John Surtees, 1934–2017 March 11 2017
It is with enormous sadness that we learned of the death of John Surtees CBE on Friday 10 March.
John played a vital part in the gestation of Evro Publishing. When we reached agreement with him in late 2013 to publish John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels, we were such a fledgling company that we had yet to release our first book. John made that leap of faith with us and threw himself into the project with total commitment, just as he did in every other aspect of his distinguished life.
The book went from start to finish in only six months – incredibly rapid by the norms of book publishing. Mike Nicks, the motorcycle journalist, worked with John and together they did a wonderful job not only in creating a most readable text but also in pulling together a fabulous selection of photographs, including many from John’s own collection that had never been published before.
A few months after publication, the book won the RAC’s inaugural Motoring Book of the Year Award. John was there to collect the handsome silver trophy and his delight was a joy to experience. Our photo shows him that evening with the Evro team – Eric Verdon-Roe (holding book), Jeremy Vaughan (left) and Mark Hughes (right).
John’s legacy lives on through the Henry Surtees Foundation, to which all royalties from sales of the book have gone – and will continue to go for as long as John’s fans, and indeed motor-sport enthusiasts generally, keep buying his wonderful book.
Our condolences at this sad time go to John’s wife Jane and his daughters Leonora and Edwina.
Evro to publish Hobbo’s memoir March 09 2017
David Hobbs’s recollections of his six decades in motor racing will be published by Evro early in 2018. It will be a fascinating book by a great racer who not only had a long, successful and hugely varied career but always tells a good yarn.
Called Hobbo: Men, Motors and Microphones, David’s memoir covers his racing life from 1960, when he made his début at Snetterton driving his mother’s Morris Oxford, right up to work today as a Formula 1 TV commentator for NBC. He raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours 20 times between 1962 and 1989, finishing third overall with a Gulf Ford GT40 in 1969 in the wake of that year’s legendary battle for the lead. Much of his success came in North America, where he was Formula 5000 champion in 1971 and Trans-Am champion in 1983 – and he also raced in the Indy 500 and NASCAR. On top of that, he raced in Formula 1, driving BRM, Lola, Honda and McLaren cars between 1967 and 1974.
US-based David is pictured with Evro Chairman Eric Verdon-Roe on a recent UK visit, and in 1968 racing his all-time favourite car, the Ford GT40, in the 1968 Nürburgring 1,000Kms with his friend – and fellow Evro author! – Brian Redman.
Vote for Brian Redman! February 10 2017
Brian Redman is vying for pole position for this year’s Motor Sport Hall of Fame Awards. The prestigious ceremony will take place on Wednesday 7 June in the spectacular surroundings of the Royal Automobile Club, but it’s all down to public vote! Please help Brian and cast your vote here: http://ow.ly/Cvip308IU69
Twelve greats for the Sports Car category have been chosen with the help of 2016 inductee and five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell. The other contenders are Pedro Rodríguez, Vic Elford, John Wyer, Jo Siffert, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Al Holbert, Andy Wallace, Stefan Bellof, Phil Hill, Bob Wollek and Norbert Singer.
Last year Evro published Brian’s long-awaited book, which was an instant sell-out success and went on to win the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year Award.
Rétromobile book signing by Patrick Tambay February 09 2017
Patrick Tambay signed copies of his book, 27: Patrick Tambay - The Ferrari Years, at Rétromobile in Paris on the stand of the bookseller Librairie Motors Mania.
Written by Massimo Burbi, the book tells the stirring story of Patrick’s Formula 1 ride with Ferrari. The saga began in 1982 with the tragedy of his friend and fellow driver Gilles Villeneuve’s death in the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder and then unfolded as Patrick took Villeneuve’s place in car number 27, achieved race victories and, as the 1983 season developed, fought for the World Championship. Patrick scored a handsome share of the points that brought Ferrari two successive Constructors’ Cups in those years.
The book has had a great reviews. Pino Allievi, who reported for leading Italian weekly Autosprint during Patrick’s time at Ferrari and still writes for the magazine, judged it, “A gorgeous book... There are facts, but emotions too.” The verdict of the French magazine Grand Prix was, “Monumental... immerse yourself in this volume.”
Redman's memoir is RAC Motoring Book of the Year November 04 2016
Brian Redman: Daring Drivers, Deadly Tracks, published by Evro Publishing, has won the third Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year award. Eric Verdon-Roe, Chairman of Evro, received the trophy from Royal Automobile Club Chairman Tom Purves at a presentation at the Pall Mall clubhouse in London on Wednesday 2 November 2016.
“You could knock me down with a feather,” said Redman after learning of the news. “I am thrilled and delighted. This is as good as winning the Targa Florio.”
Published in March 2016, Redman’s memoir is a vivid account of this down-to-earth, popular and highly respected British racer’s exploits in his perilous era. Extremely readable, and at times both funny and poignant, it is a very personal book that has received great acclaim and has already been reprinted twice to meet demand.
