Historic Vanwall GP cars to be reborn

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Vanwall Group, the rights holder to the brand stemming from the British Vanwall motor racing team of the 1950s, has announced plans to build six new continuation race cars to celebrate Vanwall’s six Formula One wins in 1958.

Only five of the continuation cars will be offered for private sale, with the sixth car forming the core of a Vanwall Historic Racing Team. Each vehicle will be constructed by historic racing and vehicle restoration specialist Hall and Hall in Lincolnshire, UK.

The continuation cars will feature a reproduction of the 270bhp 2,489cc, I4 Vanwall engine, reverse engineered using original drawings and blueprints from the 1950s. Each hand-built continuation car will be sold for £1.65m (US$2.15m), ex VAT.

In its day, Vanwall was a byword in the paddock for innovative engineering, with the Colin Chapman-designed chassis complementing aerodynamics by Frank Costin. They pioneered, for example, the use of disc brakes rather than drum brakes in Formula 1, thus giving a small competitive advantage over the Ferraris. Vanwall Group has apparently already commenced investigations to understand how the historic Vanwall brand DNA could translate into a vehicle for the 2020s, with studies ongoing into future road and race car programs.

Announcing the continuation cars, Vanwall Group managing director Iain Sanderson, a former world champion offshore powerboat racer and entrepreneur, said, “The Vanwall name is too important to consign to history. The Vanwall story is untold to many, but it is a great British tale of innovation and achievement and shows what happens when the right team come together and push themselves fearlessly to reach a clearly defined goal.

“On this anniversary, we think the time is right to celebrate this great British story of success. Faithfully recreating the iconic 1958 championship winning car with six 100% accurate and authentic continuation cars is a fitting tribute to their historic success. The DNA that made those cars so successful also serves as an inspiring foundation for the future of the Vanwall marque, which I look forward to sharing in due course.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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