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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:29 am 
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I'm not trying to be inconsiderate, but the man owns an F1 team... surely his wheelchair would be a masterpiece made from carbon fiber and light weight metals. Does anyone have any decent photos of it for analysis?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:38 am 
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I've always thought Wheelchair design has not evolved, surely they can do better. Although a lot of weight and messy design is the folding mechanism.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:40 am 
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Looks like it has been done... nice design...

http://www.core77.com/gallery/designs-o ... 012/42.asp

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:47 am 
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Surely he should have KERS as well, just for fun. I have a book at home called "Life's The Pits" that takes a light hearted look at F1, but some of the humour was dark at times! There is a caption of an old photo of Frank in his chair with Patrick Head and Sam Michael and it says:

"We could put stabilisers on Frank but it probably won't be safe above 130..."

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:52 am 
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Is he especially wealthy though? Williams always seem to be struggling for money, if he has loads put away surely he could just hire the 2 best drivers going and bankroll the team himself Vijay Mallya style rather than rely on the likes of Nakajima and Senna to bring in cash?I would have a floating wheelchair with bazookas if I was in that situation though, thankfully I have 2 fully functioning, if underused, legs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:04 am 
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Volantary wrote:
Is he especially wealthy though? Williams always seem to be struggling for money, if he has loads put away surely he could just hire the 2 best drivers going and bankroll the team himself Vijay Mallya style rather than rely on the likes of Nakajima and Senna to bring in cash?I would have a floating wheelchair with bazookas if I was in that situation though, thankfully I have 2 fully functioning, if underused, legs.


Just because Williams the team is cash strapped, doesn't mean he doesn't pay himself a healthy wage ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:08 am 
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Johnston wrote:
Volantary wrote:
Is he especially wealthy though? Williams always seem to be struggling for money, if he has loads put away surely he could just hire the 2 best drivers going and bankroll the team himself Vijay Mallya style rather than rely on the likes of Nakajima and Senna to bring in cash?I would have a floating wheelchair with bazookas if I was in that situation though, thankfully I have 2 fully functioning, if underused, legs.


Just because Williams the team is cash strapped, doesn't mean he doesn't pay himself a healthy wage ;)

Too true. Company I used to work for went into administration, and having to work within operating budget I saw the decline over the last year of the company, yet the two directors still took home more salary than the rest of the office staff combined and had brand new company cars (Jaguars no less), and my boss had a brand new BMW company car... yet they couldn't give me a 1% pay rise and in the end couldn't afford to keep the business going. Priorities? Not every director has it.

I somehow picture Frank to be more sensible than that, but I still expect he gets a handsome wage as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:09 pm 
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jammin78 wrote:
Johnston wrote:
Volantary wrote:
Is he especially wealthy though? Williams always seem to be struggling for money, if he has loads put away surely he could just hire the 2 best drivers going and bankroll the team himself Vijay Mallya style rather than rely on the likes of Nakajima and Senna to bring in cash?I would have a floating wheelchair with bazookas if I was in that situation though, thankfully I have 2 fully functioning, if underused, legs.


Just because Williams the team is cash strapped, doesn't mean he doesn't pay himself a healthy wage ;)

Too true. Company I used to work for went into administration, and having to work within operating budget I saw the decline over the last year of the company, yet the two directors still took home more salary than the rest of the office staff combined and had brand new company cars (Jaguars no less), and my boss had a brand new BMW company car... yet they couldn't give me a 1% pay rise and in the end couldn't afford to keep the business going. Priorities? Not every director has it.

I somehow picture Frank to be more sensible than that, but I still expect he gets a handsome wage as well.

Yeah the wealth of a company and its founders and/or directors are completely unconnected when you're on this sort of level. The Williams flotation year before last put a shedload of money in Sir Frank's pocket, and he was definitely not short of a bob or two beforehand. He's often credited Bernie with making people like him and Ron multimillionaires.

