Wednesday 19 June 2013

Road - Donington Park

There wasn't much driving at the Vauxhall event at Donington Park Race Circuit, but the lunch was good and the crack was better. It was more of a range review event and catch up with Vauxhall staff, always good for background information.

They also had a range of converted tippers and dropsides, box vans and car transporters because the arrival of WVTA (Whole Vehicle Type Approval) has stirred up the bodybuilding and coachwork building industry.

Yet another case of European meddling in  traditional industries. For sure, some type of mandatory cross-border safety regulation is a good thing but it's always worrying when the European bureaucrats start to mess about with regulations just to justify their salaries ad pensions schemes.

However a visit to Donington Park couldn't be allowed to pass without a tour of the Tom Wheatcroft museum, surely the biggest collection of GP cars in the country.

But what to single out? Well, the Vanwall collection is simply stunning.

Unmistakably Vanwall, this is a 1955 car and raced by Ken Wharton and Hary Schell. Originally designed around a 2 litre engine, later engines were 2.3 and 2.5 litres in size and could trace their origins back to the Norton motor cycle engine. At the end of their development they were producing around 300 hp!

The Vanwall VW6 Streamliner was built for the high-speed Reims circuit and although Stuart Lewis-Evans practiced the car ahead of the French Grand Prix it wasn't raced. Roy Salvadori also had a shot but it would appear that the Streamliner was never actually raced.

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