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The Kiwi on the Konig


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#1 Herr Wankel

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:46

Heads up chaps! :wave:

The book about Kim Newcombe by Tim Hanna will be launched early December. :up: 550 pages and 150 photos.Promises to be a really good 'un.Much input from Jerry Lancaster,Jeff Gawley,Chas,'Luton Boy',Nick Boret and valuable input from other (mostly German) riders of these bikes from the era. ISBN 9780473177461.Finish Line Publications.
There will be more,but have had to sign the 'official secrets act'
Enjoy :clap:

HW

Edited by Herr Wankel, 17 November 2010 - 10:16.


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#2 peterd

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:05

Wonder if Tim will have any advance copies available at the Burt Munro meeting next weekend?

#3 Herr Wankel

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:15

Wonder if Tim will have any advance copies available at the Burt Munro meeting next weekend?

Don't think the ink will be dry enough Pete :lol: Give him a 'dig' for me please.
HW

#4 peterd

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:21

Will do.
Now that the hard work is done, I hope he checks in here with an official launch date.

#5 Rennmax

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:48

Just found that blurb in the net regarding the book...


"This is the story of the little know Kiwi mechanic - Kim Newcombe - who , in 1973, came second in the 500cc greand prix motorcycle championships. Racing in the 1970s wasn't all about big hair, fags and birds. The high-rolling lifestyle was also a high-stakes game. Bikes were fast, but handled poorly. With dodgy brakes. Circuits were fast too, but with poor surfaces and no run-off. A deadly combination. It was make it big or die trying. For real. Kim Newcombe was one such rider who risked it all, reached the top - then lost it all. Killed in a crash at Stowe Corner, Silverstone, 12 August, 1973. New Zealander Newcombe had come to Europe on an overseas adventure, finding a home in West Berlin working as an engineer for Konig, the outboard and hydroplane specialists. By chance Konig (German for 'king') were developing a 500cc flat-four two-stroke racing motorcycle. Newcombe immediately started work on it. And when the factory failed to secure a development rider, Newcombe became the test rider. Already a highly credited motocross and speedway racer, Newcombe took readily to the roads. In his third season he was on the podium alongside Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read. An incredible feat on, effectively, a homebuilt racer. In 1973 Newcombe was set for a great season, only to be overshadowed by Jarno Saarinen on the Yamaha TZ500. But Saarinen and Renzo Pasolini's mid-season deaths reminded all just how treacherous a tightrope they walked. Newcombe subsequently won the Yugoslavian GP and topped the 500GP table. Then came Silverstone. Newcombe was leading by a good margin on an over-bored 680cc Konig, but the extra speed of the bike told on the drum brakes. On the sixth lap, at the end of the Hanger Straight, they overheated. Newcombe hit a kerb and crashed into a concrete wall. He died three days later."

Reason for the crash were brakes that overheated after a long straight ? Strange indeed...

Edit: Link to the source the text was copied from

http://www.wheelers....i-on-the-konig/

Edited by Rennmax, 17 November 2010 - 11:56.


#6 larryd

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:58

[quote name='Rennmax' date='Nov 17 2010, 12:48' post='4725430']

Reason for the crash were brakes that overheated after a long straight ? Strange indeed...

I think maybe a better word would have been "faded", Renn?

#7 Rennmax

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:07

If the brakes were really fading, which is, as the word says, not an abrupt process, I wonder why Kim didn't notice that well in advance before approaching Stowe and was prepared to react accordingly. If you travel down a long straight, they should not get worse, normally they would recover a bit due to the cooling effect, wouldn' they ? I'm quite eager to know what the book will reveal on that matter

Edited by Rennmax, 17 November 2010 - 18:00.


#8 Herr Wankel

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:13

Official launch date is December 19th,with an ebook (Amazon) being the 1st out of the box early December,with the hard copies around Xmas.There is more chaps,so don't take your eye off the ball :) Tim said to me that ultimately he would like to do a book tour with a Britten,Konig,and one of Burts machines.That would be worth seeing.

ATB HW

#9 Redneb

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 00:23

Been waiting for this one, please keep us informed of the launch.

