the Drivers Championship, but the Constructors Championship was won by Vanwall in a fitting reward for Tony Vandervell who had passionately supported the BRM program before setting out on his own, frustrated by the process of management by committee and the lack of agility which went with it.

Hawthorn shortly thereafter announced his retirement from racing, aged 29, and, ‘dicing’ with Rob Walker’s Mercedes on the Guildford Bypass not far from his home, crashed fatally in his Mark 1 Jag 3.4- an horrific end to a tragic season for British motor racing.

This article started life as a piece I wrote in September 2014 about the Moroccan GP and then over time morphed into a rough bitza on Vanwall of 1,500 words, before substantially re-writing it as a 10,000 word feature in February 2020. The article uses as its primary technical resources two 8W Forix articles- one by Ron Rex ‘The Vanwall Grand Prix Engines’, quite staggering in the level of detail,  http://8w.forix.com/vanwall-grandprix-engine-introduction.html and another by Don Capps ‘A Year by Year Look at the Vandervell Racing Machines including Thinwall Specials’ http://8w.forix.com/vanwalls.html

If you are interested in the topic do read these articles and others on Vanwall on that site- you will be fascinated for a weekend at least.

Tony Vandervell…

BRM V16 Vandervell ad

Vandervell Products ad in the ‘BRM Ambassador for Britain’ booklet (Stephen Dalton Collection)

Guy Anthony ‘Tony’ Vandervell (TV) was the son of Charles Vandervell, the fouder of CAV, later Lucas CAV.

He made his fortune from the production of ‘Thin-Wall’ bearings under licence from the innovative American inventor- Cleveland Graphite Bronze Company, these products were made by Vandervell Products Ltd (VP) from 1933 in a purpose built factory at Western Avenue, Acton, west of London.

As a captain of the automotive industry Vandervell was invited to be a member of the British Motor Racing Research Trust (BRM) in 1947 but he soon tired of BRM’s ‘management by committee’ and the consequent lack of agility so started an independent race program with a series of Ferraris modified by VP called ‘Thin Wall Special’.

He was born on 8 September 1898 and died on 10 March 1967.

The Chief, Tony Vandervell with Tony Brooks in the Monza pitlane in 1958 the day before Brooks went out and won the Italian GP, Vanwall VW5 (John Ross)

 

Reg Parnell in Ferrari 375 Thinwall 3 before going out and beating the three Alfa Romeo 159s of Fangio, Farina and Bonetto in the May 1951 International Trophy at Silverstone- the race was held in teeming rain and ended after 6 laps, no official winner apparently but Parnell got the prize which tends to indicate he won! Car #29 is Johnny Claes, Talbot Lago T26C (Getty-GP Library)

 

Peter Whitehead in Thinwall 3, Ferrari 375 during the 1951 British GP at Silverstone, 9th in the race won by Froilan Gonzalez Ferrari 375- Ferrari’s first championship GP win

 

thinwall

Mike Hawthorn in the Ferrari 375 V12 ‘Thinwall 4 Special’, National Trophy Race, Turnberry Airfield circuit, Scotland 23 August 1952. Tony Vandervell is to the left of the mechanic, Hawthorn is on pole and sportingly allowed the BRM mechanics to repair a leak in a water rail on Reg Parnell’s car, before stepping aboard his car, and then found a box full of neutrals at the start and retired it shortly thereafter. Parnell won the race from Bob Gerard’s ERA and Ken Wharton in the second BRM V16  (Unattributed)

The first Thinwall (i have used ‘Thinwall’ throughout this article but note the correct names of the cars were ‘Thin Wall Special’) was a 1949 Ferrari 125 GPC- a 1.5 litre supercharged V12 short wheelbase machine which was returned to Ferrari after examintion by BRM, chassis number unknown. Describing these cars is context for the Vanwalls which followed, a description of the Thinwalls and the modifications made to them is an article in itself for another time.

By 1950 VP had built an additional factory at Cox Green, Maidenhead complete with engine test beds and it was here that the Ferrari, and later Vanwall engines were built and tested. The Vanwall racing team (VR) itself was based at Acton with Fred Fox in charge and Phil Watson as Chief Mechanic with close access to VP’s drawing office, toolroom and major workshop located in the main factory over the road. In essence, by the end of 1950 all the necessary infrastructure was in place to take on and beat the best in the world.

Thinwall 2 was a 1950 Ferrari 125, it was similarly powered to the first car but had a more powerful  twin-plug V12. The long wheelbase chassis was numbered ‘125-C-02’ and had swing axle rear suspension, it was returned to Maranello to be rebuilt into Thinwall 3.

The 1951 Thinwall 3/Ferrari 375 used, as noted above, the same chassis as ‘2’ but fitted with a normally aspirated 4.5 litre, single-plug V12 with a de Dion rear end- retained by the team, it was broken up in 1952.

Thinwall 4/Ferrari 375 was a long-wheelbase ‘Indianapolis’ 375, chassis number ‘010-375’ and was again a 4.5 litre V12 but this time twin-plug and de Dion rear axled- the car was retained by the team.

The Ferraris raced mainly in British Formula Libre events providing the main opposition to the BRM Type 15 V16 which was essentially too late for F1 before the formula changed, rendering it obsolete.

Vandervell was restless and wanted to race in the new 2 litre F2 of 1952-1953 which of course became the category to which the World Championship was run in those years.

vanwall goodwood

Peter Collins, then 22, at the wheel of the original Vanwall Special ‘01′, ‘Goodwood Trophy’ in September 1954. He qualified and finished 2nd to the Moss Maser 250F (Louis Klemantaski)

In 1954 the Thinwall Specials became a Vanwall Special…

The name was an acronym of Vandervell’s Acton based ‘Thinwall’ bearing company and his surname. The chassis was designed by Cooper’s Owen Maddock and built at the companies Surbiton factory (given the Type 30 designation retrospectively). The machine had Ferrari inspired suspension and steering components together with a Ferrari 4 speed gearbox modified by VP. Goodyear disc brakes were used, as on the Thinwall, the interesting bit at this early stage was the heart of the car- its engine.

Vandervell became a member of the Norton Motors Ltd Board in 1946 and was naturally impressed by their very successful 500cc single but he felt the company needed to develop a multi-cylinder engine to combat the Italians and contracted BRM’s design arm, Automotive Developments Ltd to design a 500cc four-cylinder engine for Norton. BRM experimented with a water-cooled version of the Norton 500cc single which developed more power than the air-colled original- the design was to be significant in 1954 when Vandervell sought an engine for his new car.

Technically minded and interested, TP had spent plenty of time in the Norton test house with Chief Engineer Joe Craig and Polish Design Engineer Leo Kuzmicki as they developed their latest 500 singles which developed 45bhp on 80 octane fuel in 1951. TP could see how four times that amount and a bit more given alcohol based fuels were allowed in the new 2 litre F2 would be competitive. Additionally the BRM 500 test engine gave 47bhp on test whereas at the time Norton’s air-cooled motor gave 44.2bhp- and so the die was set.

Norton were prepared to help with the head design, Eric Richter, who had worked on the Norton project at BRM, joined Acton from Bourne in late 1950 so Fred Fox and his team were tasked to do the overall engine design, working closely with Craig and Kuzmicki at Norton on the the head and valve gear with specialist tradesmen in milling, grinding and turning seconded from VP to Vanwall Racing- with the coming change to F1 from 2 to 2.5 litres in 1954 the design was to be capable of taking that jump in capacity.

And so it was that the Vanwall engine was essentially the same as the Norton/BRM water cooled single- four Norton single cylinder barrels spigoted into the cylinder head and crankcase, integrated ‘en-bloc’ with added on non load-bearing water jackets.

The bore and stroke of the 2 litre motor mirrored those of the 1952 Norton 500- 85.93cc X 86mm for a total capacity of 1995cc. This double overhead camshaft cylinder head used twin inclined valves in each combustion chamber with motor cycle style hairpin valve springs.

The engine had a deep crankcase into which the four cylinder barrels were spigoted atop which sat the shallow cylinder head casting. Both these key components were held together by ten long, threaded high-tensile steel rods which passed through the head, beside the barrels and through the crankcase and main bearing caps and were secured at each end with nuts.

In the interests of time the team were looking at proprietary crankcases they could adapt to their needs, the ‘winning choice’ was made by TV’s eldest sone Anthony, who had been apprenticed at Rolls-Royce and suggested the four cylinder variant of the R-R B Series military engine, the ‘B40’. This engine was of aluminium ‘F-head’ configuration- overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves, the five main bearing crankcase was made of cast iron and its capacity when fitted to the Austin Champ military vehicle was 2838cc.

An order was placed for a crankcase cum block in February 1952. Later Leyland were approached- who were making the engine under contract for Rolls-Royce to supply a set of patterns and baked cores for suitable modification.

Vandervell machined a B40 crankcase to their needs as a pattern, together with the cores provided by Leyland to cast a prototype crankcase in aluminium- plenty of work was required by VP to increase the wall thickness to allow for the reduced strength of the alloy to be used and to incorporate the change from five to four main bearings.

The choice of the change from five to four main bearings was thought to be due to savings in weight and friction- Ron Rex in his wonderful series of 8W Forix articles on Vanwall engine design points out that Richter had worked with Stewart Tresilian at ERA and BRM- he was a strong proponent of the use of four main bearings in four cylinder race engines inclusive of BRM”s successful 2.5 cylinder four which raced in the P25 and P48 GP machines from 1953 to 1961.

The crankcase was cast by Aeroplane and Aluminium Castings Ltd of Coventry in RR53B aluminium, the engine used a forged crankshaft machines by Laystall with Vandervell ‘Thin-Wall’ copper-lead-indium bearings used. The wet cylinder barrels were made of cast-iron with the surrounding water-jacket made of RR50 aluminium again by ‘Aeroplane’. The engine was of course dry-sumped with two gear type oil pumps- a triple pinioned scavenge pump and single pressure pump housed in a casting fixed to the front of the engine below the crank.

 

vanwakll engine

Vanwall 4 cylinder, DOHC design. Of note are the hairpin valve springs, the train of gears to drive the cams and auxiliaries and high pressure fuel injection pump- at the front of the engine (Vic Berris)

 

Vanwall engine

Vanwall engine in 1958 (Jesse Alexander)

The head was to all intents and purposes the latest Norton 500 head with the combustion chamber, ports and valve sizes identical- similarly Harry Weslake’s changes to the Norton heads to promote swirl were also adopted. The inlet and exhaust valves were inclined at an included angle of 64 degrees, as per the works Norton of the time- the inlet ports were 44.5mm in diameter and the exhausts 39.4mm in diameter.

