Alan Jones Williams 1979 FW07/04 to be auctioned at Sotherbys
On the 30th anniversary of Williams’ first world title, the car Alan Jones used to win four Grand Prix in 1979-1980will be auctioned in Melbourne next month.
The FW07 was a ground breaking car regarded by many as the most innovative of its generation due to its superior aerodynamics with small front wing, longer sidepods and its highly efficient skirting system. It was the car with which Williams enjoyed its first successes. This Williams FW07 Formula One car was driven by World Champion Alan Jones in the 1979 and 1980 seasons. In his weekly column in the UK Autocar Magazine on 7th March 1981, eminent motor racing correspondent, Eoin Young wrote:
“World Champion Alan Jones may have an enormous heart but he has an incredibly narrow backside judging by the squeeze I had to get in behind the wheel of the car he drove to win the Argentine Grand Prix last year. Or could it be that I’m simply better upholstered in the nether regions than the fast and fearless Aussie? Why am I sitting in his Williams? Because that particular car has just been added – briefly – to my collection of motoring memorabilia. Nothing like having a one-to-one scale model of a Grand Prix car. The Williams leaves Didcot for an undisclosed amount (as they say in the best papers when they know full well, but won’t say). Soon it will be winging its way out to the York Motor Museum in Western Australia as part of the collection being built up out there by oil man Peter Briggs. You will remember him as the enthusiast who flew his 1902 Clement to England for the London to Brighton run last November and who bought an 1895 Peugeot while he was in town.
“This particular Williams reflects the incredible passion for detail that goes into the works racing cars at the track. It won the Argentine GP last year and was then used as a development car testing new ideas. Those ideas ran out when Jones crashed at Donington and the car was then rebuilt as a display model with a mock-up Cosworth engine and specially strengthened body panels to cope with inquisitive spectators who, as Sheridan Thynne pointed out, seem obliged to break things on the display cars.”
“This is a highly-significant race car for Australia and the world. Not since Jack Brabham had an Australian dominated Formula 1 to the extent that Alan Jones did in 1979/80”
FW07/04 was first driven by Alan Jones in competition in July 1979 when he won the German Grand Prix having led the race throughout. In August 1979 Jones won again at the Austrian GP. Jones came ninth in the car (after battery failure) at the Italian Grand Prix in September, before winning again (and setting the fastest lap) at the Canadian Grand Prix. In October he lost the rear wheel and failed to finish whilst competing at the US Grand Prix. In 1979 Jones finished third in the Drivers’ Championship, before becoming World Champion in 1980. He started the 1980 campaign by winning the Argentine GP in January from pole position and setting the fastest lap in the same car FW07/04. The Williams Team won the World Constructors’ Championship in the same year.
For the next two decades this car resided in the prestigious York Motor Museum in Western Australia before being moved to Peter Briggs new motor museum in Fremantle near Perth. It is now offered for sale for the first time since being purchased by Peter Briggs with Eoin Young acting as agent from Frank Williams. Please note that this car is fitted with a dummy unit Cosworth engine for display purposes.