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John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels [Hardcover]

John Surtees , Mike Nicks
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 50.00
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Book Description

28 Jun 2014
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 fascinating commentary written in collaboration with co-author Mike Nicks. Chapters of particular interest are those covering Surtees's formative years and the extraordinary 1960 season in which he raced both motorcycles and cars, winning two World Championships on MV Agusta bikes as well as taking second place for Lotus in the British GP, which was only his second Formula 1 race. Royalties from sales of the book will go to the Henry Surtees Foundation, which was set up to honour the memory of John's son Henry, who was killed in a freak accident at Brands Hatch in 2009. - The early years (up to 1952): a childhood around motorcycle racing, apprenticeship with Vincent, then racing a Vincent Grey Flash.- Getting established (1953a 55): Moving on to ride mainly Manx Nortons, he did 86 races in one year, and in 1955 achieved his first grand prix win, in the 250cc Ulster GP on an NSU.- The glory years (1956a 60): dominating top-level motorcycle racing for five years with Italian team MV Agusta, taking seven World Championship titles on 500cc and 350cc bikes.- The remarkable year of bikes and cars (1960): overlapping his last year of motorcycle racing with 17 car races, including four F1 World Championship events.- Ferrari driver (1963a 66): established in cars, he joined Ferrari, winning his first race a the Sebring 12 Hours for sports cars a and the following year becoming F1 World Champion.- Can-Am champion (1966): after recovery from a huge crash in a Lola T70 sports car and acrimonious departure from Ferrari, he bounced back in North America to win the spectacular Can-Am series.- Turning Japanese (1967a 68): Honda invited Surtees to develop and drive its F1 cars for two years, with victory in the Italian GP at Monza the highlight.- Becoming a constructor (1969a 78): going into single-seater racing, including F1, with Team Surtees and cars of his own manufacture; Mike Hailwood won the European F2 Championship in 1972.- The latter years (1978 onwards): fully active on the historic scene as a restorer and driver of motorcycles and cars, then nurturing son Henry's career until the tragic accident."

Frequently Bought Together

John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels + Le Mans: The Official History of the World's Greatest Motor Race, 1990-99 + Ferraro 250 GTO Manual (Owners Workshop Manual)
Price For All Three: 82.00

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Evro Publishing; First Edition edition (28 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0992820928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0992820923
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 24.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


What s unusual is the structure concise two-page summaries of each few years, with highlights, events and trends, plus generous picture sections with explanatory captions. It works brilliantly... This is a very personal work, frank and straightforward, and unexpectedly engaging. --Motor Sport

Surtees recollections are excellent, there s a foreword from Valentino Rossi and Sebastian Vettel, and it s all brilliantly illustrated. --Auto Express

A beautifully illustrated 300-page tome that tells the full story as it happened. Surtees is a hero among heroes and richly deserves every plaudit. --Steve Cropley, Autocar

About the Author

Mike Nicks is a prolific journalist and author who has edited the British publications "Bike," "Classic Bike," "Classic Racer," "Motor Cycle News" and "Classic Car Weekly." In the USA he has worked on "Motor Trend," " Motorcyclist" and "Circle Track" magazines. He has also written on cars, motorcycles, languages and business for the "Guardian," "Observer," "Independent," "Times," " Sunday Times" and "Daily""Telegraph" newspapers in London. He has known John Surtees since the 1980s, when their shared passions for matters on both two and four wheels ensured a continuing friendship.Valentino Rossi was born on February 16, 1979, in Urbino, Italy. He won his first motorcycle grand prix race at the age of 17, his first world title at 18, and his first MotoGP championship at 22. He currently rides for Yamaha, and his main residence is in central London.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Life, Incredible Book 20 Jun 2014
Well done Mike Nicks who has managed to blend a lightness to the thorough captions to the generous photographs in this book, with enough technical detail to appeal to both the casual 'dipper' and the enthusiast in this new book that is the first and only to cover the whole John Surtees amazing career.

The only man to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels, with Mv Agusta and Ferrari, John Surtees achievement is not often recognised or praised, but this book does both and with out repeating the cliches of others, bringing new material to the reader. Also applause for the publisher who arranged for a contribution from the sale of every copy to go to the charity set up by John to honour Henry, his son who was tragically killed in a freak accident whilst racing early in his career.

I would strongly recommend this book as an addition to your library or as a gift, it impresses on many levels and feels like value for money, especially if you hunt around as there are signed copies available for those that are quick...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent book for every Motorsport fan 24 Jun 2014
John Surtees, Mike Nicks and the publishers EVRO have done a wonderful job with this publication. It takes the reader on a journey with the Surtees family from a very young Surtees with Dad's borrowed leathers, through his motorcycle racing days, car racing years, car constructor and Team Surtees, to the tragic death of his son Henry in 2009, aged 18. With superb photographs, many from John's own collection, it's like looking through a personal family album. You can hear the sounds of Manx Nortons and four cylinder MVs from the 50s and 60s and there's a smell of Castrol R in the air. All those nostalgic memories from a different era come flooding back with every page turn.
With Royalties from this book going to the Henry Surtees Foundation, which assists people with brain or physical injuries caused by accident, it makes a very worthwhile purchase. An incredible present for any two or four wheel enthusiast.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing 28 Jun 2014
I was looking forward to this book as the amazing life and career of John Surtees has not had the coverage it deserves. It is a bit pricey but I don't begrudge monies going to the Henry Surtees Foundation. However, this book follows Evro's excellent Tony Dodgins tome on Aryton Senna's races so expectations levels were high. The overall coverage is good and the chapter on Henry Surtees is very welcome but for this price I would expect more detail and insight, for example, I remember at the time Surtees was enraged when Jody Scheckter's Silverstone crash in 1973 wiped out the Surtees team. His views on that incident would have been interesting. There are also a small number of minor errors. The picture of a mini could not have been taken in 1957 (the car was launched 2 years later), whilst Rubery Owen bought BRM in 1952 not '54.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The all round hero - Big John 17 July 2014
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Anybody with an interest in Motor Bikes or Motor Racing should find this book and the story of John Surtees fascinating. Multiple world champion on bikes as well as F1, Can Am champ plus. The tragic death of his son and his work for charity show what an all round hero Big John is. Time he was knighted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Service 27 July 2014
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A great book, wonderful pictures could not believe how quick the delivery was ever better than the given date .Like this!
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You need to shop around to get the best price on this book. It is beautifully produced with many images never seen before. Essential reading for anyone interested in the two and four wheel racing of the period.
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