Annular recesses were incorporated into the head into which the barrels were spigoted, around thess were Wills pressure ring copper gaskets. Twin plugs were used (the Norton single had only one), the head was quite shallow as the two camshafts were carried in separate housings on steel pedestals 40mm clear of the head.

The cam housings were open top magnesium boxes capped by beautiful flat plates secured by many screws, the cams were driven off the crank by a train of spur gears contained in a magnesium casting bolted to the front of the engine, an outer gear case provided drives for the magnetos and fuel pump.

Carburetion was provided by four motor cycle type Amal 3GP’s probably with throat diameters of 49.2mm, air intake trumpets with large radii bell-mouths were ftted to each carb. Fuel injection would come soon enough of course, when Bosch and Vanwall worked together on such a system with Mercedes Benz blessing- there existed an exclusivity arrangement between the two companies. The exhaust system was designed and manufactured with Norton practice in mind but in use a four-into two- into one set up was used- with a single pipe extending to the back of the car.

Vanwall contracted British Thomson-Houston Co to supply magnetos which could fire two plugs at up to 8000rpm, when these were late twin Scintillas were used firing KLG plugs.

It became clear the car/engine would miss the final F2 year of 1953 with development of the 2 litre and design of the 2.5 litre happening in parallel throughout that year, the 2 litre first ran in December 1953, producing 148bhp @ 5150rpm in January 1954. By March 1954 235bhp @ 7500-7600 was claimed.

After extensive testing at the RAF Oldham Airfield the machine made its public debut in the 15 May 1954 International Trophy at Silverstone, driven by Alan Brown.

Brown was fifth quickest in practice, three seconds clear of the other 2 litre cars, second practice was wet and the car was quickest starting heat 1 from the front row for sixth and ran a shigh as fifth in the final before retiring on lap 17 with a broken oil pipe.

After the race the 2 litre engine was removed for further development doing over 20 hours on the dyno but it never raced again as it destroyed itself during edurance testing.

Collins raced the car in the British Grand Prix in July fitted with an interim 2.3 litre engine, this was achieved by increasing the bore to the maximum permissible, Peter qualified on the third row and raced well amongst the other cars until a cylinder head joint leaked forcing his retirement.

The major change to the 2490cc engine (bore nor 96mm) was the adoption of a five, rather than four main bearing crank, the valve incuded angle was also reduced from 64 to 60 degrees. Amal carbs were used initially but work progressed with Bosch on the port fuel injection TV wanted with the German company making a four-cylinder injection pump specifically for the purpose.

Peter Collins The Vanwall Spl during the Goodwood Trophy in September 1954

 

1954

The first 2.5 litre engine, the third engine built was running on the Maidenhead test-beds by August 1954 with an Italian GP entry planned but the engine dropped a valve in endurance testing so the 2.3 litre engine was used at Monza by Collins, there the car again showed promise despite carburetion problems again. In the race Peter pitted with an oil pressure gauge line leaking but he soldiered on to finish seventh.

The 2.5 litre engine finally made its race debut at the Goodwood Trophy on 25 September.

Peter Collins raced the car into second place behind Moss’ Maserati 250F- the added grunt did expose some chassis shortcomings however, then Mike Hawthorn drove it in the Formula Libre race to fourth.

On 2 October at Aintree Hawthorn was second in the F1 race but retired in the Libre event after Mike spun and ingested dirt into the oil coller causing overheating. Hawthorn commented that real power didn’t come in until after 4500rpm but above that it was quite fast with fluffiness over 7000rpm he put down to fuel starvation.

It was time to test the car in a GP so an entry was made at Pedralbes, Barcelona on 24 October for the Spanish race- the Lancia D50 made its race debut that weekend.

Between Aintree and Pedralbes there was much testing of fuel blends and hairpin valve springs which were breaking- by race weekend the engine was giving good results but Peter Collins crashed in practice, he took on rather a large tree- too badly damaged to be repaired the machine was taken back to Acton. There the team wrote it off- Peter bent the frame severely, broke the de Dion tube assembly and rear suspension as well as destroying the rear three Borrani wheels, one of the side fuel tanks and the rear tank which took most of the impact. Clearly Peter was a lucky boy to walk away, the car was not so fortunate.

Preparations for the 1955 season were now well underway, Don Capps notes by November 1954 there were enough spares to assemble two chassis and that TV had acquired two Milling Machines from Count Orsi for then-thousand pounds and the Maserati 250F rolling chassis ‘2513’ in order that the team could suss one of the very best F1 cars of the time.

David Yorke had been signed on as Team Manager with Mike Hawthorn and Ken Wharton signed to drive the two cars the team planned to run.

The main focus of development was to get the fuel injection working- by February the first of the Bosch pumps had been set up on a test engine- these 1955 engines were given the drawing office type number ‘V254′ (the 1954 engines were typed ’54’) and numbered V1 onwards, whereas the cars were now called ‘Vanwall’ not ‘Vanwall Special’ with the chassis’ numbered from VW1 onwards- four 1955 spec cars were built- VW1-VW4 and were essentially based on the Cooper design which picked up Ferrari suspension and steering.

hawt

Mike Hawthorn in the Cooper designed Vanwall chassis VW55, Monaco GP 1955, DNF with throttle linkage problems in the race won by Trintignant’s Ferrari Squalo 625 (Unattributed)

 

Mike Hawthorn during the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Vanwall (Getty)

 

Harry Schell awaits the start of the 1955 British GP at Aintree with the lads including the chief at far left. #4 is the Luigi Musso Maserati 250F, #20 is Eugenio Castellotti’s Ferrari 625,  #8 Andre Simons’s 250F

When fitted with fuel injection the engine weighed 163kg and on a compression ratio of 12.5:1 gave an estimated 270bhp. Much work was done on the cars suspension to improve the handling but Mike Hawthorn was disappointed in testing at Oldham Airfield to still find a big flat spot between 4000-5500rpm- as events proved it would be a very challenging year.

At the International Trophy at Silverstone in May Hawthorn qualified second to Salvadori’s Maserati 250F but retired in the race due to a gearbox oil leak- Wharton pitted with throttle linkage problems and then crashed trying to unlap himself- the car then burst into flames with both car and driver the worse for it.

Only Hawthorn raced at Monaco and Spa with disappointing results- he was 4.5 seconds off the pace of Fangio’s Mercedes Benz at Monaco and 14.9 seconds behind Ascari’s Lancia D50 pole in the Ardennes. A broken throttle linkage ended his race at Monaco and an oil leak at Spa. TV approached Rolls-Royce about the vibration induced throttle linkage failures with R-R suggesting fitment of Hoffman ball bearings in the ends of the control rod.

Mike Hawthorn decamped though, telling David Yorke in animated fashion to ‘shove it’ whilst having a few brews with some friends in Spa’s Pierre Le Grand restaurant, he ‘cancelled his contract’ and refunded some of his retainer to Vandervell, with Harry Schell engaged as his replacement in time to contest the British GP at Aintree in July.

There, Harry and Ken were 3.4 and 8 seconds off Moss’ Mercedes W196 pole time. Harry muffed the start but made up time until he pushed the throttle linkage off its mount, whilst Wharton pitted with an oil leak- Harry then set off in his car but still finished last.

In the wake of the Le Mans disaster many races were cancelled so Vanwall Racing entered some minor British events, whilst Harry won four of them but it was clear a lighter, stiffer and more sophisticated chassis was needed as engine development came along nicely- the first of Schell’s wins at Crystal Palace in July resulted in Vandervell shelving a plan to pop one of the Vanwall fours into 250F ‘2513’…

The team took three cars to Monza in September but again were way off the pace- Harry retired with a broken de Dion tube and Ken when the steel bracket supporting the fuel injection pump fractured.

Vandervell’s staff modified the basic Cooper frame and had a mock-up of the proposed chassis for 1956 at which point Colin Chapman was introduced to Vandervell via Vanwall’s transport driver, Derek Wootton, an old friend of Chapman to look at the frame- Vandervell was impressed with Chapman’s knowledge and track record and signed him on to start from scratch rather than evolve the Owen Maddock design.

1956 Vanwall…

dutch

Moss in the 1958 Dutch GP winning VW10. Shot shows extreme attention to aero for the day by Frank Costin. Borrani wires at front Moss’ preference for driver feel but cast alloy wheels were adopted in 1958 to save weight- this Vanwall, with two GP wins survives today (Copyright JARROTS.com)

The choice of Chapman, then an up and coming designer and manufacturer of Lotus sportscars in Hornsey behind his fathers pub was a defining moment in Vanwall’s future success. For his first single-seater project Chapman designed a modern multi-tubular spaceframe chassis and engaged aerodynamicist Frank Costin to concept and create the gorgeous, low drag, ultra-slippery body which clothed it.

Chapman retained the 1955 double wishbones and coil spring front suspension, Ferrari derived gearbox and brakes but laid out new de Dion rear axle geometry using a Watt linkage for lateral location whilst retaining the transverse leaf spring.

All four of the 1955 chassis were torn down to form the basis of the four new cars for 1956 which were numbered VW1/56-VW4/56. The new frame featured round section top and bottom longerons of 1.5 inch diameter tube, at the front a sheet metal fabrication (see photo below) provided a cross member for location of the coil and wishbone suspension setup- the frame was complex and rigid weighing only 87.5 pounds.

One of Chapman’s new frames coming together at VP Maidenhead plant in early 1956- car behind perhaps one of the 1955 cars being reduced to parts?

 

vanwall front

High quality of forgings and fabrication of spaceframe chassis evident. Front cross-member visible, steering arm, top link, radius rod, coil spring/damper unit and Goodyear patented disc brakes (Vandervell Products/The GP Library)

 

Vanwall rear end

Vanwall rear end 1957 with Chapman struts, coil springs and Armstrong dampers.De Dion rear axle with Watts linkage. 5 speed ‘box in unit with diff, see the ducts for the disc brakes. The tail tank is connected to auxiliary tanks mounted alongside the chassis (Automobile Year 5)

Whilst the de Dion rear end was retained the suspension geometry was changed to allow much more negative camber at the rear to enhance the loaded outside tyres adhesion, for 1957 the transverse leaf spring was replaced by ‘Chapman Struts’, coaxial coil springs and locating links.

