Winning Williams F1 car leads first ever Race Cars Direct auction

Alan Jones' Dutch Grand Prix-winning 1979 Williams FW07/01 will head-up Race Cars Direct's first ever auction

A 1979 Williams Formula 1 car which with Alan Jones won the Dutch Grand Prix will headline Race Cars Direct’s first ever auction later this month.

The website is best known for listing classifieds covering the breadth of motorsport, from race and rally cars to transporters and memorabilia.

Alongside offering a commission sales service, Race Cars Direct is now expanding into auctions in an effort to match growing customer demands.

Leading its first auction, for which bidding ends on March 31, is a Williams FW07/01. It was the team’s first attempt at a ground-effect car and was raced eight times during the season.

Drivers Clay Regazzoni and 1980 F1 champion Alan Jones shared the car, with Jones winning the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Designed by Patrick Head, Neil Oatley and Frank Dernie, the FW07 dramatically improved Williams’ fortunes. Between its first race at the Spanish Grand Prix in April 1979 and its final outing at the USA Grand Prix three seasons later it scored 300 points, securing Williams its first drivers’ title and its first two constructors’ championships.

Chassis 01 was first raced at the Spanish Grand Prix in ‘79 but retired with transmission failure. But at Zandvoort, Gilles Villeneuve spun his Ferrari while leading allowing Jones to win by 20 seconds over Jody Scheckter.

The 2993cc Ford Cosworth DFV V8 produces 462.5bhp at 8000rpm and is transmitted through a Hewland five-speed gearbox. It tips the scales at only 575kg.

In 2013 the car was fully restored by JC Historics, including an engine and gearbox rebuild. Last year it featured at Silverstone for Williams’ celebrations of its 40th anniversary.

Boss of Race Cars Direct, Mike Walters said: ‘The owner of the Williams approached me to sell the car. It’s a coup to have that kind of lot. We’ve had over 7000 views on the car since the advert went live 48 hours ago.

‘It’s a privilege to offer this car. Let’s see it back out there racing [with the FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 Championship] – hopefully the new owner will use it for what it was built for.’

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