Jump to content


Photo

Help needed - Vanwall reunion 1973, Silverstone


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 tonyA110

tonyA110
  • New Member

  • 21 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 02 November 2021 - 15:54

A question that I am hoping that someone in TNF can help me with.

I have a page upon which several motor sporting figures appear to have signed autographs and there are 13 signatories in all. (I say ‘appear’ because I can only go on gut feeling that they are genuine signatures.) Those signatures that I can read or recognise include Tony Brooks, Stirling Moss, David Yorke, Doug Orchard, Cyril Atkins, Phil Wilson, Arthur Pratt, Len Butler, Denis Jenkinson and Cyril Posthumus. The two last mentioned were co-authors of the excellent book ‘Vanwall - the Story of Tony Vandervell and his Racing Cars’ (Patrick Stephens Ltd., first published 1975) in which there is reference to a Vanwall reunion, hosted by GKN, at the British Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone in 1973. All of those mentioned above were in attendance. So, ten signatures are identified, but three remain a mystery and I am wondering if there is anyone on the forum who maybe still has a guest list or some recollection of attending the event and if so who else was there.

Any help greatly appreciated.

tonyA110

 



Advertisement

#2 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 4,784 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 02 November 2021 - 16:09

Tony, Ed McDonough's 'Green for Glory' is on the internet as a pdf. A photo on page 177 shows, in addition to those you mention, John Rockell, Harry Weslake and Norman Burkinshaw. There may be some text somewhere in the book referring to the reunion, I'm not sure.

 

https://porschecarsh...n for Glory.pdf



#3 tonyA110

tonyA110
  • New Member

  • 21 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 02 November 2021 - 16:24

Hi John and thank you for your response.

I shall have a closer look later.

Off topic but I recognise your name. You were not by any remote chance once an architect working with a design and build company in Stratford upon Avon I suppose?

Regards, Tony



#4 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 4,784 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 02 November 2021 - 17:38

Hi John and thank you for your response.

I shall have a closer look later.

Off topic but I recognise your name. You were not by any remote chance once an architect working with a design and build company in Stratford upon Avon I suppose?

Regards, Tony

 

I'm pretty sure I wasn't, Tony. I think I'd remember, but you never know!  I sometimes claim to have played full back for Nottingham Forest some years ago but that's only in order to obtain free entry to over-priced football games.   ;)  



#5 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 4,784 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 02 November 2021 - 17:48

Tony, this 'Vanwall Personnel' TNF thread might be useful, if you haven't  already seen it:

 

https://forums.autos...wall-personnel/



#6 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 03 November 2021 - 08:56

Tony, Ed McDonough's 'Green for Glory' is on the internet as a pdf. A photo on page 177 shows, in addition to those you mention, John Rockell, Harry Weslake and Norman Burkinshaw. There may be some text somewhere in the book referring to the reunion, I'm not sure.

 

https://porschecarsh...n for Glory.pdf

Thanks for posting that link.  

 

In the Introduction, Ed McDonough quotes Jack Brabham: "I didn't even remember that they built a rear-engined car but I certainly never drove a Vanwall in races or in testing and I'm sure I would remember that!"

 

His column in Motor Racing August 1961said: "Silverstone (the British Empire Trophy) was a disappointment too, though the Thursday preceding the race was very interesting when I had a go in the Vanwall.  Tony Vandervell wanted me to try it to see whether I would drive it in the race", followed by seven paragraphs on what he thought of the car.

 

In his book on Ron Tauranac, Mike Lawrence says that Brabham was asked to assess the stiffness of the Vanwall chassis, work carried out by Tauranac then building the MRD/BT1.



#7 tonyA110

tonyA110
  • New Member

  • 21 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 03 November 2021 - 14:02

John, Roger.

Thank you for your responses.

I'm a bit under the weather today having had Covid 3 and 'flu jabs yesterday, so time to do some more Vanwall reading and catch up with 'Bangers and Cash'.

Tony



#8 sstiel

sstiel
  • New Member

  • 369 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 03 November 2021 - 16:27

Thanks for mentioning my mentor's book, appreciated.



#9 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 11,019 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 03 November 2021 - 16:44

Jack Brabham DID indeed test for Vanwall - and Ron Tauranac DID test the stiffness of the rear-engined chassis for Vandervell Products, comparing its performance to that of the unraced Lotus-Vanwall 18 frame.

