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HWM from 1952

HWM is a former English racing car brand operated by the Hersham and Walton Motors auto repair shop in Walton-on-Thames , Surrey . Between 1947 and 1954, HWM also took part several times with its own works team in the Formula 2 World Cup and Formula 1 in 1954 . The company has been an official representative of Aston Martin since 1951 and still exists today as the HWM Group .

Post war era

The racing drivers George Abecassis and John Heath had registered the design and racing team under the complicated and in practice never used name Hersham and Walton Motors after the Second World War , which in the early 1950s was one of the British top teams, even if they were Took most of the offroad and sports car races .

They first drew attention to themselves in 1948 with an Alta -powered sports car. This was soon known as the "HW-Alta", but was replaced in the following year by a model that could be used both as a monoposto and as a two-seater sports car. With this, Heath won the Manx Cup in 1949 and achieved an excellent second place at the Grand Prix du Comminges in the same year.

Aspiring Formula 2 team

In 1950, Heath and the chief mechanic Alf Francis set out to design a pure Formula 2 car, which Abecassis and Heath used with little luck at the Lavant Cup in Goodwood during the Easter Monday race. Three weeks later, however, Abecassis was accompanied by a promising young man who had caught their eye with his strong performance in Formula 3 races that same year: Stirling Moss , who won a supporting race for the Montlhéry Grand Prix . Throughout the spring, the team “tinkered” with different drivers from race to race across the European continent - Roubaix , Mons and Aix-les-Bains were just a few prominent stops. Johnny Claes scored his first win in Chimay at the end of May. A few weeks later, Moss made a big impression when he was able to fight for third place with his Formula 2 racing car in a race held according to Formula 1 regulations near Rome up to a tire defect. It was not until July that he was able to catch up on this position at the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Bari , and in Formula 2 he also succeeded in doing this in Reims . Moss should have been particularly pleased with the podium finish in Bari, as he landed with the underpowered, compressorless HWM after 320 km behind Juan Manuel Fangio and his idol Giuseppe Farina in front of a number of real Formula 1 cars. In the advanced season, the team used more and more Lance Macklin and Fergus Anderson, who came from motorcycling , alongside Moss . Moss and Macklin achieved second and third place in Mettet , while Stirling also contributed third place in Perigueux .

Completely new racing cars were built for the 1951 season. These were significantly more competitive in terms of both the location of the center of gravity and the weight. HWM sold the old cars to “gentlemen's drivers”, while Moss and Macklin could now consider themselves the regular drivers of the works team, who were, however, supplemented by top-class team colleagues such as Prince Bira and Louis Chiron . Despite tough competition, Moss finished second in Aix-les-Bains and third in a Formula 1 race in Zandvoort . Macklin, on the other hand, took second place in Angouleme and third in Modena, while the new team member Harry Schell crossed the finish line right behind the winner of the Posillipo race . At the end of the summer, Yves Giraud-Cabantous added another French to the team. At the end of the season, HWM competed in Winfield against local competition, so that they could even celebrate a clear triple victory in the order Moss-Albecassis- Duncan Hamilton .

Drivers world championship

Since the 1952 world championship season was contested according to Formula 2 rules, entry into the top motorsport class was almost inevitable, and with Peter Collins , Moss, Macklin and Giraud-Cabantous were given another talented young driver . Abecassis and Heath only drove occasionally, so Hamilton, Tony Rolt and a few others supported the works team during the long 1952 season. At the BRDC International Trophy in Silverstone, Macklin won ahead of Rolt, at the Nürburgring Stirling Moss was able to show a second place and in Chimay at the “Grand Prix des Frontieres” Paul Frère even celebrated a victory. Collins and Macklin took a few more good places in lower-class races, but overall the season - measured by the high level of personnel required - was disappointing, as Paul Frère's fifth place was only a minor success in the championship races recorded. With even less capital for the 1953 World Cup season , the results were even more disillusioning.

End and withdrawal from racing

HWM Sports at the VSCC SeeRed Race Meeting in Donington Park (2007)

Since the 1954 Formula 1 season was to be held according to new rules, HWM decided to make a show of strength and tried a 2.5-liter version of the Alta engine, but this too was not successful in the class dominated by the large factory teams be. Thereupon HWM turned back to the sports car races, where they only had minor successes. When Heath died in a racing accident at the Mille Miglia , Abecassis and HWM withdrew from racing as the official works team in order to only manufacture vehicles for customers. After the late 1950s, the HWM had disappeared from the racetracks. In any case, it was the merit of the team to have supported two of the best British Grand Prix drivers of all time in their early years, Stirling Moss and Peter Collins.

In the following years, HWM built a few extravagant street sports cars with Jaguar engines.

The company is still based in Walton-on-Thames. It is now called HWM Group, Ltd. and operates the oldest existing agency for this brand through its subsidiary HWM Aston Martin Surrey and an Alfa Romeo agency through HWM Alfa Romeo Surrey . Both also operate from Walton-on-Thames.

Web links

Commons : HWM  - collection of images, videos and audio files