An overview of the book’s content confirms Redman’s significant place in motor racing history. There is special focus on his major race wins in the greatest sports cars (including Ford GT40s, Porsche 908s and 917s, and Ferrari 312PBs) on the greatest tracks (including Spa-Francorchamps, the Nürburgring, the Targa Florio and Daytona). Numerous successes in Formula 5000 (three-times champion in North America) and 2-litre sports cars (European and South African champion) add to his credentials as one of the finest all-rounders motor racing has seen.
Accompanying the text, the book includes over 300 photographs of great quality and variety, and the whole package is a produced to a high standard.
Among the verdicts from the judges, Gordon Cruickshank of Motor Sport stated: “This is not just a driver autobiography, but a comprehensive and thoughtful picture of an era, and of the racing driver’s mind-set… It is very moving when discussing how to cope with the death of friends, yet also full of the fun and enjoyment of the times… an attractive and very readable work.”
The great Mario Andretti wrote a foreword that included this observation: “Brian writes like he drove, right to the point and always with passion. He has managed to cap a pretty terrific racing career with a pretty terrific racing memoir.”
This is the second time an Evro book has won the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year award. In its inaugural year, 2014, the award went to Evro’s very first book, John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels.
“It is a great honour to have won this award for a second time,” said Eric Verdon-Roe. “It is a highly prestigious award because it is bestowed by the Royal Automobile Club and judged by six reviewers and booksellers who really know our world of motoring books.”
Just how popular is Brian Redman? July 18 2016
When Evro decided to publish Brian Redman’s memoir, we knew that he had a lot of fans. But we weren’t prepared for a sell-out within weeks.
Now Brian Redman: Daring Drivers, Deadly Tracks (price £50) is available again following an urgent reprint. We would like to thank frustrated customers for their patience during this period.
One early purchaser in the United States, Major William Brown, sent an email with some high praise, which we quote with his permission – and ignoring Brian’s blushes. “I have every single biography/autobiography of every racer ever printed since the early 1950s and I would rate this entire book/package in the top 10 of them all; it’s a ‘must-read’ for sure. Were I to pick one single book from my entire library to give to a person trying to understand my passion for motor sports, I would without question pick this book to be the one.”
An early shipment of reprinted copies was available at Goodwood Festival of Speed, where Brian is pictured. This year he was driving the Porsche 917 PA that gave him some alarming experiences, as related in the book, in the last two races of the Can-Am series in 1973. At that time it had been converted into a 917/10 (with 1,000bhp) but now, in Miles Collier’s ownership, it is back in its original form.
In between runs in the Porsche, Brian signed copies of his book at the stand of Evro’s partners The Signature Store, and will be signing again at Goodwood Revival (9–11 September).
From Maranello to Nottingham May 17 2016
Following the launch of 27: Patrick Tambay – The Ferrari Years in Maranello, Patrick Tambay spent a few days in the UK for media interviews and public appearances.
A highlight of Patrick’s visit was his evening with Ferrari enthusiasts at Graypaul Classic Cars, the noted Ferrari specialist in Nottingham, on Friday 13 May. A very lively Q&A session was hosted by Louise Goodman, who has been dubbed ‘The First Woman of Formula 1’ after making her name as part of ITV’s Grand Prix presentation team.
“I don’t think it could have gone better and Patrick was fantastic!” said Robin Simpson, Managing Director of Graypaul Classic Cars. “He’s a really lovely man and we are very grateful for his time and for everything he did to make our evening a success.”
As well as signing copies of his book for everyone present on the night, Patrick also provided signatures exclusively for Evro. If you would like one of these special copies, please go to the Bookshop page on this website and click the ‘Signed Copy’ option.
Graypaul Classic Cars is at http://www.graypaulclassiccars.com
Brian Redman delights his audience May 12 2016
An ‘Evening with Brian Redman’ on 11 May at the RAC in Pall Mall, London, was the highlight of this ever-popular racing driver’s four-day visit to the UK (he lives in Florida) to promote his new book, published by Evro in March. An audience of 150 enjoyed hearing about his experiences, with – as ever from Brian – plenty of humour along the way, often at his own expense.
To mark the occasion, one of the racing cars in which Brian first made his name, the Lola T70 MkII spyder that Red Rose Racing ran for him in 1966, graced the RAC’s foyer, as seen above.
On his visit Brian also gave talks at the Brooklands Museum and at Porsche Design in Knightsbridge as well as doing a string of media interviews, including Sky News and Octane magazine.
Brian will be back in the UK for the Goodwood Festival of Speed (24–26 June) and will be signing copies of his book there. More details soon.
