Posts Tagged ‘Tony Brooks’

avus 1

Tony Brooks powers his Ferrari Dino 246 out of the Avus hairpin during his victorious German Grand Prix drive, 2 August 1959…

The 1959 event was held at the ‘Automobil Verkehrs und Ubungs-Strasse’ (AVUS) track in Berlin rather than its Nurburgring ‘home’. The vastly quick, banked track was tailor made for the Ferrari Dino 246 which had more power than the Cooper brigade, but considerably less handling. The recent partitioning of Berlin meant that a new south loop was added to the facility which dated back to the 1920’s.

Brooks arrived full of optimism, he had won on the super fast Reims road course on 5 July several weeks before. The Ferrari’s were right on the pace with Brooks taking pole from Moss’ Cooper T51 with Dan Gurney 3rd  in another Dino. Due to fears of tyre wear the race was run in two heats, Brooks won both of them. The minor placings also went Ferrari’s way to Gurney and Phil Hill.

The weekend is also famous as a consequence of Hans Hermanns survival of one of the most spectacular GP accidents ever. His BRM P25’s brakes failed on lap 35 of 70, the car hit hay bales and was launched into a series of somersaults with Hans thrown clear and escaping serious injury. He was a very lucky boy.

avus 2

Tony Brooks Dino ahead of Masten Gregory’s Cooper T51 Climax, the much under-rated Kansas driver qualified 5th but was out on lap 23 with engine failure (unattributed)

The meeting was overshadowed by Jean Behra’s death in a supporting sportscar race, the little Frenchman died instantly after spinning his Porsche RSK and hitting a flagpole in mid-air. Jean’s 1959 season I covered in an article, click on the link at the end of this piece to read it.

Portugal…

brooks

Tony Brooks pre practice at Monsanto Park, Portugal, Tony 9th (Klemantaski)

Brooks looking relaxed before the Portuguese GP at Monsanto, Lisbon. The 23 August race was won by Moss from Masten Gregory, both in Cooper T51 Climaxes, Gurney was the best placed Ferrari in 3rd with Brooks 9th- about where a good front engined car could expect to finish as the mid-engined paradigm shift gathered pace.

Credit…

Louis Klemantasi

Tailpiece: Three Ferrari 246’s in a Monsanto Park row- Dan Gurney, Phil Hill and Tony Brooks steeds await their intrepid pilots…

brooks 2

(Klemantaski)

 

 

image

(Heritage Images)

I’m constantly in awe of the talents of the photographers whose work is displayed in this ‘masterpiece’ of mine…

Take a careful look at the composition and execution of this shot of Phil Hill’s Dino at Monaco in 1959; the use of light, the way the shadows of the palm tree and building architecture frame the shot of the snub-Monaco nosed Ferrari 246 and the expression on the American drivers face. The shadow of the photographer gives a sense of involvement.

image

(Klemantaski)

Things were pretty tough for the front engined brigade by ’59 of course, Jack’s first Cooper title was bagged that year. In the process of trying to keep up, Enzo’s brigade created quite the most beautiful cars in these later Dino’s. The snub nosed car not so much but checkout Tony Brooks slinky, curvaceous chassis above during the BARC 200 at Aintree on 19 April ’59. Jean Behra took the win that day in a sister car, the Scuderia may have been lulled into a sense of false security by this non-championship event result.

image

Brabham on the way to his first GP win at Monaco in 1959, Cooper T51 Climax (Cahier)

It was very much a Cooper T51 Climax year; they won three of the five non-championship events (Moss took 2, Brabham 1) with Ferrari and BRM taking one apiece (Behra and Flockhart). Ignoring the Indy 500 which was part of the world championship back then, there were eight GP events. Cooper won five (Brabham-Monaco, British and Moss-Portugal and Italy 2 races each for the Aussie and the Brit and McLaren-US 1 win). Ferrari won two (Brooks-French, German) and BRM won one, the break-through first win for the Bourne marque and Jo Bonnier aboard a P25 at Zandvoort.

image

(unattributed)

Its front is a little ‘fugly’, the looks only a mother could love, ‘snub nosed’ Dino, Hill rounding the Gasworks Hairpin, Quay in the background. Oooh, la, la from the rear tho. All things Italian look great from the back!? Hill hustling his Dino, thru the Mirabeau right hander.

image

(LAT)

Have a look at Phil’s car below in August on the hugely picturesque and dangerous Monsanto road course during the Portuguese GP, DNF when Lotus 16 mounted Hill G spun in his path taking out both cars. Moss won in a T51 Cooper Climax from Masten Gregory similarly mounted, Gurney the best placed Ferrari in 3rd.