The most striking feature of the car was its Costin designed, teardrop shaped body. Painstaking attention was devoted to underbody fairing, the elliptical body section was designed to minimise deflection in cross winds and drag. Flush ‘NACA’ ducts were used and the distinctive tall headrest faired a 39 gallon fuel tank with two subsidiary 15 gallon tanks located low on each side of the scuttle.

Engine development continued under Kuzmicki’s direction with Harry Weslake’s oversight, TV focused them on camshafts, cylinder head design, fuel injection control and exhaust systems. New cylinder heads were being cast by Aeroplane and Motor Aluminium Castings the key element of which were larger inlet valves. The power curve of the engine was now much broader than the year before with maximum torque of 218 lb/ft developed at 5000rpm with plenty of punch from as low as 4000rpm, maximum power was 276bhp @ 7300rpm.

The best of everyting was used throughout the machine- Bosch fuel injection, Goodyear disc brakes, Mahle pistons, Porsche designed 5 speed synchromesh gear set for the Ferrari designed gearbox cum final drive- Vandervell didn’t get hung up on the whole ‘only British BRM thing’, simply buying the best when he could not readily or cost-effectively build it.

Harry Schell was joined by Maurice Trintignant that season. The team missed the British season opening non-championship events at Goodwood and Aintree in April but Moss raced one of the cars at the 5 May Silverstone International Trophy, as Officine Maserati, Moss’ team in 1956 had not entered the event- he set fastest time and won the 175 mile race which included amongst a big field the works Lancia-Ferraris of JM Fangio and Peter Collins in a tremendous start to the season. Moss was sufficiently impressed to make himself available whenever he was not bound to Maserati.

Harry Schell, Vanwall VW56, Belgian GP Spa 1956 (MotorSport)

 

Moss during and after the 1956 Silverstone International Trophy win, Vanwall. Note Colin Chapman third from the left, who are the other fellas in shot? (Getty)

 

Harry Schell with a smile upon his face as Taffy von Trips susses out the Vanwall, DNF for Harry and DNS practice prang for the Ferrari driver- Italian GP 1956. Moss won in a 250F. #26 is the Collins/Fangio second placed Ferrari 801

From that point 1956 demonstrated that the Vanwalls were acquiring the pace they needed to win- straight line speed good and traction out of slow corners but reliability and high speed roadholding were to be areas of focus over the winter of 1956-1957.

The team missed the Argentine opening championship round but at Monaco the cars qualified Q5 and Q6- Schell and Trintignant respectively, Harry had an accident on lap 2 after Fangio made a rare mistake upfront and Harry and Luigi Musso were unable to get through and hit the haybales and Maurice had overheating problems as a result of damage to the nose, the cylinder head cracked so he failed to finish.

At Spa they were Q6 and Q7, Schell finished fourth in the race won by Peter Collins’ Lancia-Ferrari D50, encouraging for Vanwall but the car was a long way adrift of the leaders, deficiencies in handling on high speed corners was readily apparent, whilst Trintignant retired with fuel injection mixture problems which caused a misfire.

At Reims Maurice raced the Bugatti T251, an experience which no doubt reinforced the promise of his Vanwall if not its reliability to this point!- Schell was Q4 and DNF engine, he missed a shift due to gearbox problems but then took over Mike Hawthorn’s car, who was having a run with Vanwall on loan from struggling BRM.

Harry caught the leading Ferraris in a splendid display until he had a problem with the fuel injection control rod linkage which caused him to pit but he was still tenth in a plucky, fast display which endeared him even more to his mechanics- Harry was a popular boy at Vanwall. Colin Chapman- tasting the fruits of his labours missed the cut after a collision in practice with Hawthorn when he locked a brake going into Thillois and hit Mike up the chuff.

french 1957

(Unattributed)

Silverstone was next with hopes of a good result at home dashed- both the regular drivers failed to finish with fuel system problems- fuel starvation caused by blockages which was later traced to the sodium silicate used to seal the fuel tanks when manufactured. Schell had started well from Q5 whilst Trintignant was Q16 and guest driver, Froilan Gonzalez- always quick at Silverstone with Q4 failed to get off the line with a broken universal joint in one of the half-shafts- Fangio won in a Lancia-Ferrari D50.

The team missed the Nürburgring with insufficient time to prepare the cars but were back again for Monza, the final round of the championship where Fangio and Ferrari won the titles but where all three Vanwalls retired- Piero Taruffi- Q4 and oil leak and Schell Q10 held second place for quite a while before suffering gearbox failure whilst Trintignant, Q11 was out with a broken front spring mount.

The ultra slippery shape of De Havilland aerodynamicist Frank Costin’s body is shown to good effect in the shot above of Stuart Lewis-Evans at Rouen in 1957. Its practice for the French GP, he retired with steering problems. Brooks and Moss absences gave him his chance in several events, he was quick and reliable, Vandervell signed him on as the teams third driver.

1957 and 1958…

brooks

Tony Brooks, winner of the Belgian GP at Spa 1958. Pictured here at Eau Rouge. Chassis is VW5 the most successful ever British front-engined GP car with five wins to its credit, subsequently dismantled and rebuilt around a fresh frame (Unattributed)

Further evolution of the design took place over the winter, the ‘Chapman Struts’ were fitted and Fichtel & Sachs dampers in place of Armstrongs. The engines were teased to develop 285bhp at 7300rpm with an enormous amount of development work devoted to the problematatic hairpin valve-springs, Rolls Royce’ recommendations as to springs being wound from chrome vanadium wire were given to a German supplier S. Scherdel KG to manufacture after the efforts of George Salter and Co and Herbert Terry & Sons in England had still not overcome persistent breakages. Other areas of engine focus were fuel injection pipe and throttle linkage fracture both of which were caused by the big-fours high-frequency vibrations at 4500 and 7000rpm. By this stage the engine numbers ran to ‘V7′, whereas cylinder head numbers were in the forties.

In terms of the chassis’ used during 1957, the four 1956 cars were retained and modified to the latest specifications by a team of eighteen mechanics, Don Capps wrote that ten were planned for the year, his notes on the cars are as follows- VW1, VW2 never completed, VW3, VW4 won the British GP, VW5 won the Pescara and Italian Grands Prix, VW6 was the Streamliner which was converted back to normal bodywork, VW7, VW8 Lightweight chassis, VW9 Lightweight chassis not assembled during the season and VW10.

Moss signed to drive with Tony Brooks as number two- Stirling tested BRM, Connaught and Vanwall’s 1957 offerings at both Silverstone and Oulton Park, on the same days, before making his decision as to his mount for the season, in so doing two critical elements were put in place- an ace in each car.

Tony Vandervell, without sponsors to whom he would have been in part accountable, again missed the season opening GP at Buenos Aires, Argentina on 13 January where JM Fangio won aboard his Maserati 250F in the season in which he took his fifth and final World Championship.

Vanwall did race at the Siracuse and Goodwood non-championship races in April with both cars showing impressive speed. Moss was Q3 Brooks Q4 in Sicily, they raced at the front when an injection pipe to the number 1 cylinder broke on Stirling’s car caused him to pit- he recovered to third but Brooks retired when the water offtake split causing a misfire and overheating which cracked the head- the race was won by Peter Collins Lancia Ferrari D50.

Before Goodwood a fix for the problems of broken injection pipes and throttle linkages was found in the form of Palmer Aero Products ‘Silvoflex’ high pressure rubber fuel lines which would withstand the 450psi of pressure delivered by the Bosch pump to the injectors. Vandervell realised part of the problem was the overhung nature of the injection pump on the front of the engine- which would have been better mounted elsewhere. This did eventually happen when the engine was adapted for the mid-engined car in 1960. ‘Rose Joints’ made by Rose Bros Ltd provided spherical universal joints to fit the throttle linkage which was also part of the fix.

In the Glover Trophy Stirling started from pole only to DNF again with throttle linkage problems- this time the control rod between the throttle linkage and the injection pump control rack broke on both cars. Tony Brooks started from Q2 and was sixth but 5 laps adrift of the winner, Stuart Lewis-Evans won in a works Connaught B-Type, much to Vandervell’s chagrin, watching from the pits, but Stuart would soon be a permanent part of the Vanwall Team.

Vandervell felt that this problem should have been clear in dyno testing but frustratingly happened only when the cars were competing. Palmer were confident their Silvoflex pipe was strong enough in torsion to be used as a flexible joint in the control rod to the injection pump that had broken at Goodwood- it worked perfectly- problem solved.

Whilst all of the above was happening Stirling Moss suggested some engine changes which would sacrifice a little top-end power for greater mid-range torque at Monaco- this was achieved by a change of cams and valve timing- the two race engines for Monaco gave 275 and 276bhp.

Stirling Moss shot off into the lead of the Monaco GP on 19 May but crashed at The Chicane on lap 4- he felt it was the brakes but the team could find no fault after the race- Tony Brooks started fourth on the grid and finished second despite being hit up the rear by Mike Hawthorn’s Ferrari after Moss’ accident. The two scheduled Grands Prix at Spa and Zandvoort were cancelled after squabbles about money.

Vanwall line up at Abbey Panels early in 1957 (unattributed)

 

Stuart Lewis-Evans on the spectacular, daunting Pescara road circuit in late 1957 (MotorSport)

 

Vanwall Streamliner Reims 1957

Vanwall tested this ‘Streamliner’, chassis VW6, at the Reims GP in July 1957 in practice. The changes were not successful the increase in weight and ‘sighting’ out of the car not greater than the increase in top speed (Automobile Year)

 

Rouen-Les-Essarts French GP Vanwall line up 1957- #18 Stuart Lewis-Evans and #20 Roy Salvadori (MotorSport)

The circus next journeyed to Rouen on 7 July for the French Grand Prix where the Vanwall line up was impacted by Moss suffering sinusitis when he inhaled too much salt water whilst water-skiing and Brooks recovering from leg injuries as a result of an Aston Martin accident at Le Mans.

Stuart Lewis-Evans and Roy Salvadori- who had just left BRM were offered the drives and did well in the unfamiliar cars. Roy Q6 and DNF engine valve springs (the German jobbies) after 25 laps and Stuart Q10 and DNF cracker cylinder head in a race won by Fangio in a display of a man at the height of his powers with delicate, majestic high-speed drifts throughout the French countryside.

