J.W. Automotive (JWA) was formed early 1967 by John Wyer and John Willment in reaction to the recent Ford's withdrawal from international sports car racing. John Wyer had not only been very successful on race circuits in managing racing teams, especially with Aston Martin and Ford, but had also gained extensive experience in racing the Ford GT 40's.
With backing from Gulf Oil, they created the Mirage M1, a Ford-powered prototype to participate in the sports cars championship. The Mirage M1 retained much of the GT 40 but looked more aerodynamic, with a slimmer roof section and a lightweight body. With its superb and very distinctive Gulf Oil light blue and orange livery, the M1 was really a magnificent car. Three cars were built for the 1967 season (chassis numbers M1001, M1002 and M1003).
After an encouraging first participation at Monza in April, the M1 had its hour of glory at the following race, the 1000 Kilometres of Spa, on the 1st of May. In awful pouring conditions, making the Spa track slippery and still more dangerous, Jacky Ickx and his (somewhat slower) team member Dick Thompson drove 1003 to a memorable victory, at an average sped of 120,5 mph. Whereas after testing sessions victory seemed to be promised to the Chaparral 2F in the hands of Phil Hill and Mike Spence, the weather conditions changed for the race day and it was pouring and pouring during the whole race. After a brilliant drive, Jacky will run up the Mirage #6 (chassis 1003) on the highest step of the rostrum, scoring his first international victory in sports-prototypes.
1st lap, down to l'Eau Rouge, Jacky is already in head.