I guess by definition these Dino’s are the ultimate expression of the front engine GP car given Enzo persevered at least a year longer than he should have…

image

(LAT)

Credits…

Heritage Images, Klemantaski Collection, LAT, Cahier Archive

Tailpiece: And what a tail. I’m cheating really, this is the butt of Phil’s ’58 Dino, this pictorial article is about the ’59 cars…

image

’58 Moroccan GP; Moss won in a Vanwall VW57 from Mike Hawthorn and Phil, both Dino mounted, Mike won the ’58 World Title at this race (LAT)

Photo is another masterpiece of composition and high-speed shutter work during the Moroccan GP at Ain-Diab, Casablanca Morocco on 19 October 1958. Check out the different tail treatment from the later cars earlier in the article and ‘three piece’ fabrication of the Ferrari’s rear tail section comprising from driver back; the fuel tank, then oil tank and finally small curvaceous endplate, Italian panel bashing at its best.

Finito…

tony brooks

Tony Brooks, pensive before the off in his BRM P48 Mk2 ‘487’ during the ‘BRDC International Trophy’ meeting, Silverstone, 6 May 1961…

Brooks returned to the Bourne team for ’61, his last in motor racing, it was generally not a happy one racing 1.5 litre Coventry Climax FPF engined BRM P57’s. The Bourne teams own wonderful P56 V8 was still a season away.

The International Trophy in 1961 was contested to the shortlived Intercontinental Formula, rather than the new 1.5 litre F1. Brook’s joy in driving a ‘proper’ 2.5 litre racing car somewhat dampened, literally, by the horrid conditions in which the drivers raced.

Brooks was 6th in the event won by Stirling Moss in Rob Walker’s Cooper T53 Climax. Tony was passed by an inspired Chuck Daigh’s front-engined Scarab at one point, finally re-taking the American’s position during the last lap.

Perhaps the great drivers waning interest in racing was becoming clear early in the season? He was out-qualified by his team-mate Graham Hill, well established in the team by then, in 7 of the 8 championship events in 1961…

Credits: Popperfoto, Doug Nye ‘BRM Vol 2’

image

(Klemantaski)

Tony Brooks (head obscuring the roundel) and John Wyer (in brown) looking for an Aston rear axle malady during the 26 May 1957 race weekend…

Brooks had a happy weekend, he and Noel Cunningham-Reid won the race in their Aston Martin DBR1 from the much more powerful Ferrari 335S of Peter Collins and Olivier Gendebien and the similar 315S of Mike Hawthorn and Maurice Trintignant.

image

Part on the 1957 start line-up with plenty of Mercedes 300SL’s to the fore..too many names and cars to list! (Klemantaski)

image

Noel Cunningham-Reid in the winning Aston DBR1, he held and built on the lead created by Tony Brooks (Klementaski)

image

Credit…

Klemantaski Collection

Tailpiece…

image

Reserve driver, Maurice Trintignant tries out the Collins/Gendebien Ferrari 335S during practice, Nurburgring 1000Km 1957 (Klemantaski)

 

 

image

The victorious Ron Flockhart/Ivor Bueb Ecurie Ecosse entered ‘D Type’ Jag during the 1957 Le Mans 24 Hours, it was the third and last win for the fabulous car which reigned supreme at la Sarthe from 1955-1957…

The winning car covered 4397 Km, an average speed of 183kmh, a record which remained unbroken for four years.