I wonder if that's a company or privately owned wheelchair though (not sure if that's a joke or not). He's said he doesn't do the long haul races these days as his disability means he has to travel first class and he'd rather the money were spent on the cars. That's company money obviously. Maybe at home he's got a diamond encrusted chair powered by angel tears.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:19 pm 
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lamo wrote:
Looks like it has been done... nice design...

http://www.core77.com/gallery/designs-o ... 012/42.asp


Very nice! Doesn't look very "Frank Williams" though..

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Doesn't he have a special one for in the garage that keeps him in an upright position as if he was standing... Im sure I have seen it somewhere


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Angel De La Muerte wrote:
Doesn't he have a special one for in the garage that keeps him in an upright position as if he was standing... Im sure I have seen it somewhere

Didn't Hannibal have one of those?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:38 pm 
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jammin78 wrote:
Angel De La Muerte wrote:
Doesn't he have a special one for in the garage that keeps him in an upright position as if he was standing... Im sure I have seen it somewhere

Didn't Hannibal have one of those?

No, just a lot of elephants.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:47 pm 
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I bet if his health were better and he wanted to do more active things he'd have a crazy Patrick head wheelchair...but I mean how sophisticated does it really need to be for him to do what he does?

I don't know about the upright in the garage thing, but I remember seeing a video of him looking at some computer and tv screens that seemed quite low and thinking that they must design their stations with some consideration to his being in the chair.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:52 pm 
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Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Volantary wrote:
Is he especially wealthy though? Williams always seem to be struggling for money, if he has loads put away surely he could just hire the 2 best drivers going and bankroll the team himself Vijay Mallya style rather than rely on the likes of Nakajima and Senna to bring in cash?I would have a floating wheelchair with bazookas if I was in that situation though, thankfully I have 2 fully functioning, if underused, legs.



He was on the UK's wealthiest people list in the past.... I know it is North of $100 mill


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Johnston wrote:
Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.

Long live Sir Frank!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:35 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
Johnston wrote:
Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.

Long live Sir Frank!

Spinal injuries don't actually limit life expectancy do they?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:58 pm 
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Tufty wrote:
ashley313 wrote:
Johnston wrote:
Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.

Long live Sir Frank!

Spinal injuries don't actually limit life expectancy do they?



It's what ever injuries he has, it affects everything I think that's why his breathing is funny too. It's about as severe a case of quadriplegic as you can get. I remember reading the name of it but I canny remember it. Just that basically if you get injured that way basically the next worse step is dead and because of the way it affects everything not just movement you aren't expected to last too long with it.

Not 100% sure but I think it was basically the same injury as Christopher Reeves had.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:04 pm 
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He's not a quadriplegic. Quadriplegics have no use of their arms.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:05 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
He's not a quadriplegic. Quadriplegics have no use of their arms.



D'oh! whats the other one then?

In my defence I'm not a doctor :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Paraplegic

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:10 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
Paraplegic



Cheers :thumbup:

Remember though at the start they reckoned he wouldn't even get the use of them.

Amazing what he done considering they reckoned he was a goner.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:21 pm 
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Interesting, I hadn't realised how wide the effect was. Certainly an impressive man then!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:24 am 
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Tufty wrote:
Spinal injuries don't actually limit life expectancy do they?


Not in and of themselves, but wherever the break in the spinal cord is affects the nerves and subsequent muscles and organs below the break. If you suffer damage high enough up, and damage the nerves that connect to the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, it can affect your breathing, and that coupled with general wear and tear from old age.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:33 am 
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He's in his. 70s. Doubt speed, weight and aerodynamics are what he looks for in a wheelchair...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:38 am 
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Tufty wrote:
ashley313 wrote:
Johnston wrote:
Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.

Long live Sir Frank!

Spinal injuries don't actually limit life expectancy do they?


Actually it can. Such as blood clots forming in the legs because of lack of moment. A loosened blood clot can go up into a main artery and kill you in a very short amount of time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:40 am 
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Cozz wrote:
Tufty wrote:
ashley313 wrote:
Johnston wrote:
Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.

Long live Sir Frank!

Spinal injuries don't actually limit life expectancy do they?


Actually it can. Such as blood clots forming in the legs because of lack of moment. A loosened blood clot can go up into a main artery and kill you in a very short amount of time.

