Racing Line by Bob Guntrip | Rider’s Library

Racing Line by Bob Guntrip - British Motorcycle Racing HistoryBefore Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Barry Sheene became legends and superstars of GP motorcycle racing on their four, five and six-cylinder superbikes, there was a time in Britain when some other less familiar names dominated road racing.

There was a time when Bob McIntyre, Derek Minter, Phil Read and John Hartle frequently showed the young Hailwood and some other future superstars the way home on local British tracks.

They did their racing in the Race of Aces at Snetterton, the Derby Cup and Race of the Year at Mallory Park, the Hutchinson 100 at Brands Hatch, the Cadwell Conqueror at Cadwell Park and places with magical names like Castle Combe, Scarborough, Crystal Palace and the Isle of Man.

Their machines of choice were most often big singles like the Manx Norton, AJS 7R, BSA Gold Star and Matchless G50, though increasingly through the decade of the sixties, two-stroke and four-stroke competition from Japan and the Continent began to show up and steal the thunder of the booming megaphone.

This is the era author Bob Guntrip takes you to in “Racing Line – British motorcycle racing in the golden age of the big single.” Beginning with the skeletal British racing scene in the island nation still reeling from the devastation of WWII and constrained by on-going fuel rationing, when finding a place to race was as big a challenge as building a winning bike, Guntrip chronicles the gradual return to normalcy. Then, he details the riders, the sponsors, the machines and the racing action from 1960 to 1970.

With meticulous research, the book takes you inside the various racing efforts of sponsors, tuners and builders like Francis Beart, Tom Kirby, Ray Petty, Tom Arter, Paul Dunstall, the Rickman brothers and Colin Seeley, among others. Guntrip covers the tragedy and triumph of the lives of the men who made the racing action happen on the track, as well as the behind-the-scenes aspects of road racing the fans at trackside never saw.

Illustrated with 75 period color and black and white images, Racing Line features some of the best action shots of the day, as well as dramatic portraits of some of the men and machines who made it all happen. One full chapter is devoted to race results at each major British event from 1960 to 1970. In his concise narrative, Guntrip takes the reader through the time when big British singles reached their highest level of development and success and to the time when handwriting was on the wall that their day was over.

Book data:

  • Title: Racing Line-British motorcycle racing in the golden age of the big single
  • Author: Bob Guntrip
  • Published: 2015 Hardcover.   232 pages.
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, DT1 3AR, England
  • ISBN: 978-1-845847-93-7   MSRP: U.S. $35 U.K. £19.99 Canada: $42