D Types also finished in second, third, fourth and sixth places, an unparalleled result to that time. Ninian Sanderson and John Lawrence were second, Jean Lucas/ Jean-Marie Brussin third, Paul Frere/’Freddy’ Rouselle fourth and Mike Hawthorn/Masten Gregory sixth. Flockhart also won the race in 1956 partnered with Ninian Sanderson.

The car on its back is the Tony Brooks/Noel Cunningham-Reid Aston Martin DBR1 300.

Brooks ran wide on the exit of Tertre Rouge, rolled and was hit by Umberto Magliolis’ Porsche, the cars running second and seventh respectively at the time. Both drivers escaped without serious harm. The incident happened in  the twelfth hour of the race.

Le Mans 1957 lap 1

‘XKD606’, Bueb up leading the Lewis-Evans/Marino/Martino Ferari 315S (5th), #4 behind the Ferrari is the Hamilton/Gregory D Type (6th)(unattributed)

image

Undated unattributed shot of the ‘Browns lane’ factory, a ‘C’ being fettled as well as the ‘D’s. (unattributed)

Technical Specifications and ‘XKD606’…

The summary technical specifications of the ‘XKD’ were included in this earlier post on its close brother the ‘XKSS’.

https://primotipo.com/2014/05/30/72/

The winning car was ‘XKD606’ the last long nosed 1956 works car built, unraced that year as Desmond Titterington crashed it in Le Mans practice. Jag withdrew as a factory team from racing at the end of ’56, ‘606’ was delivered to Ecosse in November 1956 and was successful in ’57 with a 3.8 litre fuel injected engine at Le Mans with plenty of works support.

This engine gave circa 306bhp@5500rpm and 312lb ft of torque@4500rpm.

Flockhart and Bueb post 57 win

Flockhart in red alongside Ivor Bueb post victory with the Ecosse Team and ‘XKD606’. (unattributed)

The car was raced at Buenos Aires later in 1957 by Flockhart and Galvez, but crashed by Flockhart and rebuilt with a new chassis and bonnet.

‘606’ remained in Ecosse’ hands in 1958-1960, raced again at Le Mans by Flockhart and Bruce Halford in 196o, it failed to finish. The car raced on into 1961 in the hands of privateer Jack Wober and was split into two after a crash; the body and rear suspension, and front subframe and engine. Both halves were then completed with replica parts creating two ‘original’ cars.

The Louman Museum in The Hague acquired both cars in 1994, the ‘XKD606’ being recreated by repair and uniting its original components. It is used frequently in historic events.

image

Le Mans 57 finish

Flockhart returns the car post finish, Le Mans 1957. (unattributed)

Ron Flockhart…

Ron Flockhart BRM Goodwood 1954

Ron Flockhart at the wheel of the awesome, wild but unsuccessful BRM Type 15, the 1.5 litre supercharged V16 racer by then running as a Formula Libre car in the UK. In essence the car was late and largely missed the Grand Prix formula for which it was designed. Goodwood, Easter Monday 1954. (John Ross Motor Racing Archive)

Flockhart began racing motor bikes in Italy and the Middle East after the War before being de-mobbed by the British Army, having served in WW2.

He began racing cars in the the ex-Raymond Mays ERA R4D in 1952, progressed to a Connaught and was picked up by the Owen Organisation where he was essentially their ‘third driver’, he raced in fourteen championship Grands Prix between 1954 and 1960, the last a Cooper T51 Climax in the US Grand Prix at Sebring.

He was very competitive in sports cars, including the two victories at Le Mans.

Daily Express Int Trophy Silverstone 1956

# 6,8,7 Jean Behra, Ron Flockhart and Harry Schell in BRM P25’s and #2 Masten Gregory Maserati 250F, #15 Horace Gould Maser 250F. Daily Express Trophy, Silverstone 1957. Behra won from Schell and Flockhart, Gregory was 5th. (John Ross Motor Racing Archive)

Ron Flockhart BRM P25 Monaco 1959

Flockhart in his BRM P25 Monaco GP 1959. He spun on lap 64 having qualified well in 10th. Jack Brabham won in a Cooper T51 Climax, his first Championship GP victory.(unattributed)

Like many drivers of the period Ron Flockhart was a pilot and flew to and from the circuits of Europe more quickly than commercial airline or car travel allowed.