Fair point...

I'm inclined to just delete my posts here cos I've completely missed a lot of fairly logical side effects of being paraplegic!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:02 am 
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Johnston wrote:
Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.


Not at all, that's interesting. He has to be competitive in everything doesn't he....long may he continue!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:08 am 
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I once saw a chair that had obviously been built by an engineer with access to a machine shop and knew what he was about. It was based on a Segway and had a trailer made to go with it, and extending track style ramps that went infront of the wheels to go up a step. It really looked the biz and I'm sure would have sold well had it been in production.

Frank used to run marathons before his accident.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Frank is actually a tetraplegic. It means he is paralysed from the chest down and he has limited movement in his arms and no movement in his hands. Christopher Reeve was quadraplegic i.e No movement below his neck.

I'm sure i read somewhere that his chair was designed and built by his f1 team. It might look run-of-the-mill but I suspect it's as light as a feather.

Wheelchairs that allow these guys to stand up are fairly common. As has already been mentioned, the standing really helps circulation and it also aids digestion allowing the internal organs to sit more naturally.

I suspect Frank's decision not to travel so much has more to do with routine than needing to travel first class. People with his level of spinal cord injury are heavily led by what their bodies can do. Having a daily routine from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed tends to guide what they are capable of and big changes to that due to different time zones can be problematic.

What Frank has achieved and what he continues to do on a daily basis is remarkable for someone in his situation. The passion he must have for his sport cannot be over stated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:09 pm 
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Sir Frank is the dood.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Tufty wrote:
Cozz wrote:
Tufty wrote:
ashley313 wrote:
Johnston wrote:
Something tells me the upright thing is something to with his health. In that its good for him to be upright so many hours a day.

Useless trivia. Apparently no one has ever lived as long as Frank has with his condition.

Long live Sir Frank!

Spinal injuries don't actually limit life expectancy do they?


Actually it can. Such as blood clots forming in the legs because of lack of moment. A loosened blood clot can go up into a main artery and kill you in a very short amount of time.

Fair point...

I'm inclined to just delete my posts here cos I've completely missed a lot of fairly logical side effects of being paraplegic!

:lol:

If memory serves, Christopher Reeves died from an infected bed sore, a result of simply being sat down so much. Crazy.

Sir Frank:
Quote:
‘my level of movement is typical of C6/7 really, which is that I can move my neck very freely and my shoulders pretty freely and I’ve got reasonable bicep but that’s where it stops. I’ve got no triceps, and my fingers are in a bit of a mess. My breathing’s pretty damn good actually for that level. I’ve had one day off work from having a bit of a cold in 25 years.’

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:25 pm 
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BinkyBonusUK wrote:
Frank is actually a tetraplegic. It means he is paralysed from the chest down and he has limited movement in his arms and no movement in his hands. Christopher Reeve was quadraplegic i.e No movement below his neck.

I'm sure i read somewhere that his chair was designed and built by his f1 team. It might look run-of-the-mill but I suspect it's as light as a feather.

Wheelchairs that allow these guys to stand up are fairly common. As has already been mentioned, the standing really helps circulation and it also aids digestion allowing the internal organs to sit more naturally.

I suspect Frank's decision not to travel so much has more to do with routine than needing to travel first class. People with his level of spinal cord injury are heavily led by what their bodies can do. Having a daily routine from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed tends to guide what they are capable of and big changes to that due to different time zones can be problematic.

What Frank has achieved and what he continues to do on a daily basis is remarkable for someone in his situation. The passion he must have for his sport cannot be over stated.

The upright chair helps him in a number of ways. He did a great interview once where he talked about it. I found it and posted a bit above but the link's below.

It's good for maintaining the bones and helps breathing, in addition to avoiding the sores that are a surprisingly serious danger to the paralysed. He has regular stints in an upright chair every day.

http://suchgoodsports.co.uk/2012/01/09/ ... heelchair/

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:45 pm 
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I'm sure I read that Sir Frank tends to only travel to the warmer races as the temperatures help his condition.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:20 pm 
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BinkyBonusUK wrote:
Frank is actually a tetraplegic. It means he is paralysed from the chest down and he has limited movement in his arms and no movement in his hands. Christopher Reeve was quadraplegic i.e No movement below his neck.
.