Evro’s Ferrari trio May 07 2016
Three Evro authors got together on 7 May at the F1-Grand Prix Drivers Club gathering in Maranello, which many former Ferrari works drivers attended. Patrick Tambay (left) was a Formula 1 Ferrari driver in 1982–83. John Surtees (centre) drove sports cars and Formula 1 in the period 1963–66 and, of course, won the World Championship in 1964. Derek Bell (right) raced works Formula 1 and Formula 2 Ferraris in 1968–69.
Patrick Tambay’s book launched in Maranello May 07 2016
Evro’s new book with Patrick Tambay, 27: Patrick Tambay – The Ferrari Years, has made its first public appearance. Where better than Maranello, where Patrick is pictured above with Piero Ferrari (son of Enzo). The occasion was a gala event for the F1-Grand Prix Drivers Club and many former Ferrari works drivers were present.
Our other photos (below) show Patrick receiving from Piero Ferrari a memento signed by all those present, and Evro Publishing Chairman Eric Verdon-Roe with Patrick, flanked by David Piper (left) and Jo Ramirez (photos courtesy of Peter Meierhofer).
A Murray moment April 29 2016
Roger Smith, author of the newly published third edition of Formula 1: All The Races, had an encounter with Murray Walker at the recent media day for the Silverstone Classic. Murray, now 92 and still sprightly, caught sight of Roger’s copy of the new book and declared in full ‘commentary’ mode, “Is that an updated edition of that brilliant book?”
Roger took this admirer through all the new elements of the latest version of his magnum opus on Formula 1. Afterwards, Murray had this to say of the book: “I have derived immense pleasure from it when I have wanted to check something or remind myself about it when I have been preparing something to talk or write about… Your book richly deserves to succeed and I sincerely hope that it does.”
A great read for Formula 1 fans March 17 2016
If there was an award for the most fact-packed motor racing book of the year, Roger Smith’s Formula 1: All The Races would win it. This incredible book, published today, contains more words than War & Peace and its sheer scope can be conveyed in a few key stats:
- 668 densely packed colour pages
- 66 enthralling F1 seasons
- 935 Grand Prix race reports
- Championship facts and folklore
- 200 illustrations of winning cars
- 100 historic F1 photographs
- Third edition of acclaimed book
- Fully revised and updated
- 57 additional races
- New-look Race Pods
- New race headlines
- Foreword by David Croft
- Exciting new website
- Online Knowledge Pods
- FREE 2016 Download
That’s a lot of knowledge for £50!
Brian Redman’s memoir published March 10 2016
Evro Publishing is delighted to announce the publication today of Brian Redman’s long-awaited memoir. At some time or another, many of Brian’s contemporaries in motor racing have had books published, so at last a significant gap has been filled. It has been a long time coming, its tortured path to publication having taken almost 10 years.
North American residents can buy their books direct from Brian himself, complete with signature and dedication, either by going to one of the events he attends or buying direct. Either way, just visit Brian’s website to find out more: www.gorace.com
For enthusiasts in Britain and elsewhere, signed copies will be available from Evro’s website from the second week of May and at some special personal appearances by Brian when he comes over to his native country from his home in Florida. The following evening events are programmed:
May 9, Brooklands Museum: details from www.brooklandsmuseum.com
May 10, Porsche Design (Knightsbridge, London), for Porsche Club GB members
May 11, RAC (Pall Mall, London), for RAC members
Patrick Tambay brings his story to Evro February 04 2016
After Gilles Villeneuve’s tragic death during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix, Patrick Tambay took his friend’s place at Ferrari in car number 27. In his fourth race, at Hockenheim, Tambay lifted his sombre team with his first Formula 1 win after Didier Pironi’s career-ending crash during practice. At Imola in 1983, Tambay produced another significant and emotionally charged win for the red 27, 12 months after Gilles had been infamously cheated out of victory by Pironi in what turned out to be his last race.
With the collaboration of long-time fan Massimo Burbo, Tambay tells the whole story of his Ferrari years in his new book for Evro, due to be published on 5 May. Watch this space for more details about the events and signings surrounding publication.
Meanwhile, here are a few words about the book from Alain Prost, who wrote the foreword: ‘The events of his time with Ferrari in 1982 and 1983 are revisited, supplemented by the fresh insights and previously private facts that Patrick has chosen to reveal all these years later. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a story about two years that changed Patrick’s career – and his entire life. Read and enjoy.’
Mario’s generous words January 14 2016
The great Mario Andretti has honoured Brian Redman’s forthcoming memoir (publication date 10 March) with a foreword.
Their paths crossed twice in racing. First, they were both driving partners with Jacky Ickx in sports cars with Ferrari during 1972, Mario taking four wins and Brian two. Second, they were fierce competitors in Formula 5000 in North America, Brian becoming champion in both seasons they raced against each other, 1974 and 1975. Here are a few of Mario’s choice words:
‘No driver can do everything but, as an Italian, I sure wish I had a Targa Florio trophy and I bet Brian wouldn’t mind having his name on one in Indianapolis.
