Fifteen Eleven restores the iconic Williams FW07/04 Formula 1 race car to its former glory
Situated at derbyshire, UK, fifteen eleven design, is a catering dream, boasting over 40 years of combined experience. Each project is built to the individual and specific requirements of the client and can be at completely different ends of the restoration and design spectrum! Some projects are pure restoration projects, which involve every part being painstakingly done down to the smallest detail and by hand. Others may be an entirely unique vehicle, a customer’s original idea, which will be handcrafted. With such skills, anything seems possible with this team of pros.
Fifteen Eleven are passionate about a talented team, who will go to great lengths to locate original components and trim for their restorations, but they also have the ability to stretch their imaginations to incorporate high-end modern manufacturing methods. as well as the use of unusual elements and materials. Their attention to detail is extremely high and their restoration of the Williams FW07/04 is a historic and fascinating project that we have the privilege of witnessing.
Why the Williams FW07/04 is so special
This is the car that took the Aussie, Alan Jones, to the dizzying heights of Formula 1 success, winning the World Drivers’ Championship title in 1980. williams designed this car in such a way that it leapfrogged its competitors in terms of technology, and its superior cornering handling led it to become an iconic car of its time. The reason for this incredible handling was due to Williams’ better understanding of aerodynamics. This understanding generated better downforce on the car, which gave the car better grip, resulting in improved cornering ability at higher speeds. This aerodynamic effect is also known as ground effect, and the FW07 was the first Williams to achieve this in its design.
How did Fifteen Eleven restore FW07/04?
This project has surely been one of the most difficult that Fifteen Eleven has undertaken. But they did it, the project is done and dusted off and was a resounding success. So how did they do it?
First, with the FW07/04 residing in Saudi Arabia, the logistical challenge of moving the car was not so simple as it had to travel all the way to the UK – barely on the road! To transport the car to the UK, everything on it had to be removed, stripping it down to the chassis.
Then, once they arrived in the UK at Fifteen Eleven’s premises, their team started the eight-week project, under a bit of pressure as it needed to be finished and back in Saudi Arabia in time for the Formula 1 race. at first. of December.
As part of the restoration process, 3D scans were taken and models were created so the team could produce authentic components if the originals could not be located. It would have been an amazing project to work on, from tearing down and rebuilding all the parts and components of the car. A completely new engine was specially ordered and built for the car, by Geoff Richardson Racing Engines. The engine ordered was a 3 liter V8 Cosworth DFV. Mark Bailey Racing was responsible for giving the transmission a complete overhaul.
It took more than 1,000 hours of loving care (and lots of intense, hard work!) to restore this iconic car to its former glory, and it made a heroic return to Saudi Arabia in time to show off the all-new circuit. , joining a number of motorsport legends on the track in a Williams. Bittersweet moment perhaps, with the sad passing of Mr Frank Williams in November he would no doubt have been more than proud to see this car restored to such a high standard and back on the track. Indeed, former world champion pilots, Damon Room, took the wheel of the FW07/04 for a lap before Sunday’s race as a mark of respect and in memory of Sir Frank.
Talk to ‘Take the road‘, Fifteen Eleven Design’s Managing Director, Chris Mellors, said: “The Williams FW07/04 project has undoubtedly been one of the biggest tasks undertaken by Fifteen Eleven Design, and we certainly faced many challenges. along the way, but it was just magical. so that we can restore this iconic machine to its former glory”.
Mellor’s exquisite team also armed themselves with experts from the 1970s and 1980s to give themselves the best opportunity to make this project the success it has become. It was a mix of old and new, with the experts of the old combining with new technologies, such as scanning and 3D modeling. It was essential to create this collaboration with a dream team to ensure that this car traveled the Saudi circuit in the most original and authentic state possible. Poignantly enough, Alan Jones, 75, was on the track to find his old race car.
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