A LANDMARK car in the history of Australia’s 1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones and the Williams Grand Prix team is up for sale.
The car in question is the very first FW07 from 1979. Designed by Patrick Head, Neil Oatley and Frank Dernie, it set the course for the team’s title-winning success a year later.
Chassis 01 contested eight races during the 1979 season; split evenly between Jones and teammate Clay Regazzoni.
Jones racked up two key Williams milestones in the car. In its second race at Zolder in May it became the first Williams-constructed car to lead a Grand Prix, before retiring with an electrical fault.
The Aussie then scored Williams’ maiden Formula 1 pole position in chassis 01 three races later at Silverstone.
By that stage it was the spare car but had been called into service after Jones switched between it and his primary car, chassis 03, in practice.
Jones was on course for Williams maiden win in the race when struck down by water pump failure, allowing Regazzoni to sweep through and take the honours aboard chassis 02.
Chassis 01 was on the sidelines for Jones’ first two career wins at Hockenheim and Österreichring, but returned to action for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, where Jones won again.
That race featured an incredible battle with the late Gilles Villeneueve, which ended when a deflating tyre on the Canadian’s Ferrari flew off its rim, sending him into a spin.
The victory was Jones’ last race in chassis 01. It was used by Regazzoni at Monza, Montreal and Watkins Glen, scoring a third in the Italian race, before being retired from F1 duties.
It was subsequently raced in the Aurora AFX British F1 Championship and was later exhibited in the Williams Grand Prix Collection.
It underwent a ground-up restoration in 2013/14 and now wears the livery as raced by Jones at Zandvoort.
The car had been the subject of an auction as recently as 2018 and is now being advertised for sale by renowned classic car dealer Duncan Hamilton Rofgo, with no price listed.