A week later, still in France the team contested the Reims GP- Q5 and fifth for Salvadori and Q2 only a smidge behind Fangio and third for Lewis-Evans, who led easily for 20 laps until the sustained high speeds on the straights caused piston ring blowby and oil mist escaped from the crankcase breathers affecting his rear brakes and causing him to ease off allowing Luigi Musso’s Lancia Ferrari D50 to win. This impressive, mature performance led to TV signing Stuart as his third driver.

The ‘Streamliner’ body was tried that weekend in practice, its design was supervised by Frank Costin and built by Abbey Panels in Coventry, the detail work including adaptation to chassis VW6 done by Cyril Atkins. Initially the cars gearing was too tall, whilst both drivers tried the car they focused on the normal bodied machines, the body never to be tried again. Clearly the car should have been tried by the regular drivers familiar with the machines rather than ‘newbees’ without a frame of reference.

In the lead up to the British GP four cars were prepared and two spare engines, one of which had a new head which gave more power between 3500 and 5000rpm whilst still giving the same output at 7200rpm. All of the engines were fitted with British Hepworth and Grundage Hepolite pistons after experiments with German Mahles were finally abandoned.

Vanwall finally broke through in that home race, winning their first championship GP on 20 July at Aintree in a car shared by Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss. Moss qualified on pole, led for 22 laps having caught Jean Behra who made a wonderful start, but retired on lap 51 with magneto or plug trouble (depending upon the source), Brooks was summoned into the pits, he had been having a hard time of it with his legs still not perfect after the Le Mans accident, and Moss raced the car to win in magnificent fashion after Jean Behra’s leading Maserati 250F retired with clutch failure. Stuart had throttle control problems and was disqualified and pitted to rejoin the race and finish seventh.

Off to the Nürburgring the team missed the experience of running the prior year- Moss was Q7 and fifth and Brooks Q5 and ninth whilst Lewis-Evans was Q9 and DNF spin and crash after oil from his gearbox breather got on his rear tyres after 10 laps in one of the best Grands Prix ever when Fangio hunted down and passed the Lancia-Ferraris of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins.

Two races in Italy rounded out the championship season- on the daunting Pescara road circuit on 18 August and at Monza on 8 September. Moss won from second on the grid on the Adriatic Coast course whilst Lewis-Evans was Q8 and fifth and Brooks Q6 and DNF seized piston after one lap.

At Monza Tony Vandervell finally realised his dream of beating The Bloody Red Cars at home, and to top off Moss win the Vanwalls qualified first to third on the grid in the order Lewis-Evans, Moss and Brooks, Stuart DNF leaking cylinder head core plug but led the race for 5 laps further reinforcing his growing maturity as a driver with Brooks a distant seventh after pitting with stuck throttles.

Given that the Moroccan Grand Prix was a championship round in 1958 David Yorke convinced TV to enter the late October race- there Stuart was second from pole and Tony retired with electrical trouble- a faulty magneto, the race won by Jean Behra’s works Maserati 250F by 30 seconds from Lewis-Evans.

The Bloody Red Cars- that front row in that GP! The three Vanwalls on the Monza front row in 1957- this side is Fangio’s Maserati 250F, #6 is Jean Behra, 250F. Lewis-Evans #20 on pole, Brooks #22 fastest lap and Moss #18 the race winner (unattributed)

 

Moss’ Vanwall at Silverstone during the 1958 British Grand Prix, DNF engine after 25 laps, Peter Collins Ferrari 801 won (Getty)

 

germany

Stirling Moss German GP 1958, Vanwall VW4, DNF magneto, teammate Tony Brooks took the win. Vanwall VW4  (Unattributed)

Alcohol fuels were banned for 1958 causing big problems for Vanwall and BRM both of whom used ‘big banger’ four cylinder engines which needed the cooling effect of the alcohol- as a consequence the engine power dropped from 290bhp on alcohol to 278bhp on ‘pump fuel’, to get there is easy to write but was a considerable engineering undertaking.

Changes to the engine involved investigation of cam profiles, three and four valve heads and water injection- changes to port shapes, valve timing and metering cams were the mix of modifications which in the end allowed the engines to get along with less friendly fuel. The Ferrari Dino was reckoned to have circa 286bhp but Italian dynos’ have always been a bit ‘eager’.

Weight saving was investigated but the cars were already light, the rear of the car was also re-profiled slightly by Frank Costin, cast alloy wheels were adopted but often Borrani wires were preferred especially at the front where they gave greater driver ‘feel’.

The chassis used in 1958 were the 1957 machines with detail modifications to the suspension and bodywork. Capps notes, again, as follows- VW1-VW3 and VW8 were not assembled and used for spares, VW4 won the German GP and was destroyed at Casablanca (Lewis-Evans) VW5 won the Belgian, Italian and Moroccan Grands Prix, VW6, VW7, VW9 and VW10 which won the Dutch and Portuguese GP’s.

Given the time taken to make all of the modifications to the engines to meet the new pump fuel regulations, the 19 January Argentine Grand Prix was missed as were the early non-championship events but Stirling Moss made hay whilst the sun shone winning the race in Rob Walker’s Cooper T43 Climax 1960cc against all of the odds and won a famous victory- the first championship win for a mid-engined car.

Moss tested the first of the modified cars at Silverstone at the end of April, well prior to Monaco on 18 May. There Brooks ran in second from pole to Behra’s BRM P25 until he retired when stripped thread caused a spark plug to blow out of the head. poor Behra retired and Moss led (Q8) but retired on lap 38 when a valve cap came off whilst Lewis-Evans retired on lap 12 form Q7 when a warped cylinder head joint failed. Maurice Trintignant won in one of Walker’s Cooper T43 Climax’.

Zandvoort was the following weekend with the three Vanwalls up front- Lewis-Evans from Moss and Brooks. Stirling won despite limiting his revs to 7200 given sagging oil pressure on right-handers, Tony retired after 13 laps with handling problems and Stuart finished 46 laps before a broken valve spring holder intervened.

At Spa Mike Hawthorn was on pole in his Ferrari Dino 246 with Moss Q3, Brooks Q4 and Lewis-Evans Q11. Moss was out on the first lap having muffed a gear, bending valves then Tony Brooks took the lead and battled with the Ferraris to win whilst Stuart was third. It was felt that the Vanwalls had more power on the climb from up from Stavelot but the Ferrari’s higher top speed gave them the edge on the downhill straight to the Masta Kink.

Zandvoort 1958 front row- Lewis-Evans at left on pole, then Moss and Brooks at right (Unattributed)

 

The Moss, and winning Brooks Vanwalls are pushed onto the Monza grid in 1958- feel the vibe (John Ross)

 

Brooks at Spa in 1958- alloy wheels front and rear this weekend- he won in VW5 (MotorSport)

Another fast circuit followed- Reims on 6 July. Mike Hawthorn led the race from pole with Moss second from Q6- he was slowed by a misfire between 6400-6800rpm and was down about 10mph to the Italian car in top speed. Brooks retired with valve problems from Q5 after 16 laps and Lewis-Evans was out after 35 laps- a broken inlet valve, he started from grid 10.

In France the Vanwalls were in trouble with warping cylinder heads given the impact of Avgas, two engines dropped valves resulting in pre-race rebuilds. TV had a major standoff with his valve supplier, Motor Components Ltd, given ongoing breakages especially of the sodium-filled inlet valves, that Vandervell Products struck out on their own importing equipment from the US to become self-sufficient by the seasons end.

The Ferraris mid-season renaissance continued at Silverstone where Peter Collins won from Mike Hawthorn. Stirling started from pole, but another broken valve ended his run after 25 laps, Stuart was fourth (Q7) and  Brooks seventh (Q9) despite his car having a trip back to Acton to have the head lifted and valves re-ground, with neither ever really in the hunt.

Experiments were ongoing at Maidenhead to try and solve the valve problem with different materials with some spectacular failures taking a toll on the stock of heads, causing a shortage of engines, as a consequence only two cars were entered at the Nürburgring, Stuart was a spectator for the weekend.

Vanwall were much more competitive in Germany in early August than in 1957 when they paid for their absence in 1956, Tony Brooks qualified second and Stirling Moss third. Moss led comfortably from the start going easy on the revs- 7000-7100 when the usually reliable magneto shorted after 3 laps, Brooks took up the chase of Collins and Hawthorn, gaining on the back part of the daunting circuit, passing one after the other under brakes for a rather well- timed win.

Oil coolers were fitted to the front of all three Vanwalls- they were back to full strength at Oporto on August 24 with Moss winning from pole- he and Hawthorn battled for the lead until lap 8 when Mike’s drum brakes began to fade allowing Stirling to pull away. Stuart was third from grid three but Tony spun and was unable to restart from Q5 having completed 37 laps.

At Monza in a marvellous weekend Tony Brooks won the race and with it secured the Manufacturers Championship with one round at Morocco still to run.

Vanwall had transported the cars direct from Portugal to Italy before removing the engines to be rebuilt back in the UK. The oil coolers were still fitted and Stirling tried a Perspex canopy over the cockpit in practice but it only gave 50rpm more on the straight so he elected not to run it- he muffed a shift requiring an engine change too. He battled for the lead with Hawthorn, Mike’s car fitted with disc brakes for the first time but Stirling retired with a seized bush on the gearbox mainshaft. Then Brooks (Q2) pitted because of an oil leak from a burst driveshaft gaiter but nothing could be done so he had to nurse his tyres to the finish, which he did- and took a well judged win despite Hawthorn coming out of the pits in front of him, but his Ferrari was suffering from a slipping clutch. Lewis-Evans retired with overheating caused by a leaking head joint.

The final race of 1958 in Morocco is where we came in…

As stated earlier, whilst Moss missed out on the drivers title to Hawthorn by one point, Vanwall won the inaugural Constructors Championship.

End of The Beginning of Dominance of The Green Cars…

moss and vandervell

Moss and Vandervell share the spoils of victory, Pescara GP, Italy 1957 (Unattributed)

For Vandervell it was ‘mission accomplished’ and whilst Vanwall raced on they did so without the full campaign of previous years.

