HWM Alta Jaguar 1950 – UK

Hersham and Walton Motors – HWM – to pierwszy brytyjski team rywalizujący w Grand Prix po wojnie. To HWM w 1950 roku umieścił znów Wielką Brytanię na wyścigowej mapie Europy, dając miejsce między innymi wschodzącej gwieździe wyścigów, jaką był Stirling Moss. Oferowana przez Silverstone Auctions WM Alta Jaguar to pierwsza z czterech samochodów fabrycznych, w których ścigali się Moss, John Heath, Lance Macklin, George Abecassis i Rudi Fischer. W sumie samochód brał udział w piętnastu imprezach w całej Europie, w tym w Reims, Grand Prix de Bern i Grand Premio De Bari. W październiku 1950 roku Stirling wygrał ostatni wyścig w Castle Combe, zanim HWM Alta Jaguar została sprzedana Oscarowi Moore’owi. Ten kontynuował ściganie się jako kierowca zespołu prywatnego, a nawet zarejestrował go do użytku drogowego z rejestracją XMC 34 w północnym Londynie. Co ciekawe, obecny właściciel Terry Grainger, znany architekt z Worcestershire, nabył go w 1965 roku, czyli posiada ten samochód już od 56 lat. Ten niesamowity kawałek historii brytyjskich sportów motorowych wywodzi się z charyzmatycznych czasów torowej walki z legendami Grand Prix lat 50., takimi jak Alfa Romeo i Ferrari. Można sobie tylko wyobrazić, jak dobrze wyglądałby po przywróceniu jego oszałamiającej metalicznej zieleni, bez błotników i przedniej szyby, dokładnie tak jak wyglądał na Gran Premio di Bari w lipcu 1950 roku.
Niesamowity okaz wyceniony został na 500 – 575 tysięcy funtów szterlingów, czyli około 2,7 – 3,1 miliona złotych, a licytowany będzie online w sobotę 27 marca.


Link: https://www.silverstoneauctions.com/sa073-lot-205-1950-hwm-alta-jaguar?el=16075&pn=2&pp=100

Lot Number: 205

1950 HWM Alta Jaguar
An important part of, not only Motorsport History, but British Post-War Social History.

GUIDE PRICE: £500,000 – £575,000

SUMMARY
An important part of, not only Motorsport History, but British Post-War Social History.

DESCRIPTION
John Heath and George Abecassis evolved a modified version of their successful 1949 HW-Alta design for the 1950 season

A prototype and four team cars were to have been built, Team drivers were to be Abecassis, Heath and Stirling Moss
In the event, only 3 cars and a prototype were built, FB IOI, 102, 103 and 104

Built officially by HW Motors they were known as 'HWM’s, a name that is synonymous with Britain’s first post-war steps into the world of Grand Prix

Offered by Silverstone Auctions is the first of the four works cars that has an incredible race history in 1950 raced by Moss, John Heath, Lance Macklin, George Abecassis and Rudi Fischer

In all, it raced in fifteen events across Europe including Reims, Grand Prix de Bern and Grand Premio De Bari

In October 1950, Stirling gave it its swansong win at Castle Combe before being sold to Oscar Moore in 1951

Now road registered, XMC 34, it was purchased by our vendor in 1965 and enjoyed a further lease of life usually driven by some fast ladies at Midland hill climb events

The significance of HWM to British motor racing history has been widely overlooked yet John Heath’s foray into the European racing scene with his private team of three Formula Two HWMs in 1950 marked the first post-war attack on International racing by a full team of British cars and effectively put Britain back on the motor racing map. Despite a shoestring budget and daunting physical, financial and logistical problems, John Heath’s enterprising little Ecurie raced at nineteen British and Continental meetings during 1950 with creditable success. In so doing they brought immeasurable prestige to Britain across a Continent still recovering from the ravages of war. Perhaps even more important to Britain’s future prestige in motor racing, during that I950 season the perspicacious Heath and partner George Abecassis gave the first chance of big time motor racing to a confident twenty-year-old rising star. His name was Stirling Moss.

For the 1949 season, Heath decided that the team should design and build a car of their own for Formula Two and sports car racing. This dual-purpose car used a 2-litre Alta engine in a twin-tube chassis with wishbone front suspension, a transverse leaf spring, Standard 12 uprights, a Citroen steering rack (HW Motors were Citroen dealers), an ENV pre-selector gearbox and a live rear axle. This HW-Alta proved a great success, with viceless handling and took Heath to victory in the 70-mile 1949 BRDC Race in the IoM and a close second to Possi’s Delahaye in the GP de l’ACF, run for sports cars, at Comminges.