He flew an Auster for a long time to places such as Folkingham, Snetterton and Silverstone whilst testing for BRM in the UK and introduced Jack Brabham to light aircraft.

His racing injuries restricted his activities somewhat, his love of flying and passion for speed lead him to decide to attempt the Sydney-London record for petrol powered planes. The attempt was backed by ‘United Dominions Trust ‘ who wanted publicity for their racing team ‘UDT Laystall’, a noted team of the period.

His first attempt in 1961 fell 1500 miles short of London when his Mustang suffered serious engine failure, rain having seeped into the engine whilst on the ground in Greece, Flockhart enjoying ‘Rock-star’ fame and attention in Australia before and during the attempts. The first plane was written off after suffering a cockpit fire before take-off.

Ron Flockhart Cooper Climax Ballarat

Ron Flockhart in his ‘Border Reivers’ Cooper T53 Climax, Ballarat Airfield, Victoria 1961. He raced well, 3rd behind the factory BRM P48’s of Dan Gurney and Graham Hill. He also raced in Australia the following summer in a Lotus 18. (autopics)

Ron competed in New Zealand and Australia that summer before setting off for London in a second ex-RAAF Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation built Mustang ‘G-ARUK’ on 12 April 1962.

He left Moorabbin Airport in Melbournes’ southern outer suburbs enroute to Sydney where he was heading to have additional fuel tanks fitted.

The Mustang had only been in the air 10 minutes, heading east over the Dandenong Ranges when he radioed in to report ‘I’ve got trouble. I’ve lost my compass, i’m at 3000ft and in heavy cloud’, immediately after this, contact with the plane was lost, the aircraft crashed into bush on the Monbulk hillside in thick cloud and light misty rain. Flockhart was still in the aircrafts debris which was spread around the crash site, strapped to the remains of his seat with his parachute attached.

Flockhart Mustang 1962

Ron Flockhart in the hours before his death. P51 Mustang CA-18 Mk21 frame # ‘A68-113’ was one of many built by the Australian ‘Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation’ in Melbourne during  WW2 (Geoff Goodall)

A Ministry of Aviation Report did not conclusively determine the cause of the accident but it was considered a possibility ‘that the pilot temporarily lost control of the aircraft whilst circling in cloud, and that it subsequently stalled during the recovery and turn to avoid the high terrain…’

Flockhart portrait

Lovely portrait of Ron Flockhart at the 1959 Silverstone ‘Daily Express International Trophy’ meeting in May. RF finished 3rd in his BRM P25, the race won by Brabhams’ Cooper T51 Climax. (John Ross Racing Archive)

Flockhart obit

Etcetera…

Flockhart Le Mans 57

Flockhart Le Mans 1957 (Automobile Year)

Flockhart Le Mans 1957

Nice shot of Flockhart cornering the D Type during the ’57 race. ‘XKD606’ works supported with factory 3.8 litre injected engine, last of the ‘long-noses built’. (unattributed)

Mintex 57 Le Mans ad

Flockhart Le Mans 1956

Ron Flockhart in the D Type he shared with Ninian Sanderson to win Le Mans in 1956.(Automobile Year)

Le Mans 1957 finish

Flockhart leads the second placed sister Ecurie Ecosse D Type of Sanderson/Lawrence over the line, record distance travelled which stood for the next 4 years .(unattributed)

Flockhart WF 1961

Flockhart 5th in his Cooper T51 Climax, ‘Warwick Farm 100’ January 1961. The race was won by Moss in a Lotus 18 Climax. (John Arkwright)

Photo Credits…

Motorsport Magazine, autopics, Geoff Goodall, John Ross Motor Racing Archive, John Arkwright

Finito…

 

phil

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)

Stirling Moss, Vanwall VW 57 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 slowing Hill to allow Hawthorn into second. Moss ran into Wolfgang Seidels’ Maserati 250F, damaging the Vanwalls nosecone, fut fortunately not the radiater core.

