The man behind Ford’s involvement with the Cosworth DFV is to retire this month. Walter Hayes, Vice Chairman of Ford of Europe and a vice-president of Ford Motor Company, thus brings to an end a 27-year career with the company in Europe and the USA.
In the mid-Sixties he was in charge of the European competition programme and backed the GT40 project which attained four Le Mans victories, first as a works entry and then as the JW Automotive Gulf team.
He was also instrumental in convincing Ford management to lend its name and some money to Cosworth Engineering for the project which became the most successful Grand Prix engine of all time, the DFV, which won 155 Grands Prix.
Hayes began as a journalist, becoming editor-in-chief of the Sunday Despatch at the early age of 32, before joining Ford of Britain as public affairs manager and later helping to form Ford of Europe. In 1980 he was awarded the CBE for services to industry.