Encouraged by this success, Heath and Abecassis evolved a modified version of the HW-Alta design for the 1950 season as the nucleus of a three car team. The offer of an entry at Le Mans encouraged the adoption of the dual-purpose design (a rear-engined F2 car had been contemplated), but when it was discovered that only prize-money was on offer, the Sarthe entry was dropped and the cars ran as open-wheel single-seaters throughout 1950. Team drivers were to be Abecassis, Heath and Moss (Peter Clark, Nick Haines and Johnnie Claes were to have been second drivers at Le Mans). A prototype and four team cars were to have been built, the fourth to have been a spare. In the event, Heath, Alf Francis and their small team of Tom O’Hara and Rex Woodgate, with Jack Tolly as a part-time welder, built only four cars, including the prototype, though it seems that an additional chassis may have been laid down but not completed. They were given chassis and engine numbers FB IOI, 102, 103 and 104, FB being Geoffrey Taylor’s prefix for Formula B Alta engines, FB the forerunner of F2. The first three numbers related to the cars intended for the team and, perversely, the prototype seems to have been given the last number. Presumably it was built without a number and given 104 for carnet purposes after the others had been allocated. It had been intended to sell the prototype to Baring, a locally based privateer. In fact Baring bought the brand-new 103 and the prototype was taken on to the team strength with 101 and 102. These new machines from HW Motors were given the name “HWM”.

With confidence high and a great design, they famously gave breaks to young drivers of potential with the late Sir Stirling Moss being effectively offered his first works drive debuting at Goodwood at the Easter Meeting in April finishing 2nd in the Easter Handicap.

Offered by Silverstone Auctions is the first of the four works cars that has an incredible race history in 1950 raced by Moss, John Heath, Lance Macklin, George Abecassis and Rudi Fischer. In all, it raced in fifteen events across Europe including Reims, Grand Prix de Bern and Grand Premio De Bari. In October 1950, Stirling gave it its swansong win at Castle Combe before being sold to Oscar Moore in 1951 who continued to race it with great success and even registered it for the road with the North London registration of XMC 34. It was purchased by our vendor in 1965 and enjoyed a further lease of life usually driven by some fast ladies at Midland hill climb events.

Going back to 1950, only two cars were finished for the Easter Monday Goodwood event and HWM allowed privateer Alistair ‘Buster’ Baring to drive one to keep him sweet as he had the fourth built car earmarked for him. Stirling finished sixth in the Chichester Cup Formula Libre race and second in the Easter Handicap. A third car was ready for Roubaix in early May and Baring would get his own car a week later for Mons when finally all four works cars ran. They all had minor bodywork differences and the car offered here is 1950/A – the prototype. It was to be shared between George Abecassis (seven races) and John Heath (five races/ fourth place at Reims) Lance Macklin (four times, third at Mettet) and Sir Stirling Moss twice (first and third at Castle Combe). The result sheets show that, remarkably, the works HWMs were only second best to the likes of Alberto Ascari in the Ferrari and the works Alfas of Farina and Fangio.

To help finance the 1951 season, the three works cars were sold off having been equipped with mudguards and lights to make them more saleable. In 1951 our car, last driven by Moss, was sold to privateer racer Oscar Moore of North London who registered it for the road and fitted a Jaguar 3.4 engine from an XK120 but enlarged to 3781 cc. He often liked to say he beat Coventry to it! This was the first HWM Jaguar and was very competitive from the outset capable of beating C-Types on twisty circuits. It was eventually sold to Plymouth motor trader, Gerry Scali, before turning up with London trader Danny Margulies who had handled the sale of the fabulous HWM Streamliner. It was purchased by our vendor, Terry Grainger, a well known Worcestershire architect and cricketer in 1965 and some fifty five years later he still owns it. At some point the bodywork had seen better days and Oldbury Wing and Panels Ltd. were tasked with carefully copying the original body. Over the past half century it has competed with great distinction at various hill-climbs driven by Georgina Baillie-Hill, Davina Galica and Gillian Goldsmith.

This incredible piece of British motorsport history can trace its origins to those charismatic ‘Garagiste’ at HWM who took on 1950s Grand Prix legends like Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. One can only imagine how good it would look restored back to its stunning HWM period metallic green, without mudguards and with the cockpit fairing as it looked at The Gran Premio di Bari in July 1950.

The history file accompanying the HMW is beyond doubt one of the most complete motorsport stories that Silverstone Auctions have ever had the pleasure to present. From original HWM letters to copies of Autosport, period photographs and the two books by Simon Taylor which have provided the most complete account of the HMW story punctuated with a plethora of nostalgic images.

This is an important piece of, not only Motorsport History, but British Post-War History and needs to be regarded as such. Our knowledgeable consignor will be happy to help you view the car and talk through where its future might lie.