Tragedy struck on lap 42 when the engine in Stuart Lewis-Evans Vanwall blew, the cars rear wheels locked, careering 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 and 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)

Moss won the race, and Hawthorn the Drivers Title. The Constructors Championship was won by Vanwall, a fitting reward for Tony Vandervell who had passionately supported the BRM program before setting out on his own, frustrated by Management By Committee…

Hawthorn shortly thereafter announced his retirement from racing, aged 29, and ‘dicing’ with Rob Walker on the Guildford Bypass not far from his home, crashed fatally in his Mark 2 Jag an horrific end to a tragic season for British Motor Racing.

moss

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

moroc

Stunning Moroccan backdrop…Hawthorn 1958, Ferrari Dino 246 (Unattributed)

moss morocco 5

Moss’ car survived the heat despite the damaged Vanwall nosecone, having hit Seidels Maser ‘up the chuff’ taking the win, and Constructors Championship for Vanwall. (Unattributed)

Vanwall Racing Cars…

cutaway

Lotus’ Colin Chapman designed the car using a multi-tubular space frame chassis, aerodynamics by Frank Costin. 4 cylinder DOHC, Bosch fuel injected engine developing circa 280-290BHP depending upon fuel. 5 speed Ferrari derived gearbox, Goodyear disc brakes. Front suspension by upper and lower wishbones and coil spring/damper units. De Dion rear suspension and from 1957 ‘Chapman Struts’

Tony Vandervell…

Vandervell bearings ad

Guy Anthony ‘Tony’ Vandervell started his independent race program with a series of Ferraris modified by his company and called ‘Thinwall Specials’, he had become frustrated with the lack of progress of the BRM Project, of which he was a founder shareholder.

BRM V16 Vandervell ad

Vandervell Products ad in the ‘BRM Ambassador for Britain’ booklet 1949. (Stephen Dalton Collection)

The Ferraris raced mainly in British Formula Libre events, the main opposition the BRM 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 F1 of 1952/3.

thinwall

Mike Hawthorn in the Ferrari 375 V12 ‘Thinwall Special’, Turnberry 1953. Tony Vandervell is to the left of the mechanic (Unattributed)

vanwall goodwood

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

In 1954 he started building Vanwalls… the name an acronym of his Acton based ‘Thinwall’ bearing company and his surname. The chassis was designed by Coopers’ Owen Maddock, and built by them.

Vandervell was a Director of Norton and impressed by their very successful 500cc single. The engine was  designed by Norton designer Leo Kuzmicki and was essentially 4 Norton single cylinder barrells integrated ‘en-bloc’ with added water jackets.

This DOHC cylinder head used twin inclined valves in each combustion chamber, and also utilised motor cycle style hairpin valve springs. It was then married to the bottom end of a Rolls Royce ‘B40 military engine’, the crankcase cast in aluminium rather than the originals iron.

Laystall provided the crank and Bosch the fuel injection system.

vanwakll engine

Vanwall 4 cylinder, gear driven DOHC design a marriage of contemporary Norton head design and a rugged Rolls Royce ‘bottom end’ as per the text. Of note are the hairpin valve springs, train of gears to drive the cams and auxiliaries and high pressure fuel injection pump, both at the front of the engine. (Vic Berris)

Vanwall engine

Vanwall engine 1958. (Jesse Alexander)

The car made its debut at the 1954 International Trophy at Silverstone, the Goodyear disc brakes proving successful but the cars front suspension was unsatisfactory. The engine progressed from 2237cc to 2490cc .The car was raced by Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins who wrote it off in Spanish GP at Barcelona.

Vandervell ordered  four chassis based on the Cooper design which picked up Ferrari suspension and steering, the team by that time having plenty of Ferrari parts!

1954

1955 Season…

hawt

Mike Hawthorn in the Cooper designed Vanwall chassis VW 55, Monaco GP 1955, DNF with throttle linkage problems in the race won by Trintignats Ferrari Squalo 625 (Unattributed)

The four cars were to be raced in 1955 by Ken Wharton, Harry Schell, Desmond Titterington and Mike Hawthorn. Schell won four minor British events but it was clear a lighter, stiffer and more sophisticated chassis was needed to make the most of the competitive engine.

