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If you think you’re a “real racer” or dedicated fan to the sport, ponder this: just moments after getting married, Frank William’s best friend David Brodie offered to pay for a celebratory lunch. Frank declined the offer and left his newlywed and friends to celebrate on their own; after all, there were cars to work on! Dedicated and/or fanatic, you decide. And such was the mind of Frank Williams, a man who once said “I just love racing, I love speed, I love the noise.” Frank passed at the age of 79 on November 28, 2021.

The facts will be forever be embossed on the story of Formula 1: Williams’ team would produce 7 drivers’ championships, 114 victories, and 9 constructor titles. Versus today’s politically rich sport steered by executives in glass-walled board rooms, Frank’s achievements came from an era where a team’s survival and performance could be traced to few individuals’ tireless commitment and passion. 

Financial doom, marital problems, two driver fatalities and the eventual car accident that left Frank a paraplegic, none were too big to dampen his ambition.

Frank started his career as a car-crazy teen buying and selling race car parts. Surrounding himself with wealthy peers, he was able to experience the world of racing reserved for those with means. Sure, he got behind the wheel himself and raced an Austin A35 to prove he was fast, but ultimately his reckless nature would deem he was better off outside the car than in. 

Alan Jones, Frank Williams and Saudia-Williams car designer Patrick Head

Alan Jones, Frank Williams and Saudia-Williams car designer Patrick Head
Alan Jones, Frank Williams and Saudia-Williams car designer Patrick Head, are recieving their reliability award at Montreal, Canada in 1980.

Successful parts sales led to the buying and selling of used race cars. In 1966, he established Frank Williams Racing Cars Ltd. and began running both Formula 2 and Formula 3 cars on shoestring budgets.

Three years later in 1969, he acquired a used Brabham chassis and made his F1 debut at the Spanish Grand Prix where his driver Piers Courage qualified 11th but did not finish. Off to Monaco for round 3 where Piers qualified 9th and fought his way to second place finish. Earning 6 world championship points on his second F1 outing, the 27-year-old Williams was heading up, but not for long. The following year, mechanical failure would result in Piers Courage running off course at Zandvoort and being killed. Soon the joke in the paddock was “If you want to ruin your career, drive a Williams”.

As has been stated many times before, “If you want to make a little money in racing, start with a lot.” By 1976, Frank had exhausted all financial avenues including using money made from selling his wife’s flat (townhouse). A “deal with the devil” was made with oil tycoon Walter Wolf, and after a terrible season, Frank was forced out of his own company. Salt on the wound came just months later when his driver Jody Scheckter drove the Williams car, now rebadged as a Wolf, to a win in the Argentine GP. 

After months of depression, Frank partnered with Belgian beer company Belle Vue, and created Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd.  An old factory was found, and the team went to work with Patrick Head, known to be a bit of a bully but a genius with race cars.

Frank Williams and Alan Jones

Frank Williams and Alan Jones
Frank Williams discusses strategy with driver Alan Jones © Williams Archives

Two years later in 1979, F1 victory would finally be bestowed upon Frank when at the British GP when Clay Regazzoni took the chequered flag. Teammate Alan Jones would go on to win at Germany, Austria, Holland and Canada, resulting in 3rd overall for driver’s points. Many more Drivers and Constructors titles would follow in the early 1980s; Williams could do no wrong.  

But in the instant of a moment, Franks life would be turned upside down; literally.

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: Sir Frank Williams: Racing First
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/sir-frank-williams-racing-first/
Published Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2021 00:03:05 +0000

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Motor

Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame

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custom triumph tr6 matchless frame 625x417 1

Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.

Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.

This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.

Custom Triumph TR6 with Matchless frame

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000

 

 

 

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The Swan Song of the V12

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The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.

Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.

Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.

The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.

The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.

The 6.5L F140 GA V12

The 6.5L F140 GA V12
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.

The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.

It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.

Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.

Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.

M279 E60 LA Twin Turbo V12

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000

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Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!

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In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.

Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.

I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.

Shoei NXR2 helmet reviewRead More

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000

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