He has use of his arms and hands. He uses them to move his chair around all the time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:06 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
BinkyBonusUK wrote:
Frank is actually a tetraplegic. It means he is paralysed from the chest down and he has limited movement in his arms and no movement in his hands. Christopher Reeve was quadraplegic i.e No movement below his neck.
.

He has use of his arms and hands. He uses them to move his chair around all the time.

Image


Not exactly he doesn't. They will be like stiff rubber apendages in that they can be used to drag things through friction i.e. wheelchar rims. but functionality is severly limited. hence those wrist supports I used to work with a guy who had a similar level of injury to Sir Frank and drove an almost identical Quickie wheelchair at the time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Just want to add that I have immense respect for what Frank has achieved in spite of his injuries, and the same goes to anyone who has achieved anything while experiencing such hardship.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:55 am 
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He probably has more kickass chair back at home. There are much better chairs out there that a common (relatively) man from developed nation can afford including the electric one and also top of the line self balancing gyro wheel chairs. The cost of these is peanuts for Sir Frank.
But in pitlane surely there are some safety restrictions in place where team, himself and officials prefer having simpler wheel chairs rather than those complicated high end chairs filled with electronics. Not to mention he does not need a complicated chair in pits. Keeping things simpler means he can go to more places in the garage on this simple chair than what those bigger chairs would allow him to.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:02 pm 
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lamo wrote:
I've always thought Wheelchair design has not evolved, surely they can do better. Although a lot of weight and messy design is the folding mechanism.

By coincidence, I've been looking for a new wheelchair today.

Believe me, wheelchair design has evolved tremendously, both in terms of asthetics and materials used. The prices can be eye-watering. My old one is titanium with ultra lighweight wheels simliar to high-end racing cycles. All the decent ones are non-folding to save weight, but the wheels come off. We're talking 6.5kg, so even if an F1 team took 30% off it's not a dramatic benefit.

You can also get add-on electric wheels with a poor man's KERS system, but I won't be buying these again because the weight penalty is severe. Newey was right about that too.

You can get "stand up" chairs, both electric and mechanical, but these are best suited to people with full upper body mobility who want to use their hands to work or to stand at the bar in the pub with a pint. They also aid in avoiding osteoporosis, posture dependant low blood pressure and a host of other evils waiting in the wings. There is also the obvious psychological benefit - we all like to be as "normal" and unrestrricted as possible and even though he isn't building engines it might be nice do do an upright interview. You get fed up of people looking down at you or worse, talking over your head.

But, I digress.

The answer to the OP's question is no. Sir Frank's chair looks to be a commercially available job, in the £1500-£2500 bracket. I'm sure he could afford something flashier and I don't doubt the team could knock up something magnificent in carbon fibre. In his situation he will probably have several but trust me, all the photos I've seen look like commercial kit.

But there wouldn't be much point. He had a neck injury, resulting in very limited function in his arms and hands. Hence the hand splints he wears and the curious stiff wristed, palm out posture he uses to push. His chair needs are really more dependant on being able to get in and out, being able to propel himself short distances and be pushed longer distances to the motor home and back.

I wouldn't be surprised if he uses an electric chair with a joystick in the comfort of his own home.

In contrast, if you look at someone like Alex Zanardi, who lost his legs but has his arms and all his core muscles working, he has quite an array of flashy chairs, including some really nice racing chairs.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:08 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
He's not a quadriplegic. Quadriplegics have no use of their arms.

Yes he is. Quadriplegic and tetraplegic both refer to paralysis in all four limbs. The paralaysis can be complete (like Christopher Reeve) or incomplete, which is what Sir Frank has.

But regardless of having some, albeit incomplete function in his arms he is still technically a quad.

Anyone who doubts this, just take a look at the Spinal Injuries Association website. Or here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraplegia

Technically, Sir Frank is a C6/7 Quadriplegic. http://www.spinal-injury.net/quadriplegia.htm

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