F1 Grand Prix 1955

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07/05/1955; VII BRDC International Trophy ,Silverstone ,Kenneth McAlpine, Ken Wharton ,Connaught B-Type 'B2', Vanwall VW2

Not a particular why for this photo, unless for the flames, which for many decades brought death and pain on the racing tracks. The streamlined B-series Connaught is driven by Ken McAlpine. He and Fairman in a sister car ran third and fourth but were side-lined by mechanical problems. The streamliner body worked well but was dropped for a practical reason. It was made in one piece causing serious space problems in the paddock and it was so light that a gust of wind would throw it around. Vandervell had tried to sign Collins alongside Hawthorn for the season 1955, but he couldn’t so he had to resort to Ken Wharton, a great all-rounder but not as fast as Peter. During this race Ken was coming from behind after a pit-stop when he was forced off-line at Copse corner. His car hit one of the marker drums, breaking its fuel tank. Flames immediately burst and Wharton, who had been able to jump off, was seriously burned, nonetheless.
30/05/1955; London Trophy ,Crystal Palace ,John Webb ,Turner-Lea Francis 'FII-007'

The picture shows the end – luckily bloodless - of the racing career of both driver and car. We do not know what Connaught’s Mike Oliver thought when he saw that one of the Lea Francis engines with cylinder blocks cast in aluminum specially made especially for his type A car was given to a rather obscure builder of specials. Jack Turner was his name. He got the engine through the connection that he had made by building a sports car for the son of Lea Francis chief designer Hugh Rose for the purpose of building a F2 car around it for the 1953 season.
But why? John Webb, after serving in the Royal Artillery during the war, had first explored the possibility of sheep farming in Australia until deciding, on the death of his father and elder brother, to rejoin the family business which made English lead crystal glass, had bought the ex-Reg Parnell MG K3 Magnette. Eventually he took his car to Turner for preparation, saw the first Turner sports car, liked it, and deciding that his MG chassis was too heavy to do justice to his 120 bhp engine, asked Jack to build him a single-seat version. He was impressed by Turner’s ability so he decided to put down an order for a new F2 car. Another thing that we ’ll never know is if the car was always at the back of the field because of its faults, or of those of its driver. Mainly used in local races, the car got an Alta engine for 1954 and, driven by Jack Fairman, fared just a little bit better in a more intense season. In the meanwhile Turner had designed a little sports car powered by the 850cc Austin engine. Mainly sold in kit form, it enjoyed moderate success and it is considered the forerunner of the Austin-Healey Sprite. After that Turner followed his only single seater into oblivion where apparently they are both still alive and well.
“The F2 Turner did not take racing by storm though when Webb entered the likes of Jack Fairman and Ron Flockhart in it, it picked up a few places. In 1955, at Crystal Palace, a locked brake caused the car to slew and roll, throwing Webb out (photo). John had had his fling, marriage was in prospect and although his fiancée encouraged his racing John thought it best not to continue, and he bowed out of active racing though he later served on the council of the Bugatti Owners' Club and is a member of the BRDC.”
Monaco Grand Prix (1955)

"Lucky for Some" by Alfredo de la Maria

A limited edition giclee on canvas of an original oil painting of the 1955 Monaco GP. Shown here is Stirling Moss in the Mercedes W196 chased by Ascari's Lancia D50, Trintignant's Ferrari 625 & Hawthorn's Vanwall at the Station Hairpin
"Mirabeau 1955" by Alfredo de la Maria

1955 Monaco GP. Shown here is Juan Manuel Fangio in the Mercedes W196 chased by Ascari's Lancia D50 & Trintignant's Ferrari 625



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