Gwyn Jones Obituary

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Gwyn Jones Remembered

All involved with the PDA were very saddened to learn of the passing of Gwyn Jones on 17th August 2011. Gwyn, a stalwart of the Porsche Championship paddock, had been battling against cancer for some time, but right up to his last days, he was still helping a number of the current Porsche 924 drivers to make their cars go quicker; this was typical of the man who devoted his life to grass roots motorsport, and in particular the engineering of his beloved Porsche 924s....

 

 

David Gwyn Jones became involved in the Porsche 924 Championship in the early 2000’s.  He had previously worked in the aerospace industry for a helicopter company, and brought very sound engineering principals to the series.  His contribution cannot be underestimated, and he always brought a van full of spares to race meetings.  Gwyn knew instinctively what made a 924 tick, and he quickly established himself as the “go to” man for anything relating to making the old girls handle, stop and go. Not only was he very generous with his knowledge, but also with his time. A flat surface, a set of digital scales, and Gwyn was in his element! He was truly happy at a race meeting, elbow deep in grease and oil with people coming over and picking his brain (usually with a hint of desperation in their voices!).

During the six plus years that Gwyn was involved with the Porsche 924 Championship, it is no coincidence that he engineered THREE Championship winning cars, and numerous other front runners. In fact, there probably isn’t a race-specced 924 out there that Gwyn hasn’t breathed on in some way at some point in time! He also introduced a lot of the tweaks that are now commonplace on the cars, and within both the spirit and the letter of the rules. 

Some of Gwyn’s greatest successes in the Championship came from his partnership with 2009 Champion and multiple race winner, Will Penrose:

‘I met Gwyn through chance. I bought a yellow 924 racer off E-bay, advertised by the garage next to Gwyn’s shop. Frankly you wouldn’t have kept chickens in the car but it was cheap and got me going. I was trying to get in touch with the garage to ask some basic question about the car when the 118 118 people put me through to Gwyn instead. He soon figured out what I was banging on about and offered any help should I need it. It wasn’t long till I did! That saw the beginning of a long a successful relationship and friendship between us.

Gwyn and I had lots of sky-high moments as well as many low, low moments. Even when arguing, we still always remained good friends. I think this shows the sort of chap he was. I can’t think of a soul on earth who loved motorsport more than Gwyn. No journey was too long or weather too bad! So long as he was armed with his flat cap Gwyn could handle anything! I’ll miss the jolly “haaallo that man” every time I saw him, his love of an engineering puzzle and his unbelievable drive. Once I asked him about taking a holiday and he told me he can’t stand them, all that sitting around, relaxing. For Gwyn, relaxing was jacking a car up and climbing under it, half soaked by the icy rain and half soaked by the puddle he was lying in. Crazy to many maybe, but Gwyn was the true grass roots motorsport fanatic which this country’s £6 billion a year motorsport industry is built on.’

 

Above all else though, Gwyn possessed great integrity; drivers could talk about anything on their car or things to try, and that stayed between him and you.  On numerous occasions he has helped people out at the drop of a hat, or sourced unobtainable parts.  Gwyn's engines were always good "out of the box" but he was more than willing to share some of his techniques. Anyone phoning Gwyn would be greeted by the unmistakable "hulloow", and then he would take the trouble to ask how you were, or what you were up to, in spite of the fact that for a long time, Gwyn had been suffering ill health.
 
It seems unbelievable that this friendly, amiable man is now no longer with us, but we are all the richer for having known him.  All that’s left to say is 'Goodbye Gwyn and rest in peace, now at least you can enjoy as many cigars as you like!'

On behalf of everyone at the PDA, thank you for everything Gwyn, you’ll be missed more than you could ever have known. Our thoughts are with Gwyn’s family and friends at this sad time.

“Where there’s a will, there’s an engineering solution”-  Gwyn Jones

 

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