Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Keith Duckworth

I guess most people, in Europe at least, will have heard of Cosworth. With the company's association with Ford, particularly for the high performance variants of the Escort and Sierra, Cosworth became a high street name. And yesterday, one of the founders of the company, Keith Duckworth, died.

For me of course, the DFV Formula 1 engine was the company's finest product. For an engine to win 155 Grands Prix, you know it's got to be great. And you can still see (and hear) it in action at the Thoroughbred Grand Prix events throughout Europe.

I have a particular memory of that engine, even though I've heard it running at many racetracks, it'll be Silverstone that stays with me for ever. In particular at Stowe corner, as the cars accelerate down towards Club. The DFV was never the best sounding engine, the V12 Matras, Ferraris and BRMs would win that title, but it did did sound great. As the cars accelerated away from the corner, particularly if there were two running close together, you'd hear the revs rise, drop as top gear was selected and again and then just before the next corner, a reverberating resonance would take over, hanging in the air for a split second before the corner was taken and the throttle was back on the floor.

Keith Duckworth retired a while back, and has been able to enjoy the fruits of his labours. My commiserations to his friends and family, he'll be sorely missed.


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