#10 peterd

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 18:31

Time to 'fess up. For the past two days I've been engrossed in Tim Hanna's new book "Kim: The Kiwi on the König". Following an early delivery of copies, Tim very generously dispatched one to me.
I am barely 100 pages into this weighty tome of 500-plus pages, and Kim and Janeen have only just arrived in Germany. The story is as much about Kim as it is about Janeen, since they met and were together as schoolchildren, barely into their high school years.
But, oh, how this book reveals sad and brutal aspects of their early lives. The opening chapters are a frank and disarming exposé of what life was like for two Kiwi kids in the immediate years following World War 2. It was not what I was expecting.
However, through these dark times of mental and physical pain, for Janeen in particular, they can see a brighter future. Tim gently expands and develops their characters; of how Kim and Janeen find in shy young love and togetherness, hope and ambition.
No, this isn't your usual motorcycle book that you'll knock over in a weekend. Already it is a remarkable read, soundly and painstakingly researched. Now to find some serious quiet time to continue...
Well done, Tim.
Oh, and "the gentlemen of the Motorcycle Racing Nostalgia Forum" get an acknowledgement.

Edited by peterd, 04 December 2010 - 21:39.


#11 Eldert

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 19:52

according to a article in Classic Racer a long time ago Kim was on the 500 ( the 680 was broke ) and the bigend bearing cage broke up
so no fading brakes

Eldert

Herr Wankel : your avatar sure looks like Hans de Wit on his original König bought brand new from the factory in Berlin
a very long time ago

Edited by Eldert, 04 December 2010 - 20:10.


#12 Herr Wankel

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 20:20

according to a article in Classic Racer a long time ago Kim was on the 500 ( the 680 was broke ) and the bigend bearing cage broke up
so no fading brakes

Eldert

Herr Wankel : your avatar sure looks like Hans de Wit on his original König bought brand new from the factory in Berlin
a very long time ago

Hi Eldert,
You spotted my mate Hans then.Nice man,nice family in fact.
Atb HW


#13 Herr Wankel

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:04

Posted Image

Enjoy
HW

#14 Cstonerfan

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:53

Bumparony for this great man's life story.
Posted Image
This Hans de Wit zijn machine?

#15 Eldert

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 14:17

yes , this is Hans de Wit s bike . this picture must be from last year or earlyer .
this year he has fitted a 230 mm Ceriani frontbrake to compete in the Ihro 2 races

Eldert

#16 Cstonerfan

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 15:57

I took it a few years ago while I was in Nederland attending a re enactment race meet held in the Veluwe/overijsel.( Oldenbroek)
Here another angle of this wonderfull bike Made by Kim Newcombe!
Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by Cstonerfan, 10 December 2010 - 16:12.


#17 Herr Wankel

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 17:03

Thanks guys.
Nice pics of Hans' bike
HW


#18 PilotesdeLegende

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 13:08

[Hello,
here a link everyone should appreciate !
http://www.nzonscree...d-and-loss-2007


#19 picblanc

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 21:07

Never seen that before, how tragic. :cry: :cry:
Thanks Henri for posting it.

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#20 philippe7

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 22:12

Very interesting for the period images of life in Berlin and racing, but in my opinion a little bit over-dramatic and unecessarily "sensational-sentimental" in the last quarter ..... I may be wrong but I wonder wether there weren't some ....eer... "reservations" expressed on this forum a while back about this documentary and the directors' efforts to bring Kim's widow to break down in tears on screen ..... but I may be treading on uneven ground there...

#21 philippe7

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 22:25

....a couple of quotes from a while ago , to add to the above.

Graham - yes, I have this DVD. The racing scenes are shot mostly by Janeen Newcombe with a home movie camera. Considering this, it is very good quality. The Director however has left out important detail regarding other riders but I can't say that any part is inaccurate merely that it has a bias towards Kim's situation (obviously).

It does contain excellent interviews with Ballington, Mortimer, Read, Dodds and the Konig's. There is also an interesting story with Rod Tingate on the restoration of the bike. It ends sadly as Janeen Newcombe passed away before the films release. Throughout the movie she appeared somewhat lost and unable to cope after Kim's death. Overall then, I would recommend it as a great record of the era.


