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#101 Scuderia SSS

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 10:59

Ooh, something i've been waiting for , for a long time. I've met Tony on several occasions and he has inspired me every time.

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#102 Phil Rainford

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 14:01

As part of my job I have become involved with Ferrari’s UK Driving Academy. In the mid - 1990s they often would bring both classic race cars and ex-works drivers to their Track Days.

On one such occasion at Donington Park the guest was Tony Brooks. The members of the Driving Academy were however far too keen to scare their instructors witless than converse with a distinguished ex- GP driver, who had even brought his original crash helmet and gloves with him in order to offer “passenger rides” around Donington Park.

Their loss was my gain as I was able over a cup of coffee to discuss Tony’s unusual student career. Not many students have been able to miss lectures with the excuse that they had the test the works Ferrari!! Tony was too much of gentlemen to dwell on his Grand Prix successes; however he did highlight how his business interests within the Vehicle Dealership sector (Ford Dealerships?) forced him to choose between his two careers.

A true gentleman ……


Kind regards

Phil

#103 Geza Sury

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 14:12

Finally! Thanks a lot Mr Lawrence! Tony Brooks is one of my favourite drivers, so to say 'I'm very much' looking forward to the biography is a vast understatement!

#104 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 14:29

Originally posted by Phil Rainford
.... a distinguished ex- GP driver, who had even brought his original crash helmet and gloves with him ....

Practice day at the FoS a few years back. I've just settled in the grandstand at Pheasantry, having already blown more than three times as much money as I intended on books (and it's only 11 o'clock!) Almost before I can open my programme a car appears from under the bridge - green, sleek, upright, purposeful: a Vanwall! - on absolutely the precise line for the curve .... drifting through the apex ..... so, so smoooooth .... the car is level with me .... driver looks relaxed, totally in control, in period helmet .... light brown Herbert Johnson ..... who else could it be but CAS Brooks? Feed in the throttle, over the crossing, brake, through the bend and away up the hill. Magic! :love:

(I would say it took me back more than forty years, but I was only three in 1958!)

#105 Alan Cox

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 14:40

Originally posted by Phil Rainford
however he did highlight how his business interests within the Vehicle Dealership sector (Ford Dealerships?) forced him to choose between his two careers.


Indeed, Phil, he ran a Ford dealership in Weybridge for many years but sold out some years ago. I notice that there is a still a Tony Brooks Ltd (Ford dealers), but now in Northampton. Is it connected? Can't find any record of the Weybridge garage - does anyone know if it as still in existence?

#106 FrankB

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 14:49

Originally posted by Alan Cox

Indeed, Phil, he ran a Ford dealership in Weybridge for many years but sold out some years ago. I notice that there is a still a Tony Brooks Ltd (Ford dealers), but now in Northampton. Can't find any record of the Weybridge garage - does anyone know if it as still in existence?


I'm pretty certain that the Tony Brooks business in Northampton isn't connected to the Tony Brooks under discussion here. They are a non-franchise Peugeot and Citroen specialist now.

#107 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 15:14

One time in recent years I asked Tony how close he is today to his 1950s 'racing weight'. The answer was seven pounds.

DCN

#108 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 15:21

Tony Brooks' garage was (naturally) in Brooklands Road, Weybridge (tel Byfleet 43291) and was officially opened on March 2nd 1961 by Raymond Mays, who took the opportunity to announce that Tony had been signed to drive for BRM. Not sure about Fords, but by 1969 they were certainly Lancia dealers and featured in adverts for that marque until at least 1985, by which time there was another branch in Woking.

Source: Times Online Archive passim

#109 RS2000

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 15:28

The Weybridge garage was certainly a Fiat dealership at one time (or Fiat-Lancia).

#110 Paul Parker

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 15:33

Hooray!

#111 delboy59

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 17:17

I have two great memories of the Fastest Dentist in the World.

