Richard Williams 10 June 1945 – 12 August 2021

Richard Williams 10 June 1945 – 12 August 2021

Richard Stewart Williams, who has died at the age of 75 after a long illness borne with great dignity, was one of the best-known figures in the Aston Martin world.

His Aston connection began in 1960 when, as a 15-year-old school leaver, he secured an apprenticeship at the Feltham works, quickly gravitating towards the engine build shop. After transferring to Newport Pagnell, he met film star Peter Sellers, who offered him a job looking after his fleet of cars, including a number of Astons, which Richard did for the next six years. In 1968 he felt confident enough to set up his own workshop as RS Williams underneath a railway arch in Brixton, to restore, race and sell Astons. Thus was born a business that would go on to become one of the most respected in the Aston world.

After years of success in historic racing, Richard was invited to run the Nimrod Group C car for Viscount Downe, finishing third in the World Sportscar Championship in 1982. In the late ’80s he was chosen as team manager for Aston Martin’s factory-backed assault on the Championship with the AMR1, though a lack of funds forced a withdrawal at the end of the 1990 season. RS Williams went on to build the ‘Sanction 2’ DB4 GT Zagatos, and in more recent times built the engines for the DB4 GT and DB5 Continuation cars.

He worked with passion and drive right up until his retirement in 2015, and the company he created will remain in family ownership with no change of personnel. A statement said: ‘We are committed to honouring Richard’s memory by continuing in our “pursuit of perfection” with the company he loved.’ The funeral will be held at 12 noon on Friday 10 September at St Andrews Church, Cobham, to be followed by a reception at the Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, at around 1pm, where Astons of all ages will be welcome to form a tribute. Email if you’d like to attend. Richard leaves his wife Carol and daughters Jacqueline, Helen, Lizzie and Susie.

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