1979 Williams FW07 Formula One

Williams F1, one of the world’s leading Formula One motor racing teams, was founded in 1977 by Frank Williams and Patrick Head. One of the few independent F1 teams, it has won 16 FIA F1 World Championships and seven Driver’s Championships. The FW07 was a groundbreaking 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.

FW0704 was first driven by Australian 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. He came 9th 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 U.S. Grand Prix. In 1979, Jones finished third in the Driver’s 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, FW0704.

For the next two decades, this car resided in the prestigious York Motor Museum in Western Australia, before being moved to Peter Briggs’s new motor museum in Freemantle, near Perth. It is now being offered for sale for the first time since being purchased by Briggs from Frank Williams. The car is fitted with a dummy Cosworth engine.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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