The first one is of him sleeping in the Vanwall whilst waiting to go on a run up the hill at Goodwood in 1999 - I have a picture of that somewhere.

My second is from the Aintree Festival when I was offered a ride in Stirling's car only to be ousted by a female horse racing commentator, Tony offered me the passenger seat in his D-Type if a helmet could be found. The car's owner duly obliged and off we went for three of the most precisely driven laps of any motor circuit I have ever been on and at a pace that wouldn't have been too shy of his racing days! Once again I have pictures of this that some of the marshals gave me afterwards!

I look forward to reading this book!

Regards

D

#112 Cirrus

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 17:54

I bought a new Fiat Panda from Tony Brooks Ltd in 1981. The garage remained a Fiat/Lancia dealership for a number of years after that (although I don't think it still was whan I bought my Integrale in 1991). By then it was a Ford dealership, latterly part of the Dagenham Motors group. The petrol station is still there on the Brooklands Road site, and the servicing still in Wintersells Road in Byfleet, but the Tony Brooks name has gone.

#113 Gary Davies

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 22:36

Terrific news, Dr Mike, terrific news. Quite made my day!

#114 Giraffe

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 22:50

I stood next to Tony for 20mins at the F1 Live event at Donington as he watched a b&w film of his exploits & others: he was tutting & shaking his head! There were only a couple of people about, and it was a bit surreal!

#115 Sharman

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 09:03

The Weybridge garage also housed a TVR dealership. Not a lot of people know that.

#116 jumperjarier

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 19:15

Originally posted by Alan Cox

Indeed, Phil, he ran a Ford dealership in Weybridge for many years but sold out some years ago. I notice that there is a still a Tony Brooks Ltd (Ford dealers), but now in Northampton. Is it connected? Can't find any record of the Weybridge garage - does anyone know if it as still in existence?


No Alan, the northampton garage has no connection to tony brooks, the guy is a local dealer of the same name

#117 fw07c

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 15:36

In 1960 at Snetterton in the autum he was due to drive the Vanwall which was a Lotus 18 chassis with a Vanwall engine. This car failed to start due to engine failure, Has anyone any more details on this car? Are there any photographs of it at Snetterton or anywhere ? What were Tony Brooks thoughts on this half-harted attempt?

It is a great idea for a book

#118 cpbell

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 22:26

I look forward to purchasing what I'm sure will be a fascinating tome! :up:

#119 Giraffe

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 17:40

Can someone bring me upto speed please? Was this autobiography ever published, or is it something else that passed me whilst I was having one of my senior moments? :confused:

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#120 Tim Murray

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 18:00

According to this post on the Pitpass forum, the book is no longer happening. What a very great shame - I wonder why.

#121 D-Type

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 23:51

:clap: :up: Well,the book is now out written by Tony himself (with a little bit of help from our David McKinney)

I see from the review in Motor Sport that, although I hadn't realised it previously, I was there when he had his first single seater race at in a Connaught and finished 4th in the 1955 Crystal Palace Trophy

#122 Barry Boor

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:22

This immediately leaps to the top of my 'must have' list.

#123 cdrewett

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:31

:clap: :up: Well,the book is now out written by Tony himself (with a little bit of help from our David McKinney)

I see from the review in Motor Sport that, although I hadn't realised it previously, I was there when he had his first single seater race at in a Connaught and finished 4th in the 1955 Crystal Palace Trophy


I have just finished the book and it's great. Very interesting and unromantic views of Stirling, Jean Behra and Von Trips, and especially Graham Hill. Tony's bitterness about how he was treated by BRM is especially poignant.
Chris

#124 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:13

This immediately leaps to the top of my 'must have' list.