‘Now it turns out that Brian writes like he drove, right to the point and always with passion. He has managed to cap a pretty terrific racing career with a pretty terrific racing memoir. Buckle up, readers, you’re in for a great ride.
MotoGP Season Review 2015 out now November 24 2015
Just two weeks after the last MotoGP race, the 12th edition of the Official MotoGP Season Review is now available. It is edited by BT Sport commentator Julian Ryder with contributions from some of the most respected journalists in the paddock. Mat Oxley, himself a TT winner, writes his compelling take on the season and technical guru Neil Spalding contributes analysis of the bikes.
There has never been a season quite like 2015. It had everything: Valentino Rossi at 36 years of age coming within one race of his tenth world championship title and sealing his legacy as the greatest ever seen; Marc Marquez struggling with recalcitrant machinery; Dani Pedrosa coming back from what looked like career-ending arm problems.
And it had Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard won his third MotoGP crown by winning decisively, leading each lap of each of his seven victories.
A unique feature of the Official MotoGP Season Review is Julian Ryder’s ‘Rider’s Rider of the Year’ in which the riders themselves vote for their top ten. Some years this produces surprising results and this happened in 2015 – the number one according to the riders’ votes isn’t the new world champion!
Meeting the Minister November 16 2015
Spitfire People author Paul Beaver was recently reacquainted with his former colleague Iain Duncan Smith, now Secretary of State for Work & Pensions. Paul and Iain worked together at Jane’s before Iain entered politics.
Iain’s father, Wilfrid, features in Evro’s book Spitfire People. Wilfrid Duncan Smith was an important figure in the Spitfire story, as a fighter pilot, squadron and wing commander. He changed fighter tactics in such a way that Fighter Command adopted his tactical experience as standard in 1942.
Iain Duncan Smith and Paul Beaver are seen here with copies of Spitfire People and Wilfrid Duncan Smith’s autobiography.
Published to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Spitfire People has received considerable acclaim. This is what Flight International wrote: ‘If you thought there was nothing more to say about R.J. Mitchell’s finest creation after countless books concerning the Supermarine icon, then you should find the time to read Paul Beaver’s Spitfire People.’
Moss book receives accolade October 29 2015
Stirling Moss: My Racing Life received Special Commendation at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year Award yesterday evening.
The book, written by Sir Stirling Moss with Simon Taylor, received huge praise from judges. One of them, Henry Hope-Frost of Autosport, summed it up: ‘British motorsport fans have been treated to glimpses through numerous windows into the extraordinary life of Britain’s greatest racing driver via myriad biographies. However, Sir Stirling Moss’s long-time friend Simon Taylor has made this one deeply personal, teasing out the most intimate recollections of the great man. Every word feels like it has been uttered to the reader via a one-to-one fireside chat.’
In his very personal book, Sir Stirling guides the reader through his varied motor racing life with an insightful and often amusing commentary to an unrivalled collection of over 300 photographs, many of which will be unfamiliar to even his most ardent fans.
Stirling Moss: My Racing Life was launched at the Royal Automobile Club in May to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Sir Stirling winning the Mille Miglia.
Le Mans 1923-29 out now October 08 2015
Just published, the sixth title in Evro’s decade-by-decade series covers the seven Le Mans 24 Hours races of the 1920s, plus, as a prologue, all the events held at the Le Mans circuit during the period 1906-23.This volume covers the exciting era in which Bentley came to the forefront, winning in 1924 with a sabotaged car, in 1927 with a damaged car, in 1928 with a broken car, and in 1929 with a car that set an entirely new standard for Le Mans racers. Woolf Barnato, the man whose wealth kept the company solvent, won twice, while Dudley Benjafield, ‘Tim’ Birkin, Frank Clement, Sammy Davis, John Duff and Bernard Rubin were the other ‘Bentley Boys’ who tasted success.
The victors in the other three years were French marques, Chenard-Walcker (in 1923) and Lorraine-Dietrich (in 1925 and 1926), and indeed French drivers and cars predominated in these early years, accounting for 220 of the 287 drivers and 38 of the 54 manufacturers that took part during the decade. Amazingly, only five of the competing manufacturers – Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Chrysler and Peugeot – still exist.
The 24-hour event conceived by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) was originally called the ‘Grand Prix de l’Endurance’ and run as an endurance trial for series-production cars rather than as a motor race. But the teams went racing anyway and the event quickly matured into a unique challenge that fostered many advances in automotive engineering and technology – just as it still does today.
Aerodynamic bodies, front-wheel drive, air-cooled engines and four-wheel hydraulic brakes were tried and proven at Le Mans in this decade. Such was the pace of change that the fastest average speed jumped from 57.21mph (92.06kph) in 1923 to 73.63mph (118.49kph) by 1929.