Vandervells staff modified the basic Cooper frame at which point Colin Chapman was introduced to Vandervell via the Vanwall transport driver, Derek Wootton, to look at the frame. Vandervell was impressed with Chapmans knowledge and track record and signed him on.

Colin Chapmans 1956 Vanwall Design…

dutch

Moss in the Dutch GP winning VW10. Shot shows extreme attention to aero for the day by Frank Costin. Borranis’ at front Moss’ preference for driver feel but cast alloy wheels adopted in 1958 to save weight. This Vanwall, with 2 GP wins survives today. (Unattributed)

A defining moment in Vanwalls’ future success was the choice of Colin Chapman, then an up and coming racer/designer/builder of Lotus sports cars. Chapman designed a modern space-frame chassis and engaged aerodynamicist Frank Costin to design the gorgeous, low drag ultra-slippery body.

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

The space frame chassis featured round section top and bottom longerons in 1.5 inch diameter. At the front a sheet metal fabrication provided a cross member for anchorages for the coil and wishbone suspension setup. The frame was complex and rigid but weighed only 87.5 pounds.

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)

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’ a coaxial coil spring and locating link.

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)

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 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, two subsidiary 15 gallon tanks were located low on each side of the scuttle.

Engine development continued under Harry Weslakes’ direction and the best of everyting was used throughout; Bosch fuel injection, Goodyear disc brakes, Mahle pistons, Porsche gears, 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.

Schell was joined by Maurice Trintignant that season but Moss raced the car at the non-championship Silverstone International Trophy, as Maserati, Moss’ team that year had not entered. Moss set fastest time and won the race.

In 1956 the cars showed great speed but poor reliability and ordinary high speed roadholding. For 1957 they needed reliability and drivers capable of fully exploiting the cars performance.

french 1957

Ultra slippery shape of De Havilland aerodynamicist Frank Costins’ body shown to good effect in this shot of Stuart Lewis-Evans at Rouen 1957. 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 signing him as the teams third driver (Unattributed)

1957 and 1958…

Vanwall cutaway drawing 1957

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

brooks

Tony Brooks, winner of the Belgian GP at Spa 1958. Pictured here at Eau Rouge. Chassis is VW 5 the most successful ever British front-engined GP car with 5 wins to its credit. Subsequently dismantled and rebuilt around a fresh frame. (Unattributed)

The ‘Chapman Struts’ were fitted and Fichtel & Sachs dampers, the engines were teased to develop 285BHP at 7300RPM and Moss signed to drive…with Tony Brooks as number 2. Moss tested BRM, Connaught and Vanwall cars at both Silverstone and Oulton Park, on the same days before making his decision about which car to drive in 1957..

The Vanwall finally broke through, winning the British GP at Aintree in the hands of Moss…and Brooks sharing cars. Lewis-Evans, the young British 500cc F3 star, joined the team in Monaco when Moss was ill, the team now had great depth, Moss won in Pescara and Monza, the Vanwalls qualifying 1,2, and 3! ahead of all the Red Cars.

Vanwall Streamliner Reims 1957

Vanwall tested this ‘Streamliner’, chassis VW6, at Reims in 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)

Alcohol fuels were banned for 1958 causing especially big problems for Vanwall and BRM who both used ‘big banger’ four cylinder engines which needed the cooling effect of the alcohol. As a consequence the engines power dropped from 290BHP on alcohol to 278BHP on ‘pump fuel’ in 1958.

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 was finally involved. 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, cast alloy wheels were adopted but often Borrani wires were preferred especially at the front where they gave greater driver ‘feel’.