 

DCN



#10 cooper997

cooper997
  • Member

  • 3,436 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 07 November 2021 - 10:14

August 1973 Motor Sport ran this photo and brief details of the gathering

1973-MS-Vanwall-TNF.jpg


Stephen



#11 sstiel

sstiel
  • New Member

  • 369 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 11 November 2021 - 16:47

Porter Press's update of the 1975 book is now in production: 



#12 Weaverbird

Weaverbird
  • New Member

  • 27 posts
  • Joined: March 21

Posted 12 November 2021 - 23:26

I have some photos of the reunion at Silverstone and they might help you ID some signatures/names.  I had the meeting down in my archives as taking place in 1971 (I was with Colin Vandervell, who proudly did a couple of laps in a Vanwall and met up with the engineers).,  There was also a rare line up of Thinwall Specials.

You can either send me your email address so I can forward them to you, or enlist someone's help to post the pictures!



#13 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 11,019 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 13 November 2021 - 07:24

These from Weaverbird, who worked with Colin Vandervell and who writes:

 

"Funny, I was so sure this meeting was in 1971, but looking at the back of the Vanwall book, I’m obviously wrong.  Who was it who sang 'I remember it well' ? !"

 
Ratcliffe-Yorke-Rudd-Atkins-Birch.jpg
 
Tony Rudd, Colin Vandervell, Neil Ratcliffe of GKN-VP, Cyril Atkins, David Yorke, Claude (?) Birch...
 
Siverstone-71.jpg
 
Colin Vandervell - son of Tony - prepares to demonstrate the then GKN-owned Vanwall
 
Siverstone-71-w-Neil-Ratcliffe-2.jpg
 
Colin Vandervell with Neil Ratcliffe
 
Tony-Brooks-71.jpg
 
Tony Brooks with Colin Vandervell and Vanwall - Weaverbird recalls that these two had got on very well together ever since, as a boy, CV had first met Tony upon his first becoming a team driver for 1957-58.
 
GKN-Mtg-Silverstone.jpg
 
Magnificent Vandervell Products line-up on the outfield at Woodcote Corner - from foreground back - the rear-engined ex-Surtees 1961 Vanwall 'Whale' - the 1952-54 'Thin Wall Special' Ferrari 375 in its final form - and two of the three surviving/rebuilt 1957-58-style 'teardrop' Vanwalls - ('VW5' and 'VW9' - DCN)
 
GKN-Mtg-Silverstone-Brooks.jpg
 
Tony Brooks in car with Colin Vandervell looking on.  
 
GKN-Mtg-Silverstone-Brooks-58.jpg
 
The GKN-VP 'demo' Vanwall - I (DCN) believe it was chassis 'VW10', driven by Moss in 1958 to win the Dutch and Moroccan GPs, and in recent years preserved within the Ecclestone Collection.
 
DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 13 November 2021 - 07:44.


#14 dolomite

dolomite
  • Member

  • 1,147 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 14 November 2021 - 15:00

Lovely photos, thanks Weaverbird and DCN! 👍

#15 Cirrus

Cirrus
  • Member

  • 1,739 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 18 November 2021 - 08:22

I have some photos of the reunion at Silverstone and they might help you ID some signatures/names.  I had the meeting down in my archives as taking place in 1971 (I was with Colin Vandervell, who proudly did a couple of laps in a Vanwall and met up with the engineers).,  There was also a rare line up of Thinwall Specials.

You can either send me your email address so I can forward them to you, or enlist someone's help to post the pictures!

 

I think it was 1971 as well. I can clearly remember Tony Brooks demonstrating the Vanwall on race day in 1971. I was only there for final practice on the Friday in '73. Also, the picture of the cars lined up by the Woodcote grandstand shows the "Motor" bridge in the background. Wouldn't it have had John Player Special branding on it in 1973?



#16 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 39,087 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 18 November 2021 - 10:39

I think it was 1971 as well. I can clearly remember Tony Brooks demonstrating the Vanwall on race day in 1971. I was only there for final practice on the Friday in '73. Also, the picture of the cars lined up by the Woodcote grandstand shows the "Motor" bridge in the background. Wouldn't it have had John Player Special branding on it in 1973?

I think you're right. The bridge was dual branded JPS/Motor. The crash seen from Woodcote:

 

w.jpg

 

The aftermath, looking towards Woodcote:

 

w.jpg



#17 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 18 November 2021 - 10:40

Did Tony Brooks demonstrate the Vanwall at one of the 1968/9 meetings ? 