The rapid evolution of the cars is seen vividly in this book’s photographs, which also show year by year how the crowds grew, how the circuit infrastructure expanded and even how the track surfaces improved.
Battle of Britain Flypast September 16 2015
Paul Beaver, author of Spitfire People, has been beavering away at signings for Evro throughout the summer months, many at events associated with the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, most notably the Battle of Britain Flypast based at Goodwood Aerodrome on 15 September.
At this magnificent occasion over 30 Spitfires were joined by other surviving Second World War aircraft and took off in waves during afternoon to fly a variety of routes over southern England.
The huge audience at Goodwood included Prince Harry, who made headlines thanks to his generosity of spirit in giving up his flight in one of the two-seat Spitfires to 95-year-old Battle of Britain pilot Tom Neil.
On the same day a Battle of Britain service in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, was attended by many dignitaries, including Prime Minster David Cameron.
Formula 1: the ultimate reference book September 15 2015
The Evro contract-signing pen was wielded at Goodwood Revival by Roger Smith, whose extraordinary work Formula 1: All The Races will appear in March 2016 in its third edition, complete to the end of the 2015 season. He is pictured, pen in hand, with Mark Hughes, Evro’s Editorial Director.
Containing over a quarter of a million words, this doorstep of a book – 664 pages – tells the story of every World Championship race since 1950, supported by myriad statistics and thoughtful analysis. Nothing quite like it has ever been published.
As Martin Brundle said of the first edition, this is ‘a comprehensive yet condensed record for posterity’.
Evro to publish Brian Redman’s memoir September 14 2015
Brian Redman is one of very few notable British racing drivers whose racing life has yet to be put on record in book form. Now that is about to be rectified and we are delighted that Brian has chosen Evro as his publisher. He and Evro’s Eric Verdon-Roe signed the contract at the Goodwood Revival.
Brian’s book will be launched in March 2016 at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida, where Brian lives, and he will be signing copies at events throughout the year on both sides of the Atlantic – more news about when and where in due course.
Packed with photographs, Brian’s memoir is a vivid account of his racing life, with special focus on the period 1968–73 when he won major sports car races in Ford GT40s, Porsche 908s and 917s, and Ferrari 312PBs. Highly readable, and at times both humorous and poignant, this is a very personal book that will be welcomed by Brian’s legions of fans.
Derek Bell: 40 years since his first Le Mans win September 09 2015
At Evro we like to make our authors available to the public at events as well as offering signed copies through the Evro website.
On 9 September Derek Bell MBE entertained an audience of 130 for an evening in his company at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London, organised to mark the 40th anniversary year of the first of his five wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours. That 1975 victory in the world’s greatest endurance race came in a Gulf GR8 shared with Jacky Ickx.
A Porsche 956 of the type in which Derek won Le Mans in 1982, again with Ickx, was a special exhibit in the foyer of the Royal Automobile Club throughout the week.
The people behind the Spitfire June 19 2015
Evro Publishing’s first aviation book, Spitfire People, was launched at the RAF Club, Piccadilly, London, on Thursday 18 June.
The author, Paul Beaver, talked eloquently and with great passion about the subject of his first new book for over 20 years – the people who made the Spitfire a legend. Fifty individuals, including some unsung heroes, are covered in depth in Spitfire People, and the roles of many others are recognised. A particular theme has been to bring to greater prominence members of Supermarine’s design and development team whose legacy has been overshadowed by R.J. Mitchell’s renown – names such as Joe Smith, Alf Faddy and Beverley Shenstone.
Guests at the launch included people who are prominent in the Spitfire world today, such as Squadron Leader Andy Millikin, Spitfire pilot for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Typhoon pilot with the RAF, Matt Jones of the Boultbee Flying Academy at Goodwood, and John Romain, who runs the Aircraft Restoration Company, the leading restorer of Spitfires.
Two MPs attended: Sir Gerald Howarth (Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, 2010–12) and Dr Julian Lewis (Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee). Iain Duncan Smith, whose father, Wilfred, was a Spitfire ace and features in the book, was due to come along but was overtaken by government commitments.
Other guests included Randolph Churchill (Sir Winston’s great grandson) and Sarah Quill (daughter of Supermarine Chief Test Pilot Jeffrey Quill).
Sir Stirling Moss signings at London bookshops May 07 2015
Evro Publishing is delighted to announce that Sir Stirling Moss will be signing his new book, My Racing Life, at major London booksellers.
Hatchards, Piccadilly: Wednesday 20 May, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Waterstones, Canary Wharf (Jubilee Way): Friday 22 May, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Selfridges, Oxford Street: Wednesday 27 May, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Waterstones, Leadenhall Market: Friday 24 July, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
An audience with Stirling Moss is to touch history, to connect with the origins of Formula One, to be in the same room as Enzo Ferrari, for whom he would have raced were it not for his career-ending accident in 1962, and Juan Manuel Fangio, with whom he drove at Mercedes for one glorious year in 1955.
