Category Archives: History

Country Life: A race for their lives

As the black cloud of the Second World War descended, three grand prix drivers came together to fight the Nazis. Only one would live to return to the race track. Adam Hay-Nicholls recounts the thrilling and tragic tale of the Bugatti spies.

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Pell-Mell & Woodcote: The Joy of the Journey


This year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run again lived up to high expectations; broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh and writer Adam Hay-Nicholls – both Royal Automobile Club members – travelled with the Motoring Committee chairman in a 1903 Daimler.

Words by Adam Hay-Nicholls

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The Sunday Telegraph: On the trail of Scandal at Cliveden

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Cliveden House: An estate synonymous with the swinging Sixties; of power, sex, class, beauty, and the corruption of the British establishment itself. An Aston Martin seemed the perfect car with which to visit.

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Lotus Magazine: Steve McQueen


“I’m not sure whether I’m an actor who races or a racer who acts,” Steve McQueen once said. His iconic role in Le Mans cemented his image as a man who could drop Hollywood for Hockenheim at the turn of an ignition key, because away from the set McQueen was going off script in a race-bred Lotus. Continue reading

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Red Bulletin: The Hungarian Who Started It All

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Ferenc Szisz, a locksmith and railway engineer, left his homeland to take a factory job with Renault. Six years later he made history by becoming the first grand prix winner. Adam Hay-Nicholls reflects upon the life and times of a Hungarian hero. Continue reading

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Red Bulletin: The Debutant

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“When you’ve never driven an F1 car before and after two laps you’re taking Eau Rouge flat, well… I couldn’t believe it.”

Andrea de Cesaris trails off. And it’s not from embarrassment, because while some might find it hard to take – you’ve competed in 160 grands prix and suddenly there’s this kid who you’ve never heard of and the only experience he has to his name is 20 laps of Silverstone three days ago, and now your race engineer is showing you telemetry which confirms the new boy is quicker than you, and it’s Friday and not even lunchtime yet – Andrea feels no bitterness. Just sheer admiration and a sense of pride that he was there. Andrea was Michael Schumacher’s first Formula One team-mate and he knew he would be dining out on that story for the rest of his life. Continue reading

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