Vandervell took the death of Lewis-Evans very hard and his own health was failing given the huge pressure of running his various enterprises. He announced the teams withdrawal from full-time competition on 12 January 1959, they raced four times in the final three years, its swansong was the rear engined Intercontinental Formula car competing in May 1961 at Silverstone.

It wasn’t quite that simple though, many of the key team members were retained, the four cylinder engines still ran on the Maidenhead test benches doing engine research, an advance after the cars last raced were cylinder barrels which screwed into the head solving fire-joint sealing.

Vandervell offered Brooks a retainer to stay with the team in case he decided to change his decision but Tony unsurprisingly raced on with Ferrari but he did race VW5 at the 1959 British GP when a strike at Ferrari meant they did not race at Aintree. He raced a modified version of VW5 to the same general specs of 1958 except that the engine, prop shaft, seating position and bodywork had been lowered and some weight removed- in addition more torque had been extracted throughout the rev range but the car was ‘not a shadow of the racing car he had driven in 1958. Even a team as professional as Vanwall could not gear up and suddenly be competitive’ Bill Ben wrote.

Brooks put the car on the third row of the grid but was outpaced in the race with a misfire- he retired, Jack Brabham’s works Cooper T51 Climax FPF took the win- times had moved on.

He also raced the car in the 1960 Glover Trophy at Goodwood for seventh with Brooks advising they were wasting their time on a 1958 design and that they should concentrate on a mid-engined car. To that end a Lotus 18, chassis ‘901’ was bought, the Vanwall engine was mated to the Lotus gearbox, Brooks tested it at Snetterton but work on the front- engine cars continued.

Vanwall engine installation- very neat and cohesive, in Lotus 18 chassis ‘901’ (GP Library)

 

Tony Brooks in VW11 at Reims, 1960 French GP (Unattributed)

 

vanwall vw11

Naked Vanwall VW11 in the Reims paddock 1960 (Unattributed)

Valerio Colotti was hired to design a 5 speed gearbox and independent rear suspension for a new front engined car and to help design a mid-engine machine, Valerio worked in Acton to expedite the process.

Post Goodwood VW5 was modified by fitment of the new IRS- that famous machine, sadly, was then broken up to donate bits for Colotti’s new front-engined machine which was given the VW11 chassis number. This ‘Lowline’ was lighter and lower than the cars which went before and had considerably less frontal area as the gearbox was aft of the driver, he was not sitting atop it as before. The engine was tweaked to give almost 280bhp- no details have been released as to how this was achieved.

Tony Brooks then raced Vanwall VW11 in the 1960 French GP at Reims on 3 July with a less powerful engine fitted.

He qualified the new  but still outdated car thirteenth, 6.5 seconds adrift of pole, retiring on lap 7 with a vibration from the rear having been hit up the chuff by another car at the start. That year Brooks drove most of the season in British Racing Partnership year old Cooper T51 Climaxes and was prodigiously fast amongst newer Cooper T53s.

In terms of progress on the mid-engined front, whilst the team proceeded with Vanwall’s own design, Brooks raced the Lotus 18 Vanwall in the September 1960 Lombank Trophy race at Snetterton with the car showing good pace until valve trouble intervened causing a non-start- 280bhp was claimed for this 2.5 litre F1 engine.

vw14

(Hall & Hall)

The Vanwall VW14, built for the 1961 Intercontinental Formula, was finally competed in 1961 and finished to the usual standards of Vanwall build quality and presentation.

It was fitted with 2.6 litre Vanwall engine variant and a 5 speed Colotti Type 24 transaxle fitted with VP internals.

John Surtees was entered in the new car to contest the Silverstone International Trophy Intercontinental Formula meeting on the 6 May 1961 weekend.

After driving the car Surtees expressed the view that the Vanwall engine was potentially better than the all-conquering Coventry Climax FPF but found the fuel injection tricky to set up to avoid flat-spots. He ran second in the race before spinning in the tricky conditions and then had to pit to have debris removed from the radiator- he finished fifth, in this, the final race appearance of a Vanwall ‘in period’.

Stirling Moss won from Jack Brabham and Roy Salvadori, all three aboard Cooper T53 Climax’.

surtees

Surtees, VW14, Silverstone May 1961 (Getty)

 

Vanwall VW14

Vanwall VW14, the very last car. John Surtees at the Silverstone International Trophy in May 1961. He qualified the 2.6 litre engined ‘Intercontinental Formula’ car 6th, ran second, spun and finished 5th in Vanwalls’ last race as a factory team (Unattributed)

VW14 was entered in the British Empire Trophy race at Silverstone on 8 July with Jack Brabham at the wheel when Surtees’ team, Yeoman Credit, refuse to release him for the race- Jack did good times in practice but declined to race the car as he didn’t like its handling. What a shame Vanwall did not get the benefit of some chassis development sessions overseen by Brabham! With no other top-liners available Vandervell withdrew the entry, and that, sadly, was that.

A final note in terms of the chassis count in the concluding years of the race program, again using information from Don Capps’ 8W Forix piece.

At the end of the 1958 championship winning season three chassis were retained and the balance broken up- VW5 was rebuilt as we have just covered, VW9 was kept as a show car by VP and VW10 was used for testing purposes but rebuilt in 1960 to 1958 specifications for demonstration purposes.

VW11 was a new car built from VW5 components as a ‘Lowline’ and after being raced by Brooks was dismantled and retained by the team. VW12 was the Lotus 18 chassis ‘901’ which was sold as a rolling chassis, and VW14 was the mid-engined Intercontinental Formula car raced by John Surtees, then rebuilt as a Mk2 variant but never raced in that form and ultimately restored as raced by Surtees at Silverstone.

Vanwall VW14 Mk2 Intercontinental as shown in a contemporary press shot- the car was unraced in this form (Vandervell Products)

 

Etcetera and somewhat at random- Thin Wall and Vanwall…

 

 

(goodwood.com)

GA Vandervell with Giuseppe Farina during the 1952 Goodwood Trophy weekend on 27 September 1952. Ferrari 375 Thinwall Spl – DNS the feature race but did finish second in the ‘Woodcote Cup’ 5 lapper behind Froilan Gonzalez’ BRM V16 who also won the feature race from Reg Parnell’s BRM.

(John Ross)

Journalist/author Graham Gauld points the direction of Aintree travel to Stuart Lewis-Evans during the 1957 British GP. Bucket, spade and pile of dirt to deal with fires and errant pools of lubricant/coolant. Interesting shot, i like it.

(MotorSport)

Tony Brooks, second place at Monaco in 1957, beautiful shot Quayside- Vanwall VW57, Fangio won in a Maserati 250F.

(Unattributed)

Moss on the hop using all the Aintree road and a little bit more during the wonderful 20 July 1957 British GP in which he shared VW4 to win the race together with Tony Brooks- the first championship GP win for Vanwall.

(Unattributed)

Moss and Lewis Evans after the finish at Aintree in 1957- must be a parade lap as Stuart’s race ended after completing 82 laps and Tony Brooks below in VW4 before handing it over to Moss.

(MotorSport)

 

Nino Farina winning the Formula Libre support race during the 18 July 1953 British GP meeting at Silverstone- Ferrari 375 Thinwall 4.5 V12.

Farina won from the two BRM Mk1 P15 V16s of JM Fangio and Ron Flockhart- the Italian finished twelve seconds in front of Fangio in the 17 lap half hour race. Vandervell’s Thin Wall plan plan was in part to give BRM a competitive car to race against when he acquired the first Ferrari, over the ensuing years he certainly achieved that aim!

Note the disc brake on the left-front, it would be a while before the factory cars went down this path…

Vanwall VW10 front

(Doug Nye ‘History of The Grand Prix Car’

Vanwall VW10 ‘stripped’.

Chapman spaceframe chassis, four cylinder DOHC engine, tail and cockpit fuel tanks, under-seat transaxle, this 1957 car has Chapman struts at the rear- further technical details as per the text.

James Allington period cutaway drawing of the car as raced in 1957 and published in ‘Automobile Year 5’

Vanwall VW10 rear

(Doug Nye “History of The Grand Prix Car’

Vanwall VW10.

Ferrari derived transaxle, cockpit layout, rear and twin side fuel tanks and radius rods to locate rear suspension fore/aft all visible, again, further technical details as per text.

(MotorSport)

Mano e mano- first lap of the 1957 Monaco GP with Fangio’s Maserati 250F from pole in front of the Moss Vanwall on the outside and Peter Collins’ big Ferrari 801 menacing from the inside- first, DNF accident times two the outcome.

vanwall types

 

(MotorSport)

Harry Schell dives into La Source at Spa in 1956, Vanwall VW56- he was fourth in the race won by Peter Collins Lancia Ferrari D50 from local boy, Paul Frere’s similar car.

Vanwall VW6 Reims

(Automobile Year)

The Reims ‘Streamliner’, chassis VW6, was tried in practice only during the French GP weekend in 1957. I wonder what, precisely, the difference in lap times was? Attractive up front, not so much so at the other end where the design does not look so fully resolved. Ferrari 801 in the background.

cockpit

(Unattributed)

Cockpit by the standards of the day is comfortable, swivelling face level vents to keep the driver alive in the carefully faired space, the gearbox notoriously difficult to use. The car was very fast but not as forgiving to Moss as a 250F. Car needed the best to get the best from it. This is chassis VW9 in modern times.

(Unattributed)

John Surtees in VW14 during the rather damp Intercontinental Formula Silverstone International Trophy in May 1961- second place, a spin in the wet, finished fifth in the race won by Stirling Moss’ Rob Walker Cooper T53P Climax.

(Getty-Keystone)

Alberto Ascari races the Ferrari 125 V12 s/c Thinwall during the 26 August 1950 Silverstone International Trophy meeting. Alberto did not start the final after an accident in heat 2- Giuseppe Farina won it in an Alfa Romeo 158.

manza 57

(Unattributed)

The Vanwall Team in the Monza paddock 1957- Moss won the Italian GP in ‘VW5’.

col

I’ve done the cutaway drawings to death in this article! But here is another variation on the theme, artist unknown- inclusion of the brackets does emphasise just how many attachment points there are!

(Unattributed)

Stirling Moss hooks his Vanwall into a fast left-hander on the Adriatic Coast course out of Pescara during his victorious 1957 Grand Prix drive.

(John Ross)

Stuart Lewis-Evans, with perhaps a tad more understeer than he may want, from Harry Schell, BRM P25 during the 1958 British GP at Silverstone- fourth and fifth place battle, Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn were up front in Ferrari 801s.

