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'Thin Wall' Ferraris


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#1 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 20:37

Following on from the recent BCE Collection thread (http://forums.autosp...73&pagenumber=2) I was interested to see the pic of the above mentioned car in this blog (http://www.blog-do-ico.blogspot.com/).

I am the first one to hold his hands up and say I know nothing (very little anyway!!) about the history of 1950s F1 and Vanwall but I'd like to know more about Vanwall as whenever I see one of their early F1 cars I love them (it must be as I'm getting older!!). What I'd really like to know is how many "Thin Wall" specials there were/are?

This also stems from my mid-week trip to Donington when I noticed there were about 30 cars missing from the Collection. I know some are on loan anyway (especially form Hall & Hall; saves their workshop space!!) but I was intrigued to hear there 12 cars are out for a show in Australia and 7 have been sold in the last few months; putting 2 & 2 together I wondered if this "Thin Wall" was the ex-Donington car - I did make it as far as the last hall at Donington (just to look at the elliptical Vanwall spare body :love: ) but I got distracted by the fact that the Senna conference hall was open and a loads of Japanese people had taken some of the newer F1 cars in there to photograph.

I searched TNF (before anyone moans!!) and all I could find were these two threads http://forums.autosp...in wall special & http://forums.autosp...in wall special and neither seem to help me a great deal.

Apologies if this has been asked before and if so if someone would be kind enough to provide a linky it'd be much appreciated.

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 22:05

The 'long-nose' ultimate model 'Thin Wall' with 4 1/2-litre V12 engine is the Collection car, raced relatively often for Wheatie by Rob Hall. For many years Tom also owned the bare chassis of the earlier 'Thin Wall' - the ex-works frame '125-C-02'. This is the frame which was acquired with other parts and an ex-GKN 1 1/2-litre supercharged Ferrari V12 engine by Mr E., and subsequently rebuilt for him by Hall & Fowler-turned-Hall & Hall. Thus, at the moment, two distinctly different 'Thin Wall Special' Ferraris 'survive'.

DCN

#3 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 22:14

Thans for the answer Doug, muchly appreciated. Basically, there's two (?) very different cars but that's it, no others? I know I can look it up but did they race together??

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 22:48

Not together - consecutively. The Donington car was originally the replacement for the Ecclestone car which was itself a replacement...etc.

DCN

#5 SWB

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:44

I always thought the 'third' Thin Wall Special, based on the 1950 LWB 1.5 litre chassis, was the one found as parts in a cellar and thus ended up in the Donnington Collection. The ultimate fourth car, 010-375, was the one once displayed at Vandervell was never dismantled or scrapped? So Donnington have done a switcheroo have they, Mr E now has the 'third' car and Mr W now has the fourth Vandervell car? Confused.

Steve

#6 Graham Gauld

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:43

This is a view of the last long nose Thinwall when it was new.

Posted Image

#7 f1steveuk

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:13

Strangely, I had to go to Maidenhead the other day. When I asked for the address, it was Vanwall House, one of many references in a now industrial estate, to what used to be there.

#8 Graham Gauld

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:06

Simon

The following might help to shed some light.

The David Murray Ferrari F2 car was the original short wheelbase Ferrari that Peter Whitehead owned and shown in the photograph of it coming out of the transporter.

David was linked with Scuderia Ambrosiana through Reg Parnell and the Ashmore brothers. It is my understanding explained, I think, in my biography of Reg Parnell, that the arrangement between Scuderia Ambrosiana and Reg and pals was to get round the British Government edict whereby you could only take £50 out of the country.

As a result when any Ambrosiana drivers such as Luigi Villoresi, raced in Britain Reg would pay the entry money, hotels etc as " Scuderia Ambrosiana" . In turn when Reg or the Ashmores raced abroad they would be entered by Scuderia Ambrosiana in Italy so that Reg did not have to pay out precious money from the allowance. How the finances were finally sorted out I have no idea but it was an arrangement that was accepted by both.

Now, the Ferrari. At the end of the 1952 season parts of this car, notably the engine, disappeared I know not where. However the chassis back axle etc were retained by David Murray and eventually sold to Ronald Millar, Chairman of Motherwell Bridge engineering company and Pat Melville, both great racing enthusiasts who had 30/98 Vauxhalls. Millar had all the equipment to build anything and the Ferrari chassis was used to build the Saltire, one of the Scottish built racing cars described in my book Scottish Motor Racing and Drivers ( Plug). Only a couple of months ago I met up with Donald McGlynn who did a lot of the work on the project. The engine, however, was a Lea Francis racing engine in the style of the Connaught engine but the car was not a success and was too slow. McGlynn remembers taking the car to its first race meeting and Wilkie Wikinson the Ecurie Ecosse chief mechanic at the time, coming up to the car, seeing the Ferrari badge on the boss of the steering wheel and politely taking the badge away with him !

Millar and Melville decided to start again, and through David Murray ordered a Lister-Jaguar which came in bits to Scotland and was built up with a different design of bodywork. This car was the car bought by David Ham and still raced occasionally by him.

Meanwhile the Saltire was bought by a young Scottish enthusiast called Syd Ritchie who, with the help of Bryan Wingfield converted it with a Jaguar engine. Sadly Syd was killed in the car at Charterhall and I do not know what happened to the remains.

#9 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:55

Interesting stuff Graham, thanks. I wonder what happened to the Saltire remains then.

Slight O/T - was the David Ham Lister the car he raced against my late father in the late '70s early '80s in the Lloyds & Scottish Championship?

#10 Graham Gauld

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 13:00

Gregor and All

Apologies this should have been on the Peter Whitehead thread. Yes it was the same car.

GG

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 13:01

That'll be the one, Gregor. He first raced it in 1969 and is still doing so, or was a couple of years ago

#12 Malcolm Gisbey

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 20:24

For general interest here is the story of the Saltire as I remember it.Syd Ritchie was a good friend of mine and I followed the development of the car with interest.The story that came with the car was that it was brought into the UK as spares.It was in fact,a complete rolling chassis with brakes,steering,suspension,wheels and final drive but no engine and gearbox.The highly tuned LeaFrancis engine and preselector gearbox were fitted and all enveloping bodywork was made.Syd never used the Leaf ,and instead he fitted an Austin engine and gearbox.The engine was basically A70 but was successfully modified to be competitive with Austin Healey 100S. Syd then decided to replace the Austin installation with a 3-4 Jaguar engine and gearbox. Sadly he then lost his liife in the car competing at Charterhall. I believe the car is now somewhere in the south of Scotland and is fitted with a Ford Mercury engine which was ex Chassels TT Rep.FrazerNash. The Leaf engine is now installed in a 1936 Aston Martin mk11 saloon.
saloon. MG .