:wave:
Howdy Herr Wankel,
Good to have your response. Indeed I refuse to be ground down. I have as a result of my battles in court recovered an interview I did with Janeen Newcombe. The interview is upbeat and joyfull - all the things she was when she was not dying and being hounded by horrible little people who wanted to break her down and record the results. I fully intend to make a new film that properly celebrates Kim's fantastic achievements using this interview as the heart of it.
In the meantime the book on Kim is going well. I hope to have it published in the next couple of months. If anyone has any GP stories from 72 or 73 that would add colour I would love to hear them.
We had Rod Tingate riding his replica Konig in demos at the Classic Festival this year. I was commentating from the Gods and could see his lines from above. He put in some seriously fast laps and it looked and sounded wonderful. When I do my book tour I hope that Hans will join us for some of it. And any other Konig owners whoi can spare some time. Should be fun especially with a Britten and a Munro rep, both running.





#22 Rennmax

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:32

Tim Hanna and the film makers were not on the best of terms according to that 4 year old snippet...

http://www.nzherald....jectid=10402606

Edited by Rennmax, 14 December 2010 - 07:36.


#23 Herr Wankel

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:58

Tim Hanna and the film makers were not on the best of terms according to that 4 year old snippet...

http://www.nzherald....jectid=10402606

Quite correct Philippe and Renn.The background to the making of the DVD is a bit 'unsavoury'!But not long to wait now for an altogether more balanced account to be released.Make sure your book-case is strong enough though as the book is 50 pages more than the Britten tome!
HW

#24 philippe7

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:34

Thanks Renn for the link to this article which does shed light on the matter .

Tim being a member of this forum I naturally tend to sympathise to his opinion but we probably need to realise that there's always two sides to a story.

Anyway, I'll be on my yearly visit to the South Island in a couple of weeks and I'll make sure I get hold of the book ( along with the Croz one ....) and maybe arrange for Tim to sign it over a pint ? ( I'll be based in Queenstown )  ;)

#25 peterd

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:04

Let us know your travel dates, Philippe. I'll be in Central Otago around that time. Have a lunch planned for Millbrook, which could well turn into a South Seas branch meeting of TNF.

#26 timhanna

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 20:50

Seasons greetings to the gentlemen of the racing forum!
My book 'Kim - The Kiwi On the Konig' (still can't find the wretched umlaut lever on this machine) is finally on the shelves here in New Zealand. I am of course thrilled to have it done, although relieved may be more appropriate.
I have yet to make an arrangement to have the book available in your neck of the woods but I will keep you posted as I know there is some interest in having a look at it.
As noted on the Forum I was not happy that the film Janeen and I dreamed of making, and for which I finally secured funding, was wrested away by the production company I took it to, in spite of contracts being drawn up. Janeen and I both hated a fashionably Gothic and negative overlay that infested the film and in our opinion blighted the result, a good example being the final scene which showed one of the recipients of Kim's kidneys mounting an old push-bike after stepping in a pile of dog shit and squeaking up the road.
I am happy to report that I am putting the final touches to the film Janeen and I wanted to make in the first place. In fact I have just returned from Australia where I filmed Rod Tingate blazing around a great little track outside Melbourne on his Konig, part of the new footage we needed.
The film will be completed by Xmas and again I will keep the Forum posted concerning availability etc.
I thanked you all for your help in the book as Herr Wankel reported but would like to take the opportunity to do so again.
It's high summer here and time to blast the spiders out of the whistling reverse megs. If you are suffering excessive wintry blasts you have my sympathy and of course I would like to offer a timely reminder that you are only a hellish, cramped, cattle class journey away from our bright blue skies. So put on the pressure socks, pop a couple of pills and come on over!
We have plenty of bikes to ride.
Once again, a heart felt thank you to you all.
Best wishes and merry Christmas.
Tim


#27 Redneb

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 21:14

I've made many unsubtle hints to my family about your book and finding it nicely wrapped under the tree on the 25th, Kim. If it isn't there, I'll be in a right snit for the day and on the 27th will mount fast camel to the nearest bookstore.

Keep us up to date on the new film project too, as I'm most interested to see your take on the story.

#28 robinmck

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 09:17

Well I found a copy of it under our Christmas tree, it is now 10pm on boxing day and I have read over 1/2 of it. But I have managed to fit in a trip to Wanganui to watch the annual cemetery circuit races, where I had the pleasure of chatting to Tim Hanna, Croz and John Woodley during the course of my day. Overall a very good day had.

#29 picblanc

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 10:35

Well I found a copy of it under our Christmas tree, it is now 10pm on boxing day and I have read over 1/2 of it. But I have managed to fit in a trip to Wanganui to watch the annual cemetery circuit races, where I had the pleasure of chatting to Tim Hanna, Croz and John Woodley during the course of my day. Overall a very good day had.


