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Motor Racing at Oulton Park in the 1960s

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Motor Racing at Oulton Park in the 1960s

Motor Racing at Oulton Park in the 1960s

By Peter McFadyen
About the Author

Hardback • 96 pages • over 110 colour and mono photographs

ISBN: 9781845840389

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• Photographic record of a period of change in motor racing • Favourite circuit of drivers and photographers • Professional quality but mostly unpublished pictures • Many of the world’s top drivers as well as local favourites • Approaching end of the era of non-championship Formula 1 races • Races include F1, F2 and F3, Sports & GT, F5000 • Vintage racing including Seaman Trophies meetings • Club racing • Paddock pictures of the top drivers of the period • The circuit as it was in the sixties


A photographic record of motor racing at Oulton Park in the late 1960s when the circuit was host to world champions and club racers alike. Established names such as Clark, Stewart and Hill, rising stars James Hunt, John Watson and Roger Williamson and local club racers are all there.


Oulton Park in the late 1960s was one of the last circuits to play host to non-championship Formula 1 races. Set in beautiful Cheshire park land, it has always been a favourite with drivers who relish its challenging curves and with spectators who could watch their heroes compete on a true road circuit. Drivers such as Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Surtees, Rindt and Brabham came to Oulton for the Gold Cup and spectators could see and even meet them in the open paddock atmosphere of the time.
Major sports & GT races such as the RAC TT were also on the Oulton Park calendar with Lola T70s, GT40s, Ferrari, Lotus and, of course, Chevron in the hands of Hulme, Redman, Bonnier and other top drivers. Club race meetings provided variety and plenty of action with the VSCC’s Seaman Trophies meeting for vintage and historic racers being the highlight of the season for many racegoers.

Independent Reviews

Review by Graham Gauld for, Spring 2007

This is one of a series of superb picture books produced by Veloce Publishing. Rod Grainger is to be congratulated for producing such a variety of books that fit into a niche market that is growing every year. It is growing because of the rise and rise of interest in historic motor racing events and the proliferation of such events all over Europe and America.

This book, then, is not just for 'oldies' who want to re-create their moments at Oulton Park, that lovely little circuit near Chester, but for younger enthusiasts who have had their eyes opened by the variety of cars that raced in the 1960s and are still racing today.

This is very much a picture and caption book but McFadyen’s captions are well thought out and written so you don’t need to read a thousand words to describe the pictures. It is fantastic value for a modest price and thumbs up to Veloce for publishing it for present and future generations. It is not just for the nostalgia buffs.

by Tim Steel for Chicane Magazine, Winter 2006

This new book, written and produced by our very own LDC member Peter McFadyen, is a real 'must have' for all motor racing fans.

The book is a wonderful collection of some of Peter McFadyen's best photographs, accompanied by well written text giving a compelling insight into all forms of racing at Oulton, including many Lotus models.

by Tom Dooley for Motorsports Now, Winter 2006

When I was sent Motor Racing at Oulton Park... my first thought was "Oh! Another one". Then I read the remainder of the title ... in the '60s. Now we're talking.

The heydays of Oulton Park are quite brilliantly captured in words and pictures and Peter McFadyen has done a great job bringing back those days with photographs and words.

One is not overwhelmed by reams of prose no matter how elegant. What you get are photographs - lots of them - and Peter's description of events and people that accompany them. Many photos, not seen before by a wide audience, and the words without wasting space get to the heart of Oulton Park in the '60s.

I was there amongst it all and I am sure anyone from that era will love this book. I'm taking a copy to my son-in-law in South Africa because I know he too will love it, even though he was only a youngster in the sixties.

As I went through the book I got the same tingle I still often get as I drive down the Coach road to Oulton Park, particularly in the heady days of Formula One at Oulton.

This book, which brings that era at Oulton back to life, will make a great present for anyone who remembers those days.

by Sarah Hutchison for Classic Lines, December 2006

This evocative book, crammed with Peter's superb photos from the 1960s, brings back all my memories of sitting as a six-year-old on Clay Hill with my Dad and brother watching Jim Clark driving all manner of cars in a hectic day's racing. The chapters are divided into Championships (F3, GT, F 5000) and headings such as "Before they were famous".

Every page is packed with pictures and clear notes, historic facts and descriptions of cars and drivers from the period..

The ideal "dip in" book for motor-racing lovers everywhere.

Review from Classic & Sports Car, November 2006

Author McFadyen was Autosport's regular photographer in Cheshire during this era and saw the racing first-hand, so the extensive captions to his evocative photographs make this much more than simply a picture book.

Anyone with fond memories of spectating at Oulton will relish this bargain paperback.

Review from, November 2006

From the late sixties through to the 1980s Peter McFadyen was Autosport magazine´s regular photographer and later reporter at Oulton Park racing circuit. Apart from the non-championship Formula 1 races there were major Sports & GT races. But of course the circuit also saw many club-events and plenty of action with the VSCC’s Seaman Trophy meeting. A great many of the photographs Peter took while covering these races, are now compiled into a book recently published by Veloce in their series called Those were the days… Although the book contains mainly pictures of sixties racing cars, there’s also a whole section devoted to our kind of cars. For instance this 1929 Alfa Romeo 1750 battling through Cascades. As an aside… do check the interesting variety of cars in the spectator enclosure on the main picture. All of them lovely candidates for our PostWar Classics section.