You should not be disappointed, Barry. Tony has written an old fashioned racer's biography for the enthusiast to read - detailed, drawing upon contemporary notes for much of the distance, and uncompromisingly honest, as he saw things/sees things... He was a fabulously skilful driver who would drive like the wind in whatever car he might be given - even if it was an assembly of cast-off components rejected by a more demanding team-mate (as happened repeatedly at Vanwall and BRM). He never learned how to impose himself, to secure personal advantage, at a team, relying upon his natural abilities to achieve recognition. In short he was too much the gentleman, and he lacked the driven selfishness to establish himself (as his capability merited) as a dominant player. He certainly ended-up rather embittered by that, and he pulls few punches in describing that.

But I suppose you could say that here was a potential British World Champion who never got over the Hill.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 05 May 2012 - 09:15.


#125 Barry Boor

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:19

Spot on, Doug. If Stirling is the greatest driver never to have been World Champion, then Tony Brooks is a VERY close second.

#126 ensign14

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:22

I don't suppose there are any book signings in the offing...?

#127 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:55

What is the book's title?

I might just look it up and see if I can get a copy too. I've been swayed over time by some of the more rabid TNFers who recall Tony's accomplishments and dispense knowledge thereof.

I am moved, I must add, to conclude that Doug must believe that those who were better equipped when in the same team were 'selfish' and achieved their goals over whatever bodies, dead or otherwise, they had to trample.

Does that include Sir Stirling?

#128 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:05

What is the book's title?


"Tony Brooks - Poetry in Motion"

Vince H.


#129 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:15

Here's the Amazon UK link:

Tony Brooks: Poetry in Motion

It's also been discussed in the books thread - see this and subsequent posts:

http://forums.autosp...w...t&p=5677708

#130 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:41

Thanks for that, Tim...

It's certainly not overly expensive. I wonder if there are copies available here yet?

#131 Michael Ferner

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 14:33

He was a fabulously skilful driver who would drive like the wind in whatever car he might be given - even if it was an assembly of cast-off components rejected by a more demanding team-mate (as happened repeatedly at Vanwall and BRM). He never learned how to impose himself, to secure personal advantage, at a team, relying upon his natural abilities to achieve recognition. In short he was too much the gentleman, and he lacked the driven selfishness to establish himself (as his capability merited) as a dominant player. He certainly ended-up rather embittered by that, and he pulls few punches in describing that.


In all probability, you don't get to be a real great in any endeavour by being a gentleman to the grave. Except, perhaps, a "great gentleman", but I wouldn't be too sure of that, either...

But, at the very least, it makes Tony Brooks a very sympathique racing driver. This is one book I need to get, even though at present I have very little time to indulge in F1 nostalgia.

#132 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 17:38

What is the book's title?

I might just look it up and see if I can get a copy too. I've been swayed over time by some of the more rabid TNFers who recall Tony's accomplishments and dispense knowledge thereof.

I am moved, I must add, to conclude that Doug must believe that those who were better equipped when in the same team were 'selfish' and achieved their goals over whatever bodies, dead or otherwise, they had to trample.

Does that include Sir Stirling?


Absolutely. To my mind the only probable exception is Jim Clark... Otherwise, in that rarefied territory self-obsession has ruled, and still rules...in spades.

DCN

#133 RStock

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 18:38

But, at the very least, it makes Tony Brooks a very sympathique racing driver.


Men like Tony Brooks are why the phrase "Gentleman and a Scholar" was coined. Probably one of the most under-rated drivers ever. Sir Stirling called him "top notch" and I've seen where Enzo really hated to see him leave, which speaks a lot towards his ability, to me at least.

I think TB missed his chance by not staying at Ferrari for a few more years, but I from what I've read he was tired of the whole lot by then and left of his own accord and with his head held high.


#134 Nick Planas

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 00:34

I've just finished the book - fantastic reading - my only regret being that I am not quite old enough to have seen him race, but I AM old enough to remember how highly my father and brother thought of him. The fact that Hawthorn was champion in 1958 ahead of both Moss and Brooks simply highlights the flaws in the championship structure, not in their driving abilities.