What a privilege it was to be in his company on Thursday last in Pall Mall, where Moss, now 85, hosted the launch of the latest title in his name at the Royal Automobile Club. The key moments of a life in racing, entitled My Racing Life, funnily enough, are captured in 320 photos, some being published for the first time, plus a riveting text ghosted faithfully by Simon Taylor.
Moss posed for pictures alongside the Ferrari GT250 in which he won the 1960 Goodwood TT. The car was unusual in that it was fitted with a radio to underline its grand touring status. Moss tuned in during the race to listen to the live broadcast from Raymond Baxter, who unwittingly kept him updated on the gap he had to the Aston Martin DB4GTs of Roy Salvadori and Innes Ireland two laps in arrears.
Mercedes’ relationship with Moss, arguably the greatest British racing driver of them all, was brief, but boy was it productive, yielding his maiden Formula One victory on home turf at Aintree in 1955 and in the same year his most significant success, caning the roads of Italy in a Mercedes 300SLR to win the Mille Miglia in a time that will never be beaten.
Ten hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds after departing Brescia, Moss and his inimitable co-driver, the bearded and bespectacled “weirdo” (Moss’s label, donated lovingly) Denis Jenkinson, stormed the city gates having averaged almost 100 miles an hour en route to Rome and back. Over the final 83 miles to Brescia the pair averaged 165mph. Moss was drinking a cuppa when Fangio rolled home second half an hour later. “It was without doubt the race of my life,” said Moss in the book, published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of his finest moment.
Moss was appointed by Mercedes as understudy to the veteran genius Fangio, who wrapped up his third Formula One world title in coming second to Moss at Aintree. Moss acknowledges his debt in learning at the gear stick of Fangio, and his status as second best in that early period. But in sports cars Moss had no equal.
Quite why Ferrari jumped the PR queue in Pall Mall with the beautiful Rob Walker-dressed 250 tourer is a question for Stuttgart. If I were Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Mercedes-Benz, I would have wanted the association with Moss in such an august setting. Mercedes quit motor racing at the end of 1955 after the tragic accident at Le Mans involving a Mercedes 300SLR in which 84 people died. Moss had, of course, agreed to sign for Ferrari in 1962, running a Prancing Horse in Walker’s epic livery of dark blue with white noseband. Then came the crash at Goodwood that ended his career.
He remains gloriously unreconstructed. I give you this spiffing tribute, straight out of the Ealing Comedies script-writing manual, to his Vanwall team-mate Tony Brooks, whom he described as the best driver he had faced after Fangio. “He was a very quiet man. He did not chase the crumpet because he was a Catholic.”
When, in the spirit of the hour, I mentioned to Sir Stirling that the book might have included more “crumpet” references, he replied: “Well, you’ve got Sylvia in there, she was very nice.” Said Sylvia appears on page 16, demure in buttoned-up blouse and hat, beside a caption that reads: “I will always remember Sylvia with great fondness, because she first taught me what life was really about. However, I also remember a difficult moment when Mum came home unexpectedly while I was in the middle of one of her lessons.”
Moss was also full of praise for Mercedes’ current world champion Lewis Hamilton, who he said was one of the few drivers of this era who would have prospered in his day, when the cars slid about all over the place on tracks unattended by safety features. “He would have loved to have driven in my era. Danger was a great differentiator, pushing the less able to the back in a way they can’t today. Lewis is a great world champion, very exciting and carrying the mantle very well.”
But he will never be Stirling Moss, not because he cannot turn a wheel like him, but because fate denied him first crack at a new canvas. Someone in the Mercedes marketing and PR machine is missing a trick. A Mercedes AMG GT, or something equally suitable, ought to be sitting outside Moss’s Mayfair home, and a bloke in white gloves behind the wheel, too. The old boy doesn’t get about much these days but when he does it should be in something silver and quick, connecting the present to a glorious past in which they both shared.
John Surtees’s book wins RAC award October 30 2014
John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheel, has won the inaugural Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year Award.
“It is a great honour for our book to win this prestigious new award,” said John Surtees after receiving the trophy from Club Chairman Tom Purves at a presentation at the Pall Mall clubhouse on Wednesday 29 October 2014.
“Putting the book together was a real trip down memory lane, touching on the highs and lows of my life. It would not have been possible without the fine array of photographs we were able to assemble. All that is due to the efforts over the years of the many photographers who captured almost every significant moment of my racing life.”
Forewords by two modern-day World Champions, Valentino Rossi and Sebastian Vettel, provide a fitting introduction to John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels. In his foreword Sebastian Vettel, who is about to become a Ferrari driver, stated: “Nobody else in the racing world has a personal story that so directly echoes the mechanics of motorsport – from building motorcycles in the 1940s to the running of a racing team in the 1970s. Bikes and cars are great interests of mine and John’s unique career combines them like no other.”
