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Turner pays tribute to former boss Walter Hayes

STUART TURNER, the former Director of Motorsport for Ford of Europe, today paid tribute to his former boss, colleague and friend Walter Hayes who died aged 76 in the London Independent Hospital on Boxing Day.

Turner described Hayes as "one of the giants of the game - a man who had an unconventional approach, yet an outstandingly mature man." He recalled their times together when they shared adjoining offices at Ford's headquarters at Warley, near Brentwood, on the eastern fringes of London.

"A number of times I went into his office and found Walter with his feet up on the desk, staring at the ceiling, just thinking," said Turner. "He spent a lot of time thinking and had a broad, adult and mature view of all the issues he dealt with as a result."

The son of a printer, Walter Hayes became the editor of the now-defunct SUNDAY DISPATCH newspaper at the age of 32. He left to join Ford in 1962, starting a glittering career during which he was responsible for the development of the Ford-financed Cosworth DFV V8 engine which transformed the face of Grand Prix racing from 1967 onwards.

Hayes also became Henry Ford II's biographer and retired as vice chairman, Ford of Europe, in 1989, only to be tempted out of retirement when Ford purchased the tottering Aston Martin sports car company.

Hayes persuaded company founder Sir David Brown to return as honorary life president and agreed, at Hayes' suggestion, to lend his initials to the company's commercially life-saving DB7 coupe. It revised a tradition stretching back to the original immediate post-war Aston Martin DB1 and was another feather in Walter Hayes's cap.

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