I wonder what Harry thought of the merits of the two four cylinder British GP cars of the later 2.5 litre F1 period- ‘his’ Vanwall and BRMs?

fang

(The Cahier Archive)

This shot shows the relative height of the Vanwall, which was very tall, the driver sitting atop the drive-shaft.

Fangio is alongside and in his last grand prix in a works-Maserati 250F ‘Piccolo’ and finished fourth. Moss in VW 10 was second in the race won by Hawthorn’s Ferrari Dino 246- French GP, Reims 1958.

(Unattributed)

Aerodynamic testing of during 1958- I wonder which wind-tunnel was used for the purpose? Note the wire/alloy wheel combination being tested.

tea

(Unattributed)

A spot of tea at what appears to be a Silverstone test session, circa 1957, Moss up.

(goodwood.com)

Peter Collins bustles his Ferrari 375 Thinwall into Madgwick at Goodwood in 1953- he set lap records in the car in the June and September meetings that year at 1:32.6- 93.30mph and 1:32.2- 93.71mph.

(J Saltinstall)

Oporto, Portugal 1958- Moss, Hawthorn, Ferrari Dino 246 and Jean Behra, BRM P25. First, second and fourth in the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Etcetera: Moroccan GP 1958…

hawthorn morocco

(Unattributed)

Too many great photos, so lets not let them go to waste. Mike Hawthorn, Ferrari Dino 246.

hill g

(Unattributed)

Graham Hill finished sixteenth and last in the Lotus 16 Climax, whilst his teammate Cliff Allison was tenth in the earlier Lotus 12 Climax.

The Lotus 16 was also designed by Colin Chapman and immediatley branded the ‘Mini Vanwall’, the same concepts were applied by Chapman and Frank Costin who did the aerodynamics.

The car was much lower than Vanwall, the engine was ‘canted’ in an offset way to allow the driveshaft to be located beside the driver rather than him sit atop it. But the Coopers had arrived, the Lotus 16 was an ‘also ran’ in 1959, whilst the Lotus 18, when Chapman applied himself to the mid-engined approach then vaulted the marque forward.

masten

(Unattributed)

Masten Gregory was a great sixth in the by then ageing Maserati 250F .

stu

(Unattributed)

Stuart Lewis-Evans in Vanwall VW4 on that sad day at Morocco 1958.

Photo Credits…

The Cahier Archive, Stirling Moss Archive, The GP Library, Walter Wright Illustrations, Louis Klemantaski, The Autocar, James Allington cutaway drawing, Jesse Alexander, Automobile Year 5, Stephen Dalton Collection, Vic Berris, Hall & Hall, Getty Images, JARROTTS.com, Motor Cycling September 1951, MotorSport, John Ross Motor Racing Archive, goodwood.com, John Saltinstall Collection, GP Library

Bibliography…

‘8W Forix’ Vanwall articles by Ron Rex and Don Capps which are linked early in this piece, ‘The History of The Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye

Tailpieces…

poster

 

(MotorSport)

Tail shot for the tailpiece…

Tony Brooks’ Vanwall chasing Ron Flockharts’ BRM P25 during the 1957 Monaco classic, not a lot of time to take in the quite stunning view I guess. Tony was second behind Fangio’s 250F whilst Ron’s engine cried enough after completing 60 laps.

Finito…

image

Despite its sculptured Scaglietti flanks, never has an 860 Monza looked quite so good…actress Linda Christian adorns Fon de Portago’s Ferrari

The Marquis Alfonso De Portago, Spanish nobleman and journey-man driver was accompanied by Linda Christian at the 1957 Cuban Grand Prix sports car event.

Fidel Castro’s insurgents were on the move in the countryside but for the Batista’s’ life went on. Keen to attract wealthy American tourists to the country to pump much needed funds into their moribund economy, an annual motor race was part of a plan to raise Cuba’s profile and provide an event to attract the punters.

malecon
Out of focus and slightly surreal as a result…Fangio in his Maserati 300S, Malecon Boulevard, Havana, 1957 (Hy Peskin Collection)
cuba 2
Wonderful panorama of Havanas Malecon circuit. 14 is the Phil Hill Ferrari 857S, De Portago’s Monza behind it with Linda Christian alighting. #16 also a Ferrari, driver unknown (Pinterest)

Ferrari 860 Monza…

port
‘Fon De Portago Ferrari 860 Monza, unprotected nature of the circuit clear, seven spectators were killed in the 1958 event (Pinterest)

The 860 Monza was Ferrari’s front line sports car weapon, together with the V12 290MM in 1956.

It was part of the family of sports cars built over much of the ’50’s based on the Lampredi designed DOHC, two valve, Weber carbed four cylinder engine which first found success in the Tipo 500 F2/F1 cars. Ascari won the World Drivers Championship in 1952 and 1953 in the Tipo 500.

The engine gave circa 310bhp from its 3431cc, gearbox was four speed. The usual Ferrari ladder frame of the period was used, drum brakes all round stopped the relatively light car which tipped the scales at 860kg. The cars curvaceous body was built by Scaglietti.

Independent front suspension by wishbones and coil springs was new for the 860, and effective. A De Dion rear axle was at the rear, sprung by a transverse leaf spring.

 Three cars were built, the model’s most notable victories were at the ’56 Sebring 12 Hours and the Rouen GP.

port 3
The field before lining up pre grid on Malecon Avenue, Havana

The Race and Aftermath…

grid
On the front row, De Portago Ferrari Monza, Phil Hill Fazz 857S Monza and Schell in the yellow Maser 300S, all the fun of the fair, over 100,000 spectators (Pinterest)

De Portago fought a race long battle with Fangio’s 300S and Carroll Shelby’s Ferrari 410, finishing third on the Havana waterfront street circuit.

The public relations opportunities for Batista evaporated when the Presidential motorcade, enroute to his palace, was confronted by a relatively small group of ‘natives’ seeking favours from the President. Armed escorts beat them with unbelievable ferocity and brutality. This fueled the flames of the resistance movement further .

port 4
Start of the race, Moss Maserati 300S, D Type Jag #24 of local driver Alfonso Gomez-Mena (Pinterest)
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Fangio #2 passes De Portago who is slowing a bit on lap 69 in Parque Mart. Maserati 300S and Ferrari Monza (Pinterest)

Jumping forward a year Fangio was kidnapped at gunpoint from his hotel the evening before the race by the rebels. He was returned to the Argentinian Embassy after the abortive event in which 40 spectators were injured and seven died after local driver Armando Cifuentes lost control of his Ferrari and ploughed into the unprotected crowd.

The race lasted 15 minutes or six laps, Stirling Moss was declared the winner in his Maserati 300S.

Fangio was later to say he was never concerned for his safety, he was held in a comfortably appointed apartment, was fed well, given a radio to listen to the race, and was personally apologised to by Castro’s second in command.

Joe Sheppard races to victory at Ala-Mar in 1959 aboard Porsche 550RS #550A-0144. (J Shea Collection)

In 1959 a four hour race held around a 2.8-mile course at Ala-Mar, a Havana suburb, was won by ‘The Tampa Hotshoe’, Joe Sheppard and Fritz Schiedel in a Porsche 550RS. It was Sheppard’s first race in his new car – very familiar though he was with 550s – so it was quite a debut! Schiedel was Sheppard’s mechanic.

With Castro’s revolution in its final stages, in 1960 he had power, anxious to create a sense of normality, the race proceeded, albeit on a circuit at army Camp Freedom, Moss was the winner in a Maserati Birdcage.

Such grubby bourgeois activities as motor racing ceased and Camp Freedom was used to house the sort of people who attended such events…

city
The beauty of the city and enthusiasm of the crowd, and its size come thru in all these shots! De Portago, Ferrari Monza 860 (Pinterest)

Linda Christian and De Portago…

Linda Christian was a successful Mexican/ American actor who starred in the first TV adaptation of the Bond novel Casino Royale and in Tarzan, amongst many others. She was with De Portago during that fateful Mille Miglia weekend later in 1957.

De Portago kissed Christian, jumped into his Ferrari 335S, and 70km before Brescia the car blew a tyre, ploughed into the crowd killing Portago, co-driver Ed Nelson, nine spectators and the Mille Miglia.

portage
De Portago and Phil Hill before the race, Havana 1957 (Pinterest)

Etcetera…

pits
Hill/O’Shea Ferrari 857S Monza, Malecon Circuit pits, Cuba 1957 (Pinterest)
image
The Castellotti Ferrari 290MM, V12 engined compared with the Monza four cylinder engine, both were Ferrari works 1956 Sports Car Championship entries. Castellotti in yellow polo shirt. (Pinterest)
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‘Chicken-plucker’ Carroll Shelby in trademark farmers overalls in the third place Ferrari 410, 1957 would be a great year for him. (Pinterest)
start
Military very much to the fore. Fangio Maserati 300S #2 and Castellotti Ferrari 290MM #10 (Pinterest)
fang 2
Juan Manuel Fangio beside his Maserati 300S in Cuba at the start of his final full season of racing in 1957. He drove for Maserati in both Sports and Grand Prix events, winning his fifth F1 World Title in the fabulous, and by that time evergreen Maserati 250F; that car finally getting the title it long deserved (Pinterest)
moss
Moss Maserati 300S beside the John Edgar owned #78 Ferrari 4.9 driven by Carini (Pinterest)
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Hill/O’Shea Ferrari 857S Monza, Cuba 1957. Paul O’Shea checking out the engine (Pinterest)
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malecon 3
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Fangio after the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix and release by his Castro captors…(Pinterest)
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It is not recorded if Che and Fidel attended one of Cuba’s Grands Prix…
Entry list for the 1960 event at Camp Freedom (J Shea Collection)
circuit
poter

Photo and Other Credits…

Pinterest, Havana May Blogspot, Hy Peskin Collection, John Shea

Finito…


Chapp

Fabulous shot of the Mike Spence/Phil Hill Chaparral 2F Chev at La Source hairpin, Spa-Francorchamps, May 1967. 

The cars automatic gearbox failed in a race won by the Ickx/Thompson/Rees Mirage M1 Ford. 1967 was the last year of the 7-litre ‘monsters’, the CSI mandated a 5-litre limit from ’68.

