The Vanwall Special raced in 1954 was the first car produced by Tony Vanderwell’s team. GAV (Guy Anthony V.) was a prominent British industrialist, owner of Norton and Vanderwell Products companies, producers of motorcycles and Babbit Thin-Wall bearings, respectively. Vanderwell commissioned the design and building of the chassis to Cooper Car Company. The two-liter engine, developed with Norton and Rolls-Royce parts, was produced by Vanderwell Products. The chassis designed by Owen Maddock was delivered to Vandervell in early 1954, so the engine was further developed in 2.3 and 2.5 litre versions to follow new Formula One regulations.
The car debuted on 15th May 1954 in VI BRDC Daily Express International Trophy at Silverstone. For its’ debut the car fitted with 2-litre engine designed for the previous set of Formula 2 regulations, would be driven by Alan Brown. The very distinctive feature of the Special was its radiator. Instead of mounting the radiator vertically in the nose and designing aerodynamically-shaped bodywork around it, Maddock’s design would lay the radiator down and would mount it to the top of the nose. The initial design would leave the tubes of the radiator exposed for all to see. In 15-lap first heat Brown finished 6th out of 14 starters, although more than a minute behind the winner, Froilan Gonzales in Ferrari 553. In the final Brown ran sixth in the Vanwall until the British car began losing oil and retired.
|1954||F1||BRDC International Trophy|
|Alan Brown||17||G.A. Vandervell|