 

I was taken to Silverstone as a 6/7 year old by my Dad and remember standing on the top of the old pits, seeing the Vanwall and being told that Tony Brooks was driving it. This was definitely before 1970 and I seem to remember Chris Amon being there in a Ferrari and NGH in a Lotus



#18 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 39,087 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 18 November 2021 - 11:19

DSJ's report of the 1971 British GP makes a passing reference to spectators being treated to 'Tony Brooks in a Vanwall'

 

The people who paid to go to Silverstone, and it was said that there were 100,000 of them, certainly got their money’s worth of speed, spectacle and sport, for the Grand Prix was surrounded by Formula Three racing, in which David Walker brought more smiles to Colin Chapman’s face, as well as his many enthusiastic followers, aerobatics by the Red Arrow flyers, an old car parade, that looked very much like a race, with everything from Crabbe’s W125 Mercedes-Benz and Tony Brooks in a Vanwall, to D-type Jaguars and Lago-Talbots, and a tour of respect for Pedro Rodriguez by a JW Gulf-Porsche 917, as well as saloon-car racing and Chris Barber’s Jazz Band to finish up the day. Added to all this was superbly sunny weather and the splendid garden-party atmosphere, all in the centre of England, so it was no wonder that Silverstone was packed to overflowing.

So presumably Weaverbird's pictures are indeed 1971 rather than 1973. I've just had a look at the national 'quality' press reports for the 1971 race and none of them mentions anything about either a Vanwall or the name Vandervell. The relevant issues of Autocar for 1971 and 1973 aren't yet online.



#19 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 18 November 2021 - 14:29

Did Tony Brooks demonstrate the Vanwall at one of the 1968/9 meetings ? 

 

I was taken to Silverstone as a 6/7 year old by my Dad and remember standing on the top of the old pits, seeing the Vanwall and being told that Tony Brooks was driving it. This was definitely before 1970 and I seem to remember Chris Amon being there in a Ferrari and NGH in a Lotus

Tony Brooks demonstrated a Vanwall at the 1967 Grand Prix. 



Advertisement

#20 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 11,019 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 18 November 2021 - 14:37

Guess why...   :love:

 

DCN



#21 Collombin

Collombin
  • Member

  • 6,614 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 18 November 2021 - 15:04

If Stirling took over part way through the demo then I think we would know for sure.

#22 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 18 November 2021 - 15:31

Tony Brooks demonstrated a Vanwall at the 1967 Grand Prix. 

Thanks Roger. Thinking back I'm pretty certain Graham was in a Gold Leaf Lotus which would make it 68 ( Intl Trophy ?) or 69  ( Intl Trophy or GP ?)


Edited by LittleChris, 18 November 2021 - 15:35.


#23 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 18 November 2021 - 16:03

If Stirling took over part way through the demo then I think we would know for sure.

He might have done if he hadn’t been driving a 300SLR with a small bearded passenger. 



#24 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 7,332 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 18 November 2021 - 16:22

Thanks Roger. Thinking back I'm pretty certain Graham was in a Gold Leaf Lotus which would make it 68 ( Intl Trophy ?) or 69  ( Intl Trophy or GP ?)

There was a demonstration of old racing cars at the 1969 Grand Prix but I don’t think it included a Vanwall. 



#25 68targa

68targa
  • Member

  • 759 posts
  • Joined: October 19

Posted 18 November 2021 - 16:27

Brooks drove a Vanwall at the 1967 BGP as part of the 'Ancien Pilotes' demo and again in 1971 during a histroic car parade.  Colin Vandervell demonstrated  the 'Thinwal' at the 1973 event.

 

However, Tony Brooks also demonstrated a Vanwall at the appropriately named Vanwall Trophy meeting (for F5000 cars) at Silverstone in June 1969 and to quote from the programme ... "The Thinwall Special, the two 1958 World Championship winning Vanwalls and the rear engined Vanwall are on display in front of the Dunlop tower ..."   Weaverbirds photo would appear to be this line up and Brooks can be seen signing autographs by the fence which I don't think would be allowed at a GP meeting. The crowd is a little sparse as well.



#26 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 3,024 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 18 November 2021 - 17:35

That could well be it 68Targa.  My Dad always preferred the 50's cars to the 60's ones so it would make sense for him to have taken me to a meeting with so many Vanwalls.



#27 cooper997

cooper997
  • Member

  • 3,436 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 20 November 2021 - 21:11

Following on from 22/7/71 Motoring News 1971 British GP report

 

1971-MN-Silverstone-Historic-demo-TNF.jp

 

 

Stephen