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October 23, 2019
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Raymond Mays’ Magnificent Obsession

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Click to watch Bryan Apps talking about the book at Beaulieu

Raymond Mays’ Magnificent Obsession

By Bryan Apps
About the Author

25x20.7cm • 208 pages • 243 pictures

ISBN: 978-1-845847-86-9

£ 40.00 Postage + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

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• Foreword by Raymond Mays
• Additional forewords by Sir Alfred Owen and Sir David Brown
• A biography of Raymond Mays, including quotations from his books
• Includes letters from Raymond Mays
• Covers the entire history of ERA and BRM, with race summaries
• With colour images from an era usually seen in black and white
• Features the author’s personal recollections and paintings


This biography of Raymond Mays includes complete histories of ERA and BRM, including race summaries, a foreword by Mays himself. Personal letters addressed to the author from Alfred Owen, David Brown, Tony Rudd, Rivers Fletcher, Bob Gerard, Ken Richardson, Juan Fangio, and many others add intimacy to the story. Illustrated with over 100 of the author`s colour paintings.


Laced with fascinating anecdotes, Raymond Mays’ Magnificent Obsession reveals a pivotal figure in motor sport history, and describes the author’s enthusiasm for BRM, detailing his visit to Raymond Mays, in Eastgate House, Bourne, in 1963.
Focussing on Mays’ early years and successes in motor racing in the 1920s, this book follows his progress to becoming a national celebrity. His famous White Riley’s successes at Shelsley Walsh and Brooklands are covered, leading on to the building of the ERAs, which – led by Mays himself – represented the UK in voiturette races on the Continent. ERA’s story unfolds with references to all the races in which the team took part.
After WWII, Mays’ achievement in building an all-British Grand Prix car, with the financial support of the British Motor Industry, is detailed, going on to describe how, after many changes, a BRM driven by Graham Hill won the 1962 World Championship.
With the help of Mays’ letters to the author, this book covers the whole history of BRM, until its demise in 1976.

Independent Reviews

Will thrill all motor racing fans.
This England

Unique in its approach to its subject and as such is certainly worthy of inclusion in any collection of the marque's history.

There are more complete histories of both ERA and BRM out there, but few offer such a tantalising glimpse into the personality and times of the main man behind those famous racing cars.
Classic Driver

This charming, personal account provides plenty of fascinating reading.
Classic Car Weekly

An intimate portrait of BRM and its founder told with a unique persistence not from a brusque notebook-wielding journalist, but rather a friendly enthusiast.
Classic Cars

The author has been a fanatical follower of BRM since its very inception and this enthusiasm comes across in his writing, but what really sets it aside from other books is the fact that most of the copious illustrations are expertly painted by the author rather than photographs.
MG Enthusiast

I read lots of books but I think I seldom enjoyed one as much as I did this and I recommend it to you all ... as well as impressing visitors when left for them to see it will give you hours of entertainment.
Motor Cycling Club (MCC)

Some fascinating nuggets are buried here.

Some fascinating content herein, not least copies of many letters exchanged between author Apps and key personnel in the dual stories of ERA and BRM ... These paint vivid portraits of refined manners in a different world ... the creator's passion is as obvious as it is absolute.
Motor Sport

Additional Information

Covers the period 1899 to present day, and ERA, BRM, Hillman, Bugatti, Vauxhall, Mercedes, Villiers, Invicta, and Riley – specifically, Speed Model Hillman 1918. Brescia Bugattis 1920, TT Vauxhall 1924, Targa Floria Merecedes 1927, Villiers Supercharge and Invicta 1928, the White Riley 1933, ERA 1934-48, BRM V16, 4, V8, H16, V12. 1950–1976.


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