Drivers were the same as 1957, with Moss winning in Holland, Portugal and Morocco, and Brooks in Belgium, Germany and Italy. As stated earlier whilst Moss missed out on the drivers title to Hawthorn by one point, Vanwall won the inaugural Constructors Championship.

germany

Stirling Moss German GP 1958, Vanwall VW10, DNF magneto , teammate Tony Brooks took the win. Vanwall VW4  (Unattributed)

End of The Beginning of Dominance of The Green Cars…

moss and vandervell

Moss and Vandervell share the spoils of victory, Pescara GP, Italy 1958 (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. He announced the teams withdrawal from full-time competition, the team racing four times in the final three years, its swansong the rear engined Intercontinental Formula car competing in May 1961 at Silverstone.

vanwall french

Tony Brooks raced the Vanwall VW11 in the 1960 French GP at Reims on 3 July. He qualified the new low-line but now outdated front-engined car 13th, retiring on lap 7 with a vibration from the rear of the car. That year Brooks drove most of the season in British Racing Partnership year old Cooper T51 Climaxes and was prodigiously fast amongst newer Cooper T53/Lotus 18’s but was keen to give the Vanwall a try. VW11 not raced again. (unattributed)

vanwall vw11

Naked Vanwall VW11 in the Reims paddock 1960. Car a new chassis built from VW5 components in 1960. Car featured double wishbone rear suspension and Colotti 5 speed gearbox, the whole rear end designed by Colotti. Small, compact ‘box mounted behind the diff, drive running in at the bottom and exiting higher giving a low propshaft and seating position. Mid-ship location of fuel tanks made the car wider than the earlier cars. Wheels alloy and Cooper like. Engine reputedly developed around 280bhp. (unattributed)

vw14

Vanwall VW14 built for 1961 Intercontinental Formula. Fitted with 2.6 litre Vanwall engine. Auction photos. (Hall&Hall)

surtees

John Surtees in VW14 during the Silverstone Intercontinental May meeting. ’tis a pity there is not more of the car in this shot, period photos of it are so rare! Nice smile all the same (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)

Etcetera Vanwall…

Click on this site for a chassis/year summary of cars built and raced;

http://8w.forix.com/vanwalls.html

Vanwall VW10 front

Vanwall VW10 ‘stripped’. Chapman spaceframe chassis, 4 cylinder DOHC engine, tail and cockpit fuel tanks, under-seat transaxle, this ’57 car has Chapman struts at the rear. (Doug Nye ‘History of The Grand Prix Car’

Vanwall VW10 rear

Vanwall VW10. Ferrari derived transaxle, cockpit layout, rear and twin side fuel tanks and radius rods to locate rear suspension fore/aft all visible. (Doug Nye “History of The Grand Prix Car’

vanwall shadow

 

vanwall types

Vanwall VW6 Reims

The Reims ‘Streamliner’ chassis VW6 tried in practice only, French GP 1957. (Automobile Year)

cockpit

Cockpit by the standards of the day confortable, swivelling face level vents to keep the driver alive in the carefully faired space…gearbox notoriously difficult to use. Car 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 (Unattributed)

manza 57

The Vanwall Team in the Monza paddock 1957. Moss won the Italian GP in ‘VW5/57’ (Unattributed)

col

fang

This shot shows the relaitve height of the Vanwall, which was very tall, the driver sitting atop the drive-shaft. Fangio is in his last grand prix in a Maser 250F ‘Piccolo’ and finished fourth. Moss in Vw 10 was second in the race won by Hawthorns’ Ferrari Dino 246. french GP Reims 1958 (The Cahier Archive)

tea

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

Etcetera…Morocco

hawthorn morocco

Mike Hawthorn, Ferrari Dino 246 , Morocco 1958 (Unattributed)

hill g

Graham Hill finished sixteenth and last in the Lotus 16 Climax, teammate Cliff Allison tenth in the earlier Lotus 12 Climax. Lotus 16 also designed by Colin Chapman and was called the ‘Mini Vanwall’, the same concepts applied by Chapman..and Frank Costin who did the aerodynamics. Car much lower then Vanwall, the engine ‘canted’ in an offset way to allow driveshaft to be locted beside the driver rather than sit atop it. But the Coopers had arrived, the Lotus 16 an ‘also ran’ in 1959. Lotus 18, when Chapman applied himself to the mid-engined approach then vaulted forward… (Unattributed)

masten

Masten Gregory was a great sixth in the by then ageing Maserati 250F (Unattributed)

stu

Stuart Lewis-Evans Vanwall VW (57) Morocco 1958 (Unattributed)

poster

Photo and Reference 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

‘The History of The Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye

Finito…