Hobbo: The autobiography of David Hobbs
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Shortlisted for RAC Motoring Book of the Year 2018
By David Hobbs with Andrew Marriott
Foreword by Sam Posey
Englishman David Hobbs – ‘Hobbo’ to his friends and fans – is one of motor racing’s most remarkable all-rounders. In a 31-year driving career he raced in almost every imaginable category: endurance sports racers, touring cars, Formula 1, Formula 5000, Indycars, IMSA, Trans-Am, Can-Am and even NASCAR – he has done the lot. And on top of that he has been a television commentator in America for nearly 40 years, bringing wit and wisdom to the screen, presently as part of NBC’s Formula 1 team. Now, at last, he has put down all his experiences in this highly readable memoir that will be welcomed by racing enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Early racing years: from his mum’s Morris Oxford in 1959 to Jaguars and a Lotus Elite – and coming to the notice of the racing world.
- Sports car speciality: Le Mans in 1963 with the Lola Mk6 GT followed by Lola T70 drives and finally the big break; two Ford GT40 seasons with John Wyer’s mighty Gulf-sponsored team bring a win at Monza in 1968 and third place at Le Mans in 1969 – and then a Porsche 917 Le Mans drive in 1970.
- Single-seaters: coming close to a Formula 1 breakthrough with Honda in 1968, but Formula 5000 in America is where success comes, as 1971 champion.
- Westward bound: the USA becomes his focus, with early highlights including fifth place in the 1974 Indianapolis 500 with a McLaren and leading the Daytona 500 NASCAR classic in 1976.
- Criss-crossing the Atlantic: returning to old haunts to take up opportunities, including racing Jaguar’s famously fragile XJ coupé in 1976 and many more Le Mans outings, topped with another third place in 1984 driving a Porsche 956.
- Another championship title: ever versatile, he becomes Trans-Am Champion in 1983 driving a Chevrolet Camaro and winning four races.
- Sports cars galore: racing all the way to 1990, in all sorts of machinery but majoring on those all-conquering Porsches of the period – 935s, 956s and 962s.
- ISBN: 978-1-910505-31-1
- Format: 280x235mm
- Page extent: 304pp
- Illustration: over 300 photographs, including colour
“If you are in any way interested in motorsports history or in building any sort of respectable book collection about motor racing, you must add this book to your list. It is a remarkable account of the life of one of the most beloved personalities in the sport.”
“The problem with most racing driver biographies is that they often fail to get across the personality behind the achievements. This book is the exception.”
Classic & Sports Car
“One of the most anticipated racing books this season… It’s packed full of great stories from when he battled in sports cars and open-wheel machines around the globe. It’s a rollicking ride… a great read with lots of fantastic pictures.”
Speed Sport magazine (USA)
“This fascinating autobiography is highly entertaining with lots of fresh memory-jerking pictures.”
“What makes the work is Hobbs’s style: engaging, modest, self-critical… Engrossing though this book is, the best writing concerns Hobbs’s power of observation: he recalls for example meals at the Surtees home in Edenbridge — ‘a nightmare because Pat (Surtees’s “steely-eyed” wife) and John would spend the whole time grousing about how he was being got at by Shell or Ferrari’.”
Guild of Motoring Writers
“The book is written in an easy-going, matter-of-fact way, and will keep you smiling throughout, as Hobbo lays it on the line for all to enjoy.”
“Hobbs wittily recounts his life from avoiding bombs to the commentary box via an astonishing career as a racer. Entertaining.”
“Included in Mr. Hobbs’ reminiscing is humor (the time his race car expired and he was four miles from the pits, so he knocked in a local's door and ended up watching the race on the man's TV), to biting opinions (“I judge that Lola T310 Can-Am car one of the worst machines Eric Broadley ever designed”). To say this book has poignant character throughout would be an understatement!”
Victory Lane (USA)
“Hugely entertaining… a very personal book… Highly recommended.”
Jaguar World Monthly
“Hobbo is a definitive account of David Hobbs’s career and even the most ardent fan will learn a thing or two from this colourful work… the illustrations, many of them from the David Hobbs collection, bring life to the myriad anecdotes.”