19 Facts About Walter Hayes


Walter Leopold Arthur Hayes was an English journalist, and later public relations executive for Ford.


Walter Hayes won a scholarship to Hampton School, and served in the Royal Air Force, where he was a cadet pilot.


Walter Hayes concluded that a push into racing and competition was key to developing the image, and in his very first weeks in his job he gave the go-ahead for his first motor sport activity with support for the successful private entrant Tony Brookes attack on six International class G World records at Montlhery with the 105E Anglia.


One of the first crises Walter Hayes had to deal with was the fallout of Ferrari's rejection of the proposed Ford takeover.


Walter Hayes became part of the team that supported Henry Ford II's thoughts that Ford should take on Ferrari directly in their own home market of racing.


Walter Hayes initiated discussion with Cooper which didn't come to fruition; but agreements with Lotus resulted in a successful Indianapolis 500 program, and with Lola to design, engineer and produce the prototypes of the all conquering Ford GT40.


Stewart later commented: "I didn't know who Walter Hayes was, but I did know that to have a contract with Ford Motor Company was a big deal with great opportunities for the future, even though I wasn't yet aware that Ford would enter Formula One".

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Walter Hayes arranged diner for Chapman with Harley Copp, an American engineer who had backed and engineered Ford's successful entry into NASCAR in the 1950s.


Graham Hill was in the team was at the specific request of Ford and Walter Hayes, who wanted to be sure that a strong driving cadre would be seated ahead of their engines.


Walter Hayes concluded that Ford's name could become tarnished, and that they should agree to use the unit in other teams, and hence potentially dominate Formula One.


At the start of the DFV project, Walter Hayes told Henry Ford II that he thought the DFV engine was "fairly likely" to win a World Championship.


Walter Hayes was one of many who wrote a biography of Henry Ford II, writing "Henry: a memoir of Henry Ford II " in which he commented that Ford treated "housemaids and hotel maids and secretaries and drivers and the people in the plants like dukes and duchesses".


Walter Hayes returned to Europe as vice-president of Ford of Europe, and became vice-chairman in 1976.


Walter Hayes launched new motorsports initiatives there, including the IMSA GTP projects.


Walter Hayes was appointed CBE for services to the motor industry in 1982.


When Caldwell retired, Walter Hayes returned to Britain as vice-chairman of Ford of Europe.


In 1989, Walter Hayes was instrumental in setting up the Premier Automotive Group, when he agreed with a now English-homed Henry Ford II to purchase AC Cars, then a stake in Aston Martin, and then Jaguar Cars.


Walter Hayes recognized the need for a higher-volume, lower cost Aston Martin, and under his guidance the plans for a DB7 were created and the car was brought into production.


Walter Hayes lived at Battlecrease Hall in Shepperton; he and his wife Elizabeth had two sons and a daughter.