New motoring book publisher’s awards recognition September 30 2014
Evro Publishing, the new motorsport book publisher, has so far only published three books – and two of them have been shortlisted for the inaugural Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year Award.
Founded at the beginning of 2014, Evro Publishing entered the world of motorsport and motoring books at a time when other companies were departing or cutting back.
Evro’s first book was Ayrton Senna: All His Races by Tony Dodgins, released last April. The company’s second book, launched two months later, was John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels, a photographic memoir of the only man ever to have been World Champion in both Formula 1 and motorcycle racing.
Now Evro’s two début titles have been selected for the six-strong shortlist for the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year Award, the winner of which will be announced at the culmination of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Literary Festival on the evening of Wednesday 29 October 2014.
“I am thrilled that we have achieved this recognition so early in the life of Evro Publishing,” says company founder and chairman Eric Verdon-Roe. “I think it shows that we are on the right track in our aim to publish top-quality books at affordable prices. It is particularly pleasing that our efforts have been recognised by independent experts: the Royal Automobile Club had the clever idea of inviting a panel of six knowledgeable book people – those who review books for the media – to make the nominations.”
Octane magazine’s ‘Book of the Month’: John Surtees July 30 2014
There have been previous books about Il Grande John, but this isn’t so much a biography, more a story of a British motor sport titan told using photos and long captions. And what photos. They start with Surtees as a toddler at the Layhams Farm grass track venue in Kent in 1936. He’s sitting aboard his father’s B14 Excelsior-JAP sidecar outfit. Judging from his expression, the die has clearly been cast.
The story really takes of in the early ’50s, and we particularly loved the shot of the future world beater – then still a teenager – ahead of a record-breaking attempt at Montlhéry aboard a Vincent Black Shadow. The caption matter-of-factly outlines how his top-speed runs were curtailed when the rear tyre started to delaminate; he was travelling at 129mph at the time.
Many of the motor racing images are familiar, but that’s no bad thing when they include shots such as David Phipps’ picture of Surtees driving the Bowman-run, Maranello Concessionaires-entered Ferrari 250GTO in the 1962 Tourist Trophy at Goodwood. This famous colour photo shows him leading the race, while the corresponding LAT shot that flanks it shows how his race ended after fourth-place man Jim Clark uncharacteristically spun John Ogier’s Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato just as Surtees came up to lap him for the second time. He took them both out in the process.
Predictably, Ferraris feature prominently, and it was intriguing to see the image of an incensed Surtees remonstrating with the Scuderia’s team manager, Eugenio Dragoni, as engineer Mauro Forghieri looks on. Surtees doesn’t mince his words when describing the man who did so much to persuade the Briton to look for opportunities elsewhere. ‘Dragoni was incompetent and a mistake for Ferrari, and I always thought there were political reasons why he was there. Mr Ferrari himself never went to race meetings, and there was no TV coverage in those days, so he had to rely on the often-distorted reports from others.’
A sizeable section of the book is also given over to Surtees’ eponymous team, which, while successful in Formula 2 and Formula 5000, never quite made the leap to the top spot in Formula 1.
It’s hard to pick fault with a book that’s so enjoyable to dip into – especially since royalties go to the Henry Surtees Foundation. Highly recommended for fans of two- and four-wheeled motor sport.
Several hundred fans of John Surtees were able to meet the great man at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and buy a copy of his new book, dedicated and signed by him.
John had a very busy schedule over the three-day Festival but he was able to fit in a signing session on each day and meet lots of admirers. Every sale of the book, newly published by Evro Publishing, raised money for the Henry Surtees Foundation. Everyone who bought a book seemed to be delighted to have the chance to meet John and share a few words. There were lots of smiles and John had a minute or two for everyone despite being in great demand.
On the Friday there was also a special presentation of a copy of the book to Lord March by Eric Verdon-Roe, Evro Publishing's chairman.
This year is the 50th anniversary of John becoming Formula 1 World Champion and the landmark was marked by a special display of his cars at Goodwood in an area dedicated to the Henry Surtees Foundation. Among the highlight machines on display were a Ferrari 158 as used by him to win the 1964 Formula 1 title and a 1960 MV Agusta of the type that brought John his last 500cc World Championship in motorcycle racing. John's success in winning the 1966 Can-Am series in North America was also represented with a Lola T70 in Team Surtees colours.
There was also a fine cross-section of cars of Surtees's manufacture, for he became a car constructor in his own right in 1969 and built around 100 cars before winding down the business in 1978. Included among the Surtees display was his first Formula 1 car, the TS7 of 1970, and an example of the TS10 with which Mike Hailwood won the European Formula 2 Championship in 1972.
With the help of almost 500 evocative photographs, this book tells the remarkable story of the sudden fall and steady rise of the annual Le Mans 24 Hours between 1990 and 1999.
