Now it’s the Williams Moped!
Williams ace Damon Hill has finally met a match for his 800 bhp high-tech Grand Prix car.
But this is one machine that won’t have the world championship leader quaking in his racing boots on the grid – it’s a moped producing just 6.8 bhp!
The 50c Formula Williams is the result of a link up between the Grove-based racing team and trendy Italian bike firm Italjet.
Just like Damon’s racing car, it is painted in William’s distinctive blue and white and gold livery, and boasts a host of innovative technical features.
Bike buff Damon – a former motor cycle dispatch rider and bike racer – has been issued with one of the £2,250 machines, as has team-mate Jacques Villeneuve.
And like thousands of mopeds across Britain, the tiny two-wheeler is beating traffic jams. But this is congestion with a difference. Damon is using his Formula Williams moped as a paddock bike to cut a dash at grand prix races across the world.
A spokesman for Williams told the Courier: “Damon loves his bikes – and this one is great fun.”
The Formula Williams has an aggressive, slippery design – drawn up with the aid of computer aided design – with twin headlights.
It has an exotic independent steering system, which features a special swinging arm at the front end as well as the back – something only normally found on expensive superbikes.
There are also disc brakes on both wheels and it is big enough to be used by “well-proportioned” riders.
It is guaranteed to appeal to the thousands of commuters currently abandoning their jam-bound cars in favour of two wheelers.
Industry figures show mopeds sales leapt by a massive 27 per cent in the first three months of this year compared to 1995, and larger bikes by more than 10 per cent.
But anyone aiming to get their hands on a Formula Williams had better be quick – only 1,000 are being made, with no more than 50 coming to Britain.
13/6/96 – South Oxfordshire Courier