Sounds a great day!!

#30 robinmck

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:38

Further to this subject, well the Kim anyway rather than the book, I just came across this online video, it's a NZ TV3 broadcast, but I found it on a German website.It shows a brief history and a few racing scenes, including the last moments of his last ride..
http://www.gaskrank....wcombe-1678.htm


#31 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:25

http://www.stuff.co....ic-in-spotlight

#32 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:31

Nice new tower!
http://www.stuff.co....w-control-tower

#33 twotempi

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 05:22

This book is a great read - Tim H where did you get all that info from - your research is impeccable & incredible !!!!


But ...... and please this is NO reflection on the book which is absolutely excellent -


I got increasing angry with the totally callous and cynical way the riders were treated.

Was it really that bad ..... or was it even worse.

What an total waste of riders health and lives.

Mr Vernon Cooper ( and others ) would have been charged with culpable manslaughter these days. Why weren't they charged back then !!! ..... assuming the facts in the book are correct, and I understand that they are.

Edited by twotempi, 03 January 2011 - 05:24.


#34 Redneb

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:03

I've just finished "Kim, the Kiwi on the Konig." I had high expectations for the book and it did not disappoint, with the depth of research and quality of writing exceptional, once again.

It's a highly detailed study of Kim Newcombe, who was clearly an exceptional talent - the sort of bloke who jumps on water skis and slaloms perfectly the first time, then kicks off one and solos minutes later. Same on a speedway bike - leaps aboard and blows everyone away from day one.

Trained by the W. White workshop Kim undertook to make a racing motorcycle out of the Konig flat four hyrdroplane engine. It was a long, hard, difficult and dangerous few years for Kim who battled unreliability, evil track facilities and his wife's own demons to take on the best in the "Continental Circus."

Essentially he got there, but the Konig engine remained idiosyncratic, starting easily one minute, refusing the next, often breaking down when it did run. He was officially second in the 1973 500 GP championship.

While I enjoyed the story, the book made me incredibly angry at the intransigence of the race promoters, who aggressively refused to upgrade safety standards. The death toll steadily increased ... right up to the point where Vernon Cooper's refusal to place a few more haybales against a row of old railway sleepers - indeed he threatened to have Newcombe banned and indicated his yellow coloured leathers were the appropriate colour - almost certainly cost Kim Newcombe his life.

It's a cracking yarn and clear that motorcycling lost a great talent. I encourage Tim Hanna to complete the documentary his way because it is also clear that the existing doco was very much once over lightly. Newcombe's dogged determination and downright skill deserves better recognition.

#35 timhanna

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:35

Great to read that you enjoyed the book Redneb.
For those that may be interested in the UK I have yet to find a distributor but I am working on it and it will soon be available through Amazon.
In the meantime the new doco on Kim is going really well.
I saw some wonderful footage on U tube of the 73 GP at Opatija and have been trying to track down the ownership of the film.
I think its an Italian company but am not sure. It's not from Duke etc.
Does anyone have any clues?
Tim





I've just finished "Kim, the Kiwi on the Konig." I had high expectations for the book and it did not disappoint, with the depth of research and quality of writing exceptional, once again.

It's a highly detailed study of Kim Newcombe, who was clearly an exceptional talent - the sort of bloke who jumps on water skis and slaloms perfectly the first time, then kicks off one and solos minutes later. Same on a speedway bike - leaps aboard and blows everyone away from day one.

Trained by the W. White workshop Kim undertook to make a racing motorcycle out of the Konig flat four hyrdroplane engine. It was a long, hard, difficult and dangerous few years for Kim who battled unreliability, evil track facilities and his wife's own demons to take on the best in the "Continental Circus."

Essentially he got there, but the Konig engine remained idiosyncratic, starting easily one minute, refusing the next, often breaking down when it did run. He was officially second in the 1973 500 GP championship.

While I enjoyed the story, the book made me incredibly angry at the intransigence of the race promoters, who aggressively refused to upgrade safety standards. The death toll steadily increased ... right up to the point where Vernon Cooper's refusal to place a few more haybales against a row of old railway sleepers - indeed he threatened to have Newcombe banned and indicated his yellow coloured leathers were the appropriate colour - almost certainly cost Kim Newcombe his life.

It's a cracking yarn and clear that motorcycling lost a great talent. I encourage Tim Hanna to complete the documentary his way because it is also clear that the existing doco was very much once over lightly. Newcombe's dogged determination and downright skill deserves better recognition.



