This gifted designer and engineer died on November 3 after losing his battle with cancer. A disciple of Peter Berthon and Raymond Mays, Woods will forever be synonymous with British Racing Motors, the team with which he began his career as a draughtsman in the formative V16 days of 1947-48.
Woods played a crucial role in the 1.5-litre ‘Project 56’ V8 engine and, along with Berthon, headed up a ‘future projects’ office at Weslake Research. This ultimately led to a complete split with the Bourne squad as he conceived the 3-litre Weslake V12 which powered the Eagle GP cars, the same basic design having been turned down by BRM in favour of the infamous H16 unit.
Woods would return to BRM as head of engine development in 1969, only to then set up shop with Chris Amon to build F2 engines. This venture proved short-lived, and the business was sold at a loss to March in 1972. This heralded another return to BRM, with which he remained until the team folded in ’77.
He subsequently acted as a consultant engineer, one of his many projects being the ill-starred Signature Ecosse sportscar of the late 1980s.