Ford started the ’67 season with their new Ford GT MkIV and then left the scene having won Le Mans twice on the trot. ‘Mission accomplished’ in a sense. Ferrari won the championship from Porsche by two points in a season of grids comprising Ferrari P3/4, Porsche 910, Lola T70 , Ford GT40’s , Alfa Romeo T33 , Mirage M1 and Matra M630- truly a sportscar season to savour.

le mans 67 start

As Mike Spence buckles up his seatbelt in the Chaparral 2F Chev, second on the grid, he is surrounded by FoMoCo vehicles; #1 the victorious Gurney/Foyt, #3 Bianchi/Andretti and Hulme/Ruby Mk4’s, and the #5 Gardner/McCluskey and Schlesser/Ligier Mk2’s…not a Ferrari close by! (Unattributed)

The 2F was consistently quick throughout the season but often the transmission main drive-bearing failed. Both Hill and Spence were popular Chaparral team members. Of Hill, Jim Hall said ‘Phil was a great guy with a lot of talent and really fun to work with because he understood a lot of what was going on.’

“I think he was probably as good as anybody at making the car finish. He’d put many cars together himself and knew how everything was made and how to take care of it. He was a great endurance driver for other reasons, but for that reason too. When we got near the Can-Am season in 1966 we decided we’d offer Phil a drive. He was a great guy to have on your team – he pulled for you and worked for you. And in the endurance races he was our man. I think Phil enjoyed driving for us, we just had a good relationship.”

Phil Hill never raced again after his ’67 Brands 6 Hour victory, a great way to bow out after such a career of achievement. ‘It was absolutely satisfying to win that race at Brands Hatch…in retrospect there couldn’t be a better way to finish a career could there?’ he said.

The 1967 Endurance Season is covered in full in this article on the Ferrari P4…https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

phil hill

Phil Hill pondering 2F transmission dramas at Le Mans 1967. Mike Spence sans helmet behind him. (Dave Friedman)

Hall also had great respect for Spence, who was killed at Indianapolis in May 1968 in a Lotus 56. “I really thought a lot of Mike. He was an awfully talented driver, very quick and a smart guy who worked hard. He was a good fit for Chaparral too. It takes the right kind of person to be on your team who fits in with your people and how they work and Mike fitted us well and was a joy to work with.”

Designer/Driver/Engineer Jim Hall’s cars bristled with innovation. The winged, 7-litre Chevrolet engined, fibreglass monocoque, auto ‘tranny Chaparrals thrilled European spectators and finally won a ’67 race, the Brands Hatch 6 Hour event in July before returning to their Midland, Texas base and the US Can-Am Championship from whence they came.

chapp spa

2F at rest, Spa pits 1967. Hill talks about set-up with Jim Hall. Note the front lip or splitter. Spence put the car on pole at 3:31:5, quick enough for sixth on the GP grid that June…in a car designed for 24 hour events. OK its 7-litres, but remarkable all the same. (Unattributed)

Innovative Chaparral 2F Chev…

The 2F was a massive departure from previous Chaparrals’ even by their standards.

chap 2f aero

This drawing neatly shows the Chap 2F key aero elements; cars shape, front spring loaded flap, you can just see the chin lip spoiler used on some tracks at the front. Rear mounted rads and beautiful ducting in and out and the movable high rear wing, to alter between download and neutral positions. (Brian Hatton)

The car featured hip mounted radiators to better position weight, this had the bi-product of keeping the cockpit cooler. The 5-year old 2A chassis had special mouldings bonded to it to create the square sided shape, the transformations were such that they were effectively new. To provide bodywork strength, sections were laid up in female moulds with 4-oz cloth and epoxy resin and ¼ in PVC foam. In areas where strength wasn’t required the fibreglass was very thin. Firestone developed wider tyres for ’67 which required wider bodywork. The actual chassis was covered by flat panels on either side, these were ‘skins’ with empty space between them and the old chassis.

Externally, only the central cab section looked the same. A new body profile was evolved in the form of a wedge to generate downforce. At the rear the body tapered away to a ‘spindle shape’ with a ‘chopped off tail’.

To balance downforce at the front a similar type of high mounted wing as was used on the ’66 2E Can-Am car was used, mounted directly to the rear uprights. The wing was connected to a foot pedal, and via hydraulics allowed the driver to have feathered ‘lo-drag’ or maximum downforce modes. Should anything go wrong with the feathering mechanism, or the driver needed his left foot for the brakes, the car went to fail safe maximum downforce, understeer mode.

The front opening contained a spring-loaded flap or duct that opened against air pressure when speeds exceeded 120mph, this helped balance aerodynamic loads front to rear.

The body floated free on its springs devoid of practically any downforce which was applied directly to the uprights by the monster rear wing. As the nose of the car pitched forward more front downforce was generated, at 150mph the nose compressed the front suspension, the trapdoor or flap opened progressively at 120-140mph at which point the car would then settle to its appropriate ride height front/rear.

2f naked at le mans

2F naked at Le Mans for its transmission repair. Big wing and its mount direct to rear suspension uprights, note forward facing support strut. Mid mounted radiators, seat belt in the cockpit, radiator header tank, bell mouths of Chev/Weber carbs, spare wheel housing, exhaust ducting. ‘Le Mans’ number lights, 12X16 inch Chap alloys and big, wide Firestones. (Albert Bochroch)

Chaparral modelled both aluminium Chev 327CID  and 427CID engines- different car weight limits were applicable under the regulations. They considered the existing Can-Am aluminium chassis with 5-litre engine, and a fibreglass chassis car with the bigger 7-litre ‘lump’. The 5.4-litre engine could have been ‘de-stroked’. Simulations showed the latest staggered valve ‘porcupine’ 7-litre Chev, cast in aluminium was the faster option. It weighed 85lbs more then the ‘smallblock’ but gave around 100bhp more. The engine used Weber style 58 IDM carburetors built by Chev and gave circa 575bhp @ 7500 rpm.

The Chaparral’s GM automatic transaxle was upgraded to three speeds but the ‘box was at its limits. The increased power and torque proved the gearbox was the packages weak link- this was feared by Chaparral from the start of the 2F program. GM simply did not want to build a new transmission and hoped internal changes could cope with the 7- litres greater torque, but this was not the case.

There is a lot of mystique about the transmission. Pete Lyons, in his ‘Profile Publications’ article on the Chaparral ‘Glassfibre Cars’ described it as follows, “It was laid out much like a Hewland with 2 speeds and later 3 and an hydraulic coupling, a torque convertor instead of a clutch.”

“The gears were simple straight-cut spurs engaged by sliding dog clutches; every second dog was cut back a little to assist the clutchless changes. The changes were all done manually, the driver easing his throttle foot to unload the dogs and snatching the gear as quickly as he could. It therefore wasn’t really an automatic transmission, it was a fluid clutch transmission. The engine was always started with a gear engaged, the driver preventing a lunge forward by firm pressure with his left foot. At…5000rpm the coupling was designed to lock up rigidly to prevent further slip and power loss. Sensitive drivers could feel this happening.”

The advantages of the ‘box were better modulation of braking, on down changes the fluid coupling lessened any tendency of the rear wheels to lock, finally the fluid coupling absorbed many shock loads such as a ‘yump’ landing, common at the time.

2f

Superb James Allington cutaway of the 2F showing all of its innovations : fibreglass monocoque, wing, automatic transmission, 7-litre aluminium block Chev…1967 remember. Simply superb innovative design and execution by Jim Hall and his Texas Team (James Allington)

Jim Hall’s attention to weight saving was fanatical, the car weighed 1750lbs wet, 600lbs less! than the Ford MkIV. This was due to the fibreglass chassis, aluminium rather than (Ford) iron block engine. The batteries were of very expensive cadmium from the aerospace industry.

The body was made of a sandwich of 1/4 inch thick PVC foam between thin skins of ‘4oz cloth’ impregnated with Shell epoxy resin which was formed to shape in a vacuum bag apparatus and then cured at room temperature. Sylvania made new quartz iodide lights using hand made bulbs in Marchal reflectors.

The whole car was built to exceptionally high aerospace standards of quality and finish.

hall chap 2g

Jim Hall in his 1967 Can-Am challenger, the Chaparral 2G Chev at Bridgehampton. DNF chassis failure. The McLaren M6 Chevs were dominant that year, Robin Herd, the M6 designer freely acknowledged the effect Halls’ designs, especially the 2E, the first car with the high wing had on him. Hulme won the race in his M6A. (Pete Lyons)

Jim Hall and Aerodynamics…

Gordon Kirby interviewed Jim Hall in 2008, he published these comments by Hall about his seminal aerodynamic work in the mid-sixties.

“We calibrated the suspension by just rolling the car out and putting weights on it so we knew what load it took to move the car up and down. We had a cable drive that drove a pencil and a roll of paper that was run by a little motor so you could set your zero point. You would go out and make a run and push a button and make a mark across the paper so we knew what the front and rear downforce was. You could run a couple of different speeds and then you could put it on a graph. You knew that it was increasing as the square of the speed so you knew what the curve looked like and you pretty much had the downforce over a speed range. That was pretty simple to do.”

Hall’s method of measuring the air pressure or downforce on the surface of his car’s wings or bodywork was equally simple in concept. “The other thing we did was when we needed to change the surface we had a manometer that was just a bunch of u-tubes made out of tigon tubing and full of coloured water,” Hall related. “If you were in a sportscar you put it in the seat beside you and then went out and tapped a bunch of holes in the paper. You ran these to one side of the tubes and ran the other one to a pitot tube so you could get the dynamic air pressure on the surface.”

“I originally did it with a Polaroid camera. I had a Polaroid camera mounted on the dash and the manometer mounted on the seat back beside me. I didn’t even have a pitot tube for a static pressure source. I read in a book somewhere that a guy in WWI thought about doing this. The way he thought about doing it was you took a thermos bottle and put a piece of tubing in it and right before you made the test you opened it up then closed it so you had static air pressure in it. Then you went out to make your run and compared it to the pressures you got, then opened it and made sure it didn’t change. In a matter of about twenty minutes that thermos bottle would maintain an even enough temperature that the pressure wouldn’t change much. So you had some static pressure while you were sitting in the pit and you also had static pressure when you were going down the straightaway. It’s simple-minded, but pretty tricky! And that’s the way we started.”

