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Grand Prix-Winning Ex-Alan Jones Williams FW07 Heads to Auction

Submitted by on March 14, 2018

1979 Williams FW07/01

Images thanks to Racecars Direct

This ex-Alan Jones & Clay Regazzoni Williams FW07, the car in which Jones won the 1979 Dutch Grand Prix, will be auctioned online at Racecars Direct over the next two weeks until March 31st, 2018.

The car, Williams FW07/01 #27, was unveiled to the public at the 1979 United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach. Its Long Beach appearance was just as a display car, however, so its race debut would come at Jarama a few weeks later in the Spanish Grand Prix. Alan Jones drove it and the pair were very much on the pace when a gearbox issue forced them into retirement at two-thirds race distance.

Jones took FW07/01 into the lead of the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder just two weeks later, but would again have to retire with a mechanical. Jones led for 15 laps, and it was the first time that a Williams-built car had led a grand prix.

1979 Williams FW07/01

Williams prepared some updates for the FW07 for the British Grand Prix, and Jones was was given FW07/03 to pilot, with FW07/01 kept on board as a spare. Jones spun the newer car in testing on Thursday morning and ended up hopping back into FW07/01 to run the afternoon tests. The pair were extremely quick and Jones decided to run the 01 car in the race.

He qualified in pole position, Williams’ first ever, and set a new lap record in the process. Teammate Clay Regazzoni got the jump on him at the start of the race, but Jones was able to get by and had the lead by the end of the first lap. He held it until lap 38, when a water pump failure dropped him out of competition. Regazzoni would go on to win the race, securing Williams’ first grand prix victory.

1979 Williams FW07/01

At the Dutch Grand Prix, Jones qualified second next to the turbocharged Renault of René Arnoux, but the team was not confident in the newer FW07/04, and put him back behind the wheel of FW07/01 for the race.

Arnoux struggled at the start, allowing Jones to get the jump on him. Gilles Villeneuve passed Jones early in the race, but Jones was able to hang on, regaining the lead when Villeneuve spun late in the piece and holding it until the chequered flag, giving FW07/01 its grand prix victory.

The car ran eight times in 1979, four at the hands of Alan Jones and four with Regazzoni behind the wheel. It gave Williams their first pole position and helped them to second in the constructors’ championship, as well as playing a role in Jones’ third place finish in the drivers’ championship and Regazzoni’s fifth.

1979 Williams FW07/01

In 1980 it was raced in the Aurora AFX British F1 Championship, where Eliseo Salazar and Emilio de Villota drove it to four pole positions and three wins. At the end of the season it retired from its period racing career and was placed in the Williams Grand Prix Collection.

2013 saw the car entrusted to John Cadd of JC Historics for a ground-up restoration to original specification, even using original Williams parts where possible. During this time the engine and gearbox were completely rebuilt by Geoff Richardson Engineering and BPA Engineering Ltd. The car was finished in its livery from the 1979 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

The car will be auctioned online over the next few weeks, with the auction running until 5PM BST on the 31st of March, 2018. For the official details or to bid, head to Racecars Direct here.

Images thanks to Racecars Direct

1979 Williams FW07/01

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