Vanwall, to me, is kind of like the motorsport equivalent of the Gauls. I know that they are historically important, but prior to reading this book I couldn't have given you more than a very general rundown of why.
Gauls, as far as I know, hung out in western Europe (mainly France) for a few centuries before the Christian era and amused themselves by making life difficult for the Romans. Eventually, the Romans got sick of this and steamrolled them. Asterix and Obelix were Gauls. Beyond that, I can't tell you much without cheating and looking them up on Google.
Prior to reading this book, I knew that Vanwall was a British marque that flashed along for a few years in the 1950s, had the odd success and then vanished for reasons unknown. Well, reasons unknown to me, anyway. I probably could have guessed that Stirling Moss would have driven for them at some point, but given the spectrum of cars that Moss steered during his career, that is not what you'd call sticking your neck out. Oh, and I knew what the Thinwall Special was.
My sensitivity towards the team increased a little last year when I made the pilgrimage across the globe to visit the Donington Collection and checked out the Vanwall display - the first time, as I far as I can remember, that I saw any sort of Vanwall anywhere other than in a photograph. But if you were to put what I know about Vanwalls and what I know about Lotus on a set of scales, then the result would look rather lopsided - and I would not pretend for a second to be a Lotus expert.