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Ken Tyrrell: The Authorised Biography Hardcover – 21 Oct 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 21 Oct 2002
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Willow; First Edition edition (21 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007143761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007143764
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


‘He was one of Formula 1’s greatest figures and was truly loved for the passion he brought to the sport’ Martin Brundle

From the Back Cover

Despite many requests, Ken Tyrrell would never agree to publishing his autobiography. 'People would not be interested,' he said. The subsequent fulsome obituaries and massive turnout at his memorial service after his death in October 2001 indicated otherwise.

Tyrrell was held in high regard across the motor racing community. His biography, written by leading motor racing journalist Maurice Hamilton and with the blessing of his family, provides an excellent expose of the man himself, and an intriguing insight into the drama and excitement of the world of Formula 1.

The former timber merchant arrived late on the F1 scene at the age of 28. Early successes in the 1950s were followed by a move into team management, where he scraped and scrounged the money to build his own F1 team. His biographer charts Tyrrell's dramatic debut, how he persuaded a young Jackie Stewart to join his new team, a triumphant World Championship win in only their second season, and how the car, with Stewart at the wheel, went on to win 25 grands prix for the team.

The book goes behind the scenes at the team HQ in Surrey, where Tyrrell built his prototype six-wheeled F1 car under cloak-and-dagger secrecy. It examines Tyrrell's relationship with drivers such as Jody Scheckter, Ronnie Peterson and Stewart, and his vital role in the development of the sport. And it delves into the murkier side of F1 – the politics, the battles between the have's and the have-nots – as well as Tyrrell's moving battle against the cancer that eventually took his life.

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Top Customer Reviews

This remarkable book is a celebration of the life of one of Motor Sports true gentlemen. The author gives a rare insight into the private world Of Ken Tyrrell, who will forever be the only man to win both the drivers and constructors World Championships having built the car in a wood shed. It gives an insight into how Grand Prix racing used to be and how teams co-operated with one another. Imagine a top team of today borrowing a part from another promising to return it at the next Grand Prix. Or an ex World Champion practising in another teams car whilst their driver is delayed at the airport. These are just two of the many wonderful anecdotes contained in this book. This book is a "must read" for anyone remotely interested in Grand Prix racing, not just for the serious fan.
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What a fascinating and talented bloke. His cars were world beaters and the P34 never properly fulfilled its destiny, as beautiful as it was. I wonder what Team Tyrrell would be doing today if Ken was still with us. This is a book that is difficult to put down. Bless him !
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Ken Tyrrell always said that he didn't want a biography; he didn't feel he'd achieved much... typical of his modesty, his achievements included masterminding all three of Jackie Stewart's world championships, discovering Francois Cevert, Jean Alesi, Michele Alboreto and many other F1 stars, becoming a Grand Prix constructor almost against his own will, introducing the first six-wheel Grand Prix car, and keeping his team running through thick and thin from the 1960s to the 1990s.
By any standards they're achievements to be proud of and Ken's family and Maurice Hamilton decided after his death that it was time to write it all down.
Ken was from a working-class background; didn't even see motor racing until the 1950s when his football team went to watch a race meeting. He decided that he could probably do as well as some of the 500cc F3 drivers, and scrimped and saved to get into racing. He eventually decided that he'd reached his natural level as a driver and moved over to the management side of things, running F2, FJunior and F3 teams, and later also Mini Coopers.
An early signing was a promising young Scottish club racer, one John Young Stewart. Jackie soon became an integral part of the Tyrrell story, almost part of the family. Family's another important theme in this book - Ken's immensely strong relationship with Norah Tyrrell and his sons Bob and Kenneth is described as an essential part of how Tyrrell fitted together as a team.
The team, run from his lumber yard at Ockham, became a force to reckon with in the minor formulae - he soon attracted the attention of French aerospace firm Matra.
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