“Then we bought a light airplane pitot tube and mounted it out front of the car. We found a static pressure place where we could run that pitot tube that matched the thermos. Then we had a static pressure source all the time.’

Thus began the serious science of racing car aerodynamics. Of course, Hall had no idea about the depth of the pandora’s box he was opening but he is without doubt the father of the modern aerodynamically-driven racing car.

targa overhead

This overhead shot is of the 2F at Targa 1967, drivers Hill and Hap Sharp. The angle is interesting; you can see the contours of the car, radical for the time. Front flap exit above the number, mid-ships mounted rads and exit venting, the row of 3 circular vents in the rear panel to relieve air pressure and the ever present driver adjustable rear wing, max downforce for 90% of the time in Sicily I imagine. (Unattributed)

 

cahp le mans

Chaparral 2F Chev ‘butt shot’ in the Le Mans parc ferme. The radically different aerodynamic treatment in terms of both the cars shape and rear wing apparent. Road registered to boot…The car qualfied 2nd in the hands of Mike Spence and Phil Hill, they retired on lap 225 with transmission oil seal failure. The sister Jennings/Johnson 2F failed after 91 laps with starter and battery dramas. The race was won by the Gurney/Foyt Ford MkIV. (Unattributed)

 

bonnier chap 2 d

The 1967 Chaparral 2F’s predecessor in endurance racing was the 1966 2D, here in Jo Bonnier’s hands in the Karussel at the Nurburgring where he and Phil Hill won on the cars European debut. The 2D also used a fibreglass monocoque chassis, had a 2 rather than 3 speed box of the 2F and was powered by a Chev 327cid/5360cc ‘small block’ Chev giving circa 475 bhp @ 7000 rpm. Like the 2F, its race record was littered with DNF’s, 6 from 7 starts. (Unattributed)

Chaparral 2F: Eight race history…

One of the things which strikes you about this big car when you look at its speed during 1967 is its pace on all types of circuits. It was on pole at Monza, Spa, and the Nurburgring, started from grid position two at Sebring and Le Mans, and grid three at Brands.

The challenges of the Daytona bowl are vastly different to the swoops and curves of Targa or the ‘Ring let alone the high speed challenge of Le Mans. It was clearly a complete-car, an excellent all around package- the best car, Phil Hill was quoted as saying, that he ever drove.

At Daytona 2F ran with its wing fixed in position, but still only just missed pole. Hill lead, took the fastest race lap and was pulling away from the Ferrari P4s until the fourth hour, falling off on marbles after a pitstop and hitting a wall. Hill was a little miffed that teammate Mike Spence, with whom he had a great working relationship, had not warned him about the hazard, their race ended on lap 93, Bandini and Amon took a Ferrari P4 win.

2 f sebring

Mike Spence here, and Jim Hall raced the 2F at Sebring. Fastest race lap but again DNF with ‘box troubles. (Nigel Smuckatelli)

At Sebring Hill was forced to retire from the meeting having acute appendicitis, so Jim Hall stepped into the car with Spence, he was second on the grid but had trouble starting. The car retired on lap 145 with differential failure, the car car trailed smoke for several laps in advance of retirement, victory went to the McLaren/Andretti Ford MkIV.

In Europe the cars were based in Frankfurt, the Monza event was the first on the continent. Spence put the car on pole, using the second 2D chassis converted to 2F spec, and from the flag diced with the P4s but a universal joint failure eliminated the car before the end of the first hour. Bandini/Amon won in a P4.

At Spa a week later, the car had a small trim tab added at the wings trailing edge, the tab made it easier to adjust the wings settings at high speed. Hill put the car on pole by 3.5 seconds but rain fell on Sunday. ‘Rainmaster’ and local boy Jacky Ickx “ate us alive” Hill said. Spence ran in fifth until a fuel stop after which the car refused to start. At half distance it was eighth but another blown transmission seal caused its retirement. Ickx and Thomson won in a Mirage M1.

2 f targa

Phil Hill in his ‘outta this world’ futuristic Chaparral juxtaposed with the ancient Sicilian landscape…and the oh-so-conventional, if gorgeous Ferrari P4s for that matter. But Porsche prevailed, as they so often did at Targa. (Yves Debraine)

Mike Spence had other commitments so Hap Sharp stepped in with Phil Hill at the Little Madonie. The 575 bhp ‘roller skate’ was a challenge around the mountainside of the famous Targa course.

Local boy, Nino Vaccarella was faster in practice than the 2F by 1.5 minutes, the car not entirely happy over the bumps but was still up to fourth, 9.5 minutes behind the leading Porsche when a tyre went flat at Collesano. Paul Hawkins and Rolf Stommelen took the win in a factory Porsche 910.

targa 2f

Lookout! Phlegmatic Siciliani…Targa 1967. Ride height up for this event, front splitter replete with an empty pasta packet clear. Phil Hill/ Hap Sharp Chap 2F. (Unattributed)

At the ‘Ring Spence took five seconds from the old sportscar lap record and set the first over 100mph lap by a sporty. John Surtees was seven seconds adrift in his Lola T70. Hill put on his harness after the Le Mans start so came around in sixth, by lap eight he moved into the lead, but at about the 1.5 hour mark, on lap 10, the cars transmission again failed. Schutz/Buzzeta won in a Porsche 910.

chap 2f nurburgring

Phil Hill is back in the pack on lap 1 of the Nurburgring 1000Km, having carefully put on his ‘belt. Amongst the class cars are a Ford GT40 in front of him, you can also see the nose of the Surtees/David Hobbs Lola T70Mk3 Aston Martin behind and to the side, DNF with rear suspension failure. That wing will have given cars being pursued no doubt as to the car behind! (Automobile Year)

Le Mans was and still is all important, two Chaparrals ran. Hill/Spence missed pole by only 0.3 of a second from a Ford MkIV. Johnson/Jennings in the other 2F were 24th. Both 2F’s got away well, by the end of the first hour Spence was fourth and by the second he was 2nd, then the wing actuation mechanism broke, the car went into high downforce, safe mode, knocking around 40 mph off the top speed.

Inevitably the transmsision gave trouble but the car was still in third when an heroic three hour rebuild of the transmission was commenced by the crew, all to no avail as the car was withdrawn. The other 2F retired earlier with electrical failure. The race was famously won by the All American Boys, AJ Foyt and Dan Gurney in a Ford MkIV.

le mans rebuild

The long three hour, crowd pleasing, crowd appreciating transmission rebuild is underway. Le-Mans 1967. Franz Weis and Karl Schmid start the process by stripping the rear of the car to gain ‘box access, no mean feat in itself given the careful integration of the overall package. (Karl Ludvigsen)

The inaugural Brands Hatch 500 Miles was the last championship race of the season. The Brabham/Hulme LolaT70 was on pole, Spence/Hill were 0.8 second adrift in third. Hulme took the lead but retired with rocker failure, letting the 2F into the lead. A long mid-race pitstop dropped them back to third but consistent laps taking two seconds per lap from the Ferrari in front saw the wonderful car displace the Stewart/Amon Ferrari P4. A winner, finally!

Motor racing is full of ‘ifs, buts and maybes’.

As the great, late and laconic Frank Gardner said ‘If Yer Aunty had Balls She’d be Yer Uncle’.

One wonders what this seminal, defining, brilliant car would have achieved had the ‘oh-so-clever’ ‘automatic gearbox’ which was such a big part of most of the Chaparral 2 program, had the re-engineered gearbox it so badly needed and deserved.

In a sad sequel, Jim Hall was preparing for another season with a 7-litre car for 1968 when the FIA announced a 3- litre limit for prototypes from 1968 and limited sportscars to 5-litres in capacity- 25 examples of which had to be built for homologation. The big Fords and Chaparrals were out, racing was the poorer for it.

It was not over for Chaparral of course, but after 1967 they focused on their domestic Can-Am Championship with equally radical cars, and many years later a victorious assault on the Indy 500, both stories for another time.

chap 2 hill brands

Mike Spence in the 2F at Brands Hatch headingfor victory and running ahead of the factory Ferrari P4 of Ludovico Scarfiotti and Peter Sutcliffe, 5th. (Louis Klemantaski)

Tailpiece…

chap 2 j riverside

Its hard to know which of Jim Hall’s cars was the wildest, perhaps the ’69 Can-Am 2H, a very unsuccessful one i will write about soon. He doubled his bets with the 1970 2J, the famous ‘ground effect sucker’ car being so quick officialdom banned it and with it the whole ethos that made the Can-Am the great ‘Formula Libre’ Series that it was. Here at Riverside, sportscar ace Vic Elford in the 2J Chev leads Peter Gethin in the championship winning McLaren M8D Chev. Hulme won the race in the other M8D, Gethin DNF engine on lap 21 and Elford DNF engine on lap2. (Unattributed)

Etcetera…

jim and phil

Jim Hall, left and Phil Hill CanAm 1966. (Unattributed)

 

chap drawings

Chaparral 2F drawing, car depicted as it raced at Targa 1967. (Unattributed)

 

sebring engine change

Sebring engine change showing the girth of the aluminium 7-litre ‘big block’ Chev and the housing of the famous GM ‘automatic’ transaxle. I wonder how long the change it took from start to finish? (Unattributed)

 

targa butt shot

Targa 2F butt shot, aero treatment of the car nicely contrasts with the Sicilian ‘roadies’. Wing in maximum downforce mode. Note the rear devoid of tail panel, compared with the earlier Le-Mans rear shot. (Bernard Cahier)

 

hill aviating

Phil Hill aviating the 2F at the Nurburgring despite the Chaparral wing in full downforce mode! Lightening fast, the 1000Km  another race the car should have won on a circuit one would not necessarily have thought it were suited. A versatile car the 2F, quick pretty much everywhere. (Unattributed)

 

cahap family tree

The ‘Chaparral Family Tree’…(Unattributed)

Credits… 

Pete Lyons ‘The Chaparral 2,2D,2F The Glassfibre Series’ Profile Publications, Cutaway drawing- James Allington, Jim Hall quotes from a Gordon Kirby ‘MotorSport’ articles in November 2008 and January 2011, Dave Friedman, Bill Wagenblatt ‘Track Thoughts’, Albert Bochroch, Nigel Smuckatelli, Karl Ludvigsen, Bernard Cahier, Louis Klemantaski, Brian Hatton

See this link for some great information on Jim Halls fabulous cars…

http://www.thechaparralfiles.com/

Finito…