Vanwall returns with a reborn Grand Prix legend
British racing team Vanwall is back on the grid with a limited-run continuation car for historic racing. Exactly 62 years since Vanwall won the very first Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship, the newly-formed Vanwall Group announced its plans for six recreations of its 1958 Grand Prix winner.
Originally driven by Sir Stirling Moss and teammate Tony Brooks, the VW5 took six victories and secured the constructors’ title for the Vanwall team, beating Ferrari, Maserati, Cooper, and Lotus. Famously Moss, ever the sportsman, persuaded F1 organizers to overturn a penalty given to Mike Hawthorn at the Portuguese Grand Prix, which would ultimately mean he lost the title to the Ferrari pilot by the narrowest margin.
The VW5 featured a spaceframe chassis by Colin Chapman and aerodynamic bodywork designed by Frank Costin. Its 2489-cc, four-cylinder engine made 274 hp.
With such a storied history it’s no wonder that former world champion offshore powerboat racer Iain Sanderson bought the Vanwall name in 2012 with grand plans for the Grand Prix legend. The first stage has been to commission historic racing experts Hall and Hill in Lincolnshire, England to exactly recreate the VW5 for five customers. A sixth car will be kept by Vanwall to form the centerpiece of its historic racing team.
Each car will be engineered from original blueprints and sold for £1.65 million ($2.1 million) plus taxes. Two cars have already been ordered and are expected to be delivered in 2022, after thousands of man-hours of work.
Sanderson has also teased a future beyond these recreations. “The Vanwall name is too important to consign to history. Faithfully recreating the iconic 1958 championship winning car with six 100 percent 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,” he said.
Until then Vanwall will join Bentley, Jaguar, and Aston Martin in the ranks of highly-collectible, multi-million dollar continuation series cars that may never be driven as they were originally intended.