Now here’s a question we can guarantee you bragging rights on knowing the answer to at your next virtual Pub Quiz night with mates: what was the first ever British car to win a Formula 1 championship? Well, it’s none of the usual suspects. It’s not Jaguar. Or Aston Martin. Or even McLaren. Step forward Vanwall, whose VW5 racing car won the British Grand Prix back in 1958.
Over 70 years on since that historic moment, and now the Vanwall VW5 is back - but only for a very limited run of six recreated models, one of which will be going to the Vanwall Historic Racing Team. And the remaining five that will be available certainly won’t come cheap, with an eye-popping price tag of £1.65 million.
Until the day we can add the VW5 to our fleet though, TrackDays has three cars that we feel hark back to that most nostalgic age of British motorsport, which we have available for a driving experience day at a venue near you. Feast your eyes on these classic little runners…
There’s no other car that epitomises a golden era of British motor racing quite like a Lotus does. The first Lotus Seven was built by the legendary Anthony Bruce Chapman over seven decades ago, and was revolutionary from the off, with his design philosophy of ‘Performance through lightweight’ helping their cars score to victory in Formula 1 and countless other motorsports series across the world.
Their Elise model, first released in 1996, was the modern day take on the classic Lotus sports cars, and its weight of 725 kg makes it incredibly light and thus aerodynamic a drive, racing from 0 - 60 mph in just over 5 seconds, with achievable top speeds of 123 mph! We have a special Lotus Elise Passenger Ride available at four great locations nationwide, including North Weald Airfield in Essex and Blyton Park in Lincolnshire, for just £35.
And from Lotus cars, to a British kit car that, even on looks alone, you can tell is heavily indebted to Chapman’s iconic greats of motorsport. The latest in a long line of cars first produced in 1982, the 2008 Westfield 1600 Sport’s look is that which harks back to a simpler time for motor racing, but one where speed and performance were of just as much importance as they are today in Formula 1.
Fortunately, it has the engineering and track centric performance to match this evocative styling, boasting acceleration from 0 - 60 mph in around 5 seconds, and impressive top speeds of 130 mph once out on the track! Being a two-seater racing car also means it’s good for two people to enjoy on a driving day, like our Westfield Driving Blast for 2 that’s available at locations including Three Sisters Circuit in Wigan for £139.
The Caterham 7 has always been the notional friendly rival to Westfields - particularly as both have their origins in the world of kit cars. Their signature 7 model - a spiritual forebear of the Lotus Seven - adopts a retrospective, modest outlook on design and styling, incorporated with only the very highest level of kit-building around.
What this results in is some phenomenal turbo charged performance once taken out onto the track, with super swift acceleration from 0 - 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and top speeds of 130 mph! The Caterham 7 is an ideal choice for our special Blast package where you can drive it for 3 miles at a choice of venues including Heyford Park in Oxfordshire and Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire for as little as £45.
To see and book from more of our incredible Race Car driving days, including Single Seater and Formula 1 style packages through dates and gift vouchers, head to our dedicated Race Car experiences page on TrackDays today!