1957 Motoring Mem­o­ries Van­wall vic­tory

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

Back in the 1950s, no Bri­tish-built car had ever won an F1 world cham­pi­onship race. That all changed on 20 July 1957, when Tony Brooks and Stir­ling Moss, shar­ing a Van­wall VW5, scooped the lau­rels at the Bri­tish Grand Prix at Aintree. Co­in­ci­den­tally, this was the same day that Prime Min­is­ter Harold Macmil­lan made his ‘Our peo­ple have never had it so good’ speech. It al­most seemed like Tony and Stir­ling were just prov­ing him right!

Built in Maiden­head in Berk­shire, the first Van­walls be­gan com­pet­ing in 1954, al­beit with lit­tle suc­cess. That lasted un­til a lit­tle-known au­to­mo­tive de­signer called Colin Chap­man was brought in, from which point the cars be­gan show­ing a marked im­prove­ment.

Stir­ling Moss joined the team for the 1957 sea­son and led the fifth race of the year, at Aintree, af­ter the first lap. But with his ride mis­fir­ing af­ter 25 laps, he swapped Van­walls with Sur­rey den­tist Tony Brooks and then epi­cally drove back from ninth place to first. This would be the third, but fi­nal, time a shared car won a Grand Prix.

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