This historic race had been stronger than ever in 1988–89. Only three years later, its promoters found themselves with the smallest field for 60 years, and having to devise innovative methods to achieve a lasting recovery. The cause of this débâcle was the unwelcome introduction of an entirely new category that was simply too expensive for the professional sportscar racing community. When it failed, Le Mans was left high and dry – but not for long.
The 24 Hours is an exceptional event, with a unique status. The decade brought as much Le Mans fascination as ever: the last victory by TWR Jaguar, one of the outstanding competitors of the thriving Group C ‘fuel formula’ that had been so irresponsibly replaced; the only win by a rotary-engined car, from Mazda, which was also the first Japanese manufacturer to win; popular home wins by Peugeot with one of the most effective racing cars ever made; Porsche’s win after exploiting a loophole in the rules to present a racing car as a GT car, and then working with TWR to win in successive years with the very same prototype, and finally winning again with another controversial GT; successful Le Mans forays by the McLaren and Williams Formula 1 teams, both with BMW; and the persistent misfortune that thwarted three potential victories by Toyota.
Even before 1999, the race had recovered fully, and seven major manufacturers were again engaged. How was it done? That is a constant theme in this book, serving as explanation of the many brilliant engineering developments that were achieved during this decade, and as background to the individual stories of all the teams that took part. These 10 races were contested by 43 different marques that accounted for 445 starts – and every one is covered within these pages. Complete data for each year includes technical regulations, entry list, circuit changes (with diagram), lap chart, full results and category awards.
For the people who attempt this daunting challenge, requiring racing cars to cover more miles over a single weekend than an entire Grand Prix season, delight must go hand in hand with dismay. The Le Mans 24 Hours may have had a dramatic reversal at the start of the 1990s, but it remained the greatest race in the world.
Officially licensed with the ACO, the organisers of the annual Le Mans 24 Hours race, this sumptuous book is the fifth title in a decade-by-decade series that is building up into a multi-volume set covering every race since 1923. Each year is exhaustively covered in vivid photographs, many of which have never been seen before, plus a detailed and insightful commentary, full results data and a glorious rendering of the official race poster. Compiled by an acknowledged authority of this legendary race, this series of books will be treasured by all enthusiasts of sports car racing.
John Surtees’s new memoir – just published June 10 2014
Published to mark the 50th anniversary of John Surtees becoming Formula 1 World Champion, in 1964, this long-awaited book is a photographic memoir by the only man to have won World Championships on motorcycles and in cars. Containing nearly 300 photographs from Surtees’ own collection as well as from the world’s finest motorsport picture libraries, this major book presents a complete visual record of Surtees’ life accompanied by insightful commentary in his own words and is written in collaboration with co-author Mike Nicks.
In motorcycle racing through the second half of the 1950s John Surtees was in a class of his own, winning seven World Championships on Italian MV Agusta motorcycles. Aged only 22, he became 500cc World Champion in 1956 and followed that with an incredible run of six titles – three each in the 350cc and 500cc categories – in the three years from 1958 to 1960.
In his extraordinary 1960 season he accepted an impossible challenge – to anyone but John Surtees – of competing in both motorcycle grands prix and Formula 1 cars. With MV Agusta he won seven of 12 races entered and took his last two world titles. In Formula 1 he did six races and finished second with a Lotus 18 in the British Grand Prix, only his second World Championship start.
As with bikes, by 1963 he was racing for an elite Italian team, Ferrari, in both sports cars and Formula 1. He won his very first race with Ferrari, the 1963 Sebring 12 Hours for sports cars, and in 1964 he became Formula 1 World Champion with a fine run of results as the season reached its climax – including forever winning the hearts of Italian fans with victory at Monza.
Ever versatile as a racer, in 1966 he bounced back after injury in a huge sports car crash to win the inaugural Can-Am series in North America, driving a Lola T70. Then Honda recruited him to its new Formula 1 team for two seasons that saw him win the Italian Grand Prix again.
His talents were not confined to being a rider and a driver. From 1969 his Team Surtees became a constructor, building 100 cars in a nine-year period and winning titles in Formula 2 and Formula 5000.
Evro’s first book – Senna 20 years on May 01 2014
Ayrton Senna: All His Races is the story of one of motor racing’s most charismatic, complex and driven characters, told in detail by Tony Dodgins though every single race in which he competed, from karts to Formula 1.
Published to mark the 20th anniversary of Senna’s death at Imola in 1994, the book features fresh interviews with many of his rivals and colleagues, including Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Ron Dennis, Terry Fullerton, Alex Hawkridge, Damon Hill, Eddie Jordan and Martin Whitmarsh. New insights give depth and perspective to Senna’s enigmatic character as well as the machinations and politics of the racing world.
The book goes far beyond a mere racing record. The text is also accompanied by a rich array of high-quality period photographs.