Review from Startline magazine, October 2006

The author, who is a lifelong motor sport fan and a regular Autosport Magazine contributor, has produced a photographic account of one of the drivers' favourite circuits. Using mainly previously unpublished images, this book charts a time at Oulton Park when the circuit played host to major races such as non-championship Formula One rounds, major Sports and GT races such as the RAC TT the Gold Cup and the VSCC's Seaman Trophies.

The book shows a different facet of the events and the circuit, allowing the reader to gain a feeling for the atmosphere of the circuit at this time.

Review from Classic Lotus Racer, September 2006

Written and of course very well illustrated by our own Peter McFadyen, who has been supplying CLR with some wonderful period shots as well as more recently covering the Historic Scene for CLR.

This book's 96 pages of both colour and black and white photographs chart the changes that took place both to the actual track at Oulton Park, as well as to the cars and drivers.

An excellent book and a useful guide to 1960s motor racing at all levels. Written and illustrated by Peter McFadyen, CLR subscriber and a Lotus racer. What better recommendation do you need?

Review from 4SmallWheels, September 2006

A fun and interesting library addition.

By Mark Holman for New Zealand Classic Car

What a good series ‘Those were the days …’ is. It already includes books on Goodwood, Crystal Palace and Brands Hatch, but I think this latest one just might be the best of the bunch. That’s partly because Oulton Park is quite a scenic circuit, but largely because Peter McFadyen is a very good photographer (he did cover races there for “Autosport”).

You get a 96 page softcover, 190 x 205 mm size and packed with over 100 pics, mostly b&w. Despite the title, it also includes the 1970 season, so you get a nice mix of non-championship F1 races, the early days of F5000, Sports and GT cars, saloons, historics and F3. A nice idea is a chapter on drivers who would later go on to be more famous: Derek Bell, James Hunt, Tom Walkinshaw and John Watson are seen in their F3 cars. The sports/GT section includes Denis Hulme (Lola T70 and Jack Brabham in the rare BT17 with 4.2 litre Repco motor, as well as the Howmet and a Ford F3L. Frank Gardner and our Bruce are other ‘down under’ drivers who feature.

Oulton hosted F1 races, so we see Clark, Surtees, Stewart (though the photo captioned as the first Tyrrell looks like his March 701) and Rindt in the unloved 4wd Lotus 63. Weren’t some of the early F5000 cars untidy-looking brutes? There’s an old F1 Cooper with Ford V8 motor, the anteater-like appearance of the Kitchiner, Kaye Griffiths in the BRP-Ford V8, retiring in a cloud of steam- presumably the infamous Sir Charles Napier Racing entry he brought to NZ in 1970?, and a pair of re-engined Lotus 43 GP cars.

With McFadyen’s good eye for getting decent photos, often on the spot when something dramatic was happening, and comprehensive photo captioning, this is a very enjoyable little book. Highly recommended.

Review from, September 2006

Motor Racing at Oulton Park in the 1960sBy a funny coincidence I received a copy of the latest in Veloce’s “Those were the days…” series on racing at Oulton Park on the same day that I heard a Formula One car would be running at the Cheshire circuit for the first time in almost eight years.

In the pre-FOCA years Oulton Park regularly hosted non-championship Formula One races and some of these are featured in Peter McFadyen’s book of photography from the time.

It’s a niche field, but there are some curiosities here for the F1 fan.

Oulton Park is too small for modern Formula One by a factor of about four. Make that forty if you think in terms of the Shanghai International Circuit.

But what it does have, and always had, is masses of charisma, which this pithy little volume captures in an annotated photographic record.

There’s a fair chunk of material on Formula One personalities, particularly in the ‘before they were famous’ section which features young John Watsons, Jackie Stewarts and James Hunts. There are fewer pictures of actual non-championship Grands Prix though.

What this book does give is a sense of how Formula One was much more a part of the wider racing scene in the sixties, alongside Formula Two, Formula 5000 and all sorts of sports and saloon car races.

Forty years later and, as far as most people are concerned, Formula One is motor racing. That was never the case and still isn’t, and books like this remind you how there was once much greater parity between the different classes of motor sport.

And how you got to see the greatest drivers in the world compete more than just 18 times a year.

“Motor Racing at Oulton Park in the 1960s” does exactly what you’d expect it to and no more. The only criticisms I could offer of it are that it would benefit from the inclusion of past and present circuit diagrams, and that those looking for an exclusively F1-orientated read should look elsewhere.

I was also disappointed not to learn exactly how Knicker Brook got its name … but I can probably make an educated guess!

Review from Total Kitcar, September 2006

I’m a big fan of Veloce’s ‘Those Were The Days’ series and this latest edition called ‘Motor Racing at Oulton Park in the 1960s’ follows the pleasing path of similar efforts detailing the same time period on circuits such as Brands Hatch and Crystal Palace.

Not intended to be the definitive blade of grass by blade of grass history (Derek Lawson has already done that with his excellent ‘Sun, Rain & Even Snow’ series), rather than show some of the sixties highlights that took place at this fabulous circuit in pictorial form.

McFadyen has been thoughtful with his photograph selection and Oulton Park of course has always been a superb venue, set in idyllic Cheshire countryside. It was one of the last motor racing circuits to host a non-championship Formula One race and the sight of drivers of the ilk of Brabham, Stewart, Clark and Rindt, are remembered and indeed captured here in this excellent little book. I recall going on what seemed like an adventure to Oulton as a child, for (I think) the Gold Cup, and retain a vivid, fond memory of Graham Hill in the paddock ruffling my hair as he came out to get into his Lotus, prior to qualifying. For the record I think he broke down in the race!

A smashing book and an ideal present for motor racing fanatics of a certain age. An enjoyable title that will be returned to time and time again.


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