This is the first time I've really appreciated his talent. There are some wonderful descriptions of what it was like to drive those cars too, and he manages to avoid blowing his own trumpet too much by extensively quoting other writers' articles in the book. I would love to have seen him race.

If, as Doug says, Jimmy Clark was the exception to the rule about champions being selfish and trampling over others; well, that just confirms my assertion that he (JC) was the best ever. From reading Tony Brooks' own words, Brooks obviously had a clear sense of good sportsmanship, coupled with huge talent and great humility - given a choice I'd rather be remembered for those qualities than for ruthless "win and don't worry who you trample over" multiple championships.

#135 Peter Morley

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:18

I don't suppose there are any book signings in the offing...?


He's driving our Connaught at the Goodwood Hillclimb, there's bound to be some opportunity for autographing there.

#136 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 20:16

Unselfishness personified - "That's it Graham - now the quick way round Spa ends with a tight line into La Source...yes - you've got it, but don't miss that apex..."

Posted Image

Photo Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN



#137 ellrosso

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 20:54

Great shot Doug! Got to be the the best "double - dink" shot I've seen.......

#138 Paul Parker

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 13:19

Unselfishness personified - "That's it Graham - now the quick way round Spa ends with a tight line into La Source...yes - you've got it, but don't miss that apex..."

Posted Image

Photo Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN


Apologies for being slightly off topic, looking at this I am struck by how aesthetically attractive the 1961 BRM was with its clean lines, subtle curvature and very fine nose.

#139 Alan Cox

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 13:32

Apologies for being slightly off topic, looking at this I am struck by how aesthetically attractive the 1961 BRM was with its clean lines, subtle curvature and very fine nose.

Indeed. So much more refined and subtle than the 2.5 litre cars of the year before

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#140 David McKinney

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 15:41

But then it did only have a four-cylinder Climax FPF in the back...

#141 Paul Parker

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 15:47

But then it did only have a four-cylinder Climax FPF in the back...


True but the original works V8 car looked pretty good too with or withouit stackpipes, in my opinion.

#142 David McKinney

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 17:33

Agreed. But not as dainty...

#143 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 20:13

The book is also available here:

http://www.klemcoll.com/ListBooks.aspx

Vince H.

#144 D-Type

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 20:29

At a rather higher price than on Amazon USA though!

Edited by D-Type, 08 May 2012 - 20:30.


#145 Cynic2

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 22:37

At a rather higher price than on Amazon USA though!


I do note that the Klemantaski Collection books are signed by both Brooks and (publisher) Blunsden; it also appears that the Amazon books lack the slipcase. The difference is $18 or so, although Amazon seems rather squishy on the actual price. (They promise that when the book is actually available through them, if the price is less the purchaser will get the lower price. No mention of what happens if the price is higher.)

Edited by Cynic2, 08 May 2012 - 22:37.


#146 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:32

Aren't you being a bit cynical there...

Oh! Of course!

#147 Doug Nye

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:57

I do believe that KlemColl actually holds copies of the book in stock - Amazon quite possibly has NONE...

DCN

#148 D-Type

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:06

I do note that the Klemantaski Collection books are signed by both Brooks and (publisher) Blunsden; it also appears that the Amazon books lack the slipcase. The difference is $18 or so, although Amazon seems rather squishy on the actual price. (They promise that when the book is actually available through them, if the price is less the purchaser will get the lower price. No mention of what happens if the price is higher.)

I didn't appreciate that the one they are selling is autographed!

#149 Roger Clark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:23

I do believe that KlemColl actually holds copies of the book in stock - Amazon quite possibly has NONE...

DCN

Amazon did have some a couple of weeks ago, but now have one fewer.

#150 D-Type

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:52

Roger,

I think Doug's remark may have been targeted at Amazon (USA). Amazon (UK) now have two fewer (assuming they do deliver mine tomorrow!).

But the Amazon ones won't be autographed.