#36 philippe7

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:22

Hi folks

Just back from two weeks cycling and tramping in NZ . Fortunately on my first day in the country I managed to get hold of a copy of the book and although I've only gotten half way through it I can only echo the comments above - a stunningly comprehensive book , in which Kim Newcombe's life is of course the main topic, but not only this - it is a "fil conducteur" as we say in french ( leading line ? ) to a number of incredible and well documented side stories - like the scrambling scene in Australia in the late 60's, the advent of outboard motors and the origins of the Mercury / Evinrude rivalry, the hydroplane racing scene in the US, the story of the König family and the life in Germany during and after WW2, the atmosphere in isolated West Berlin, not to mention countless pages of technical stuff and specially 2-stroke technology - absolutely brilliant, and on top of this very, very well written . I've had a ball so far and I'm only half way through the book and Kim is only just starting to consider his entry into the 1972 500cc World Championship ( 2 years only after his first amateur road race, at the old Nürburbgring of all places....) so the best is probably still to come . Brilliant book. Loving it.

#37 picblanc

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 12:20

This book is a great read - Tim H where did you get all that info from - your research is impeccable & incredible !!!!


But ...... and please this is NO reflection on the book which is absolutely excellent -


I got increasing angry with the totally callous and cynical way the riders were treated.

Was it really that bad ..... or was it even worse.

What an total waste of riders health and lives.

Mr Vernon Cooper ( and others ) would have been charged with culpable manslaughter these days. Why weren't they charged back then !!! ..... assuming the facts in the book are correct, and I understand that they are.


Agreed, & they were so ignorant when telling the riders anything, they acted like despot Kings over their empire, awful people those tie & blazer brigade, they would be charged with culpable manslaughter now!! :mad:

#38 Herr Wankel

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 12:58

Agreed, & they were so ignorant when telling the riders anything, they acted like despot Kings over their empire, awful people those tie & blazer brigade, they would be charged with culpable manslaughter now!! :mad:

Theirs was arrogance of the worst kind.

HW

#39 fil2.8

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 13:18

Theirs was arrogance of the worst kind.

HW


Oh , how right you are , don't know how they could sleep at night , :evil: , mind they could probably afford the best beds money could buy :eek: !!!!


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#40 SADBATCCM

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 23:08

Oh , how right you are , don't know how they could sleep at night , :evil: , mind they could probably afford the best beds money could buy :eek: !!!!

have got the book??


#41 LittleChris

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 00:32

Hi folks

as we say in french ( leading line ? )


Main thread ?

Looking forward to being able to get a copy in the UK

#42 philippe7

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:22

Looking forward to being able to get a copy in the UK


You won't be disappointed . I'm taking advantage of the week-end to move along with the book ( it's a very thick one ! ) and Kim has now raced his first GP at the Nurburgring in 1972 and is about to take part in the French at Charade. And the writing and documentation standard of the book remains excellent....


#43 Redneb

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:02

I saw Tim Hanna at the classic bike meeting at Pukekohe on Sunday and was able to congratulate him on an excellent read.

I asked him about progress on the documentary and he was all smiles with what they were doing .... and it's not far away.



#44 picblanc

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 17:35

Great book, just received as a present :wave: :kiss:

Edited by picblanc, 17 March 2011 - 20:25.


#45 philippe7

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 22:31

Enjoy it Graham  ;)

#46 robinmck

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 04:08

Just stumbled across this utube clip about Kim.
http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded


#47 Herr Wankel

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 19:55

Just stumbled across this utube clip about Kim.
http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded

Nice one Robin.Not seen that one before :wave:

HW

#48 Rennmax

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 16:02


Found this on another site

http://www.quincyloo.../subpage99.html

#49 johnyC

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:47

Found this on another site

http://www.quincyloo.../subpage99.html


I've just written to a book shop in NZ, trying to buy a copy of Tim's book, no sign of it on Amazon. I tried contacting Tim about the book and documentary (having exchanged a few emails before) but no luck at the address I have. Does anyone know any more about getting the book in the UK, or Tim's documentary?

#50 skeeternz

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:37

The book is available from Whitcoulls bookshops in NZ http://www.whitcoull...konig/23892224/ NZ$49.99

The movie was recently played at a film festival in Wellington NZ. Not sure if the DVD is available.