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• Not recommended for health and safety pedants!
• The epitome of the club racer
• Foreword by Simon Taylor
• An open, honest and sometimes self-deprecating account of the life of 'Mr Big Healey'
• Views from friends and racing rivals
• The author’s own experiences of Chatham in the 1970s
• Politically incorrect, every rebel or would-be rebel will love it!
• More than just cars, tales of family, friends, wives and lovers
• Many previously unpublished photos
• A must for anyone who loves Big Healeys and MGCs
• An entertaining read for everyone with an independent streak
The authorised biography of one of the best-liked 'bad boys' in British motorsport, John Chatham – driver, racer, repairer, rebuilder, tuner, trader and lover of Austin-Healeys.
With 150 photographs, many previously unpublished, this is an important and entertaining account of one of motorsport’s biggest characters.
This is the authorised biography of one of the best-liked bad boys in British motorsport. John Chatham, driver, racer, repairer, rebuilder, tuner, trader and lover of Austin-Healeys, was in the words of Geoffrey Healey “uncontrollable” in his youth, and has only mildly mellowed with age. Burly and genial but formidably competitive, and not above bending the rules when he thought he could get away with it, to many he is the archetypal club racer. John is so synonymous with Austin-Healeys that the most famous racing Healey in the world, DD300, is so well-known mainly because John campaigned it for decades, notching up tens of thousands of racing miles. But his career embraces far more than one car, and until this biography no-one had attempted to fill in the gaps.
The book is not a dry description of one club race after another. It does include a list of John’s principal sporting achievements, but no complete record exists of the hundreds of events which made up his competitive career, so the writer has not attempted to compile one. Instead Norman Burr, who was himself acquainted with John in his youth, has created a more rounded and personal account, full of motoring and sporting anecdotes, but also telling the story of John’s family, his work, his business, his three wives and his lovers. John has a comprehensive photo library from which the book is generously illustrated, with cartoons added to illustrate some of the moments that a camera was not around to record. Thoroughly politically incorrect even by the standards of the 1960s, it’s an account which will strike a chord not only with admirers of Big Healeys, but also with anyone who believes that independent thinking, and the courage to apply and enjoy it, is the greatest virtue of all.
"Veloce's typically well produced book, with copious illustrations interspersed with cartoons by Jim Watson, is a 'must read' not only for all Healey enthusiasts but for all fans of club motorsport from the '60s and beyond." – Speedscene
"An account which will strike a chord not only with admirers of Big Healeys but also with anyone who believes that independent thinking, and the courage to apply and enjoy it, is the greatest of all virtues." – Hertfordshire Countryside magazine
"This is an engaging story, well told, and decent value too." – Octane
"For those who love British sports cars, especially Austin-Healeys and the limited production MGC series, this book provides some very interesting historical insight … filled with Chatham's wild ride through life." – Classic MG magazine
"From early 100S sorties to the saga of his ex-Le Mans 'DD 300', the tale is spiced with the highs and lows of his private and business lives. Like its subject, it never come off the gas." – Classic & Sports Car
"A superb and authorised biography of one of British motorsport's 'bad boys'. An entertaining read for anyone with an independent streak!" – Totalkitcar
"An entertaining account of one of motorsport's great characters." – Track Driver