Four-times world Grand Prix Champion Hugh Anderson has finally published his life story. His autobiography, titled Being There, takes the reader inside the mind of one of the most resourceful, brave and analytical riders in the history of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Virtually all of the 325 photographs used, have not been previously published.
From humble origins as a teenager working on the family dairy farm and later at the local coal mines in New Zealand, to the heights of world domination, he explains in his own words the motivation, racing strategies, psychology of winning, heartache and triumph that helped him deliver Suzuki its first major Grand Prix successes in the 1960s. And he remains to this day Suzuki's most successful road racer.
This was a golden age, where Japanese and European factories battled for supremacy on the world's most dangerous circuits. Where technological changes saw two-stroke and four-stroke motorcycles compete in 50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500cc classes. The two-strokes eventually dominated and Hugh Anderson was one of the first to win a world championship on these new motorcycles, going on to win 25 Grand Prix and gaining 47 podium positions, making him, at the time of his retirement, the 6th most successful rider in the history of Grand Prix racing.
His career continued for decades after, developing Suzuki's highly successful motocross machines then enjoying six successful motocross seasons in France gaining over 40 top four positions in over 40 international events, and in New Zealand before organizing, in 1975, the first Classic road race event in the world. Then went on to head up the development of the highly successful New Zealand Classic Racing Register.
Read how in 1985 Hugh returned, with the assistance of Tim Parker, to the place he found so much success. Europe and the fast developing Classic racing movement allowing him to relive his boy hood dreams once more. Pleasure, enjoyment, success and close friendships followed. Winning an International event in the South of France, the English Classic race of the year and five support events at Snetterton and the 1988-89-90 Dutch Classic TT in front of 40,000 enthusiasts were highlights.
Perhaps his greatest personal satisfaction came when riding Roger Titchmarsh’s Seeley Weslake, and winning the Bob McIntyre Memorial Trophy at knock Hill in 1988 and, on Fred Walmsley’s Seeley G50, winning the keenly contested Mike Hailwood Memorial Trophy at Brands Hatch in 1990. Both of these great riders were contempories and friends, during those turbulent 1960’s.
During the 1990’s he turned once more to classic racing, on this occasion riding the 1961 500cc Manx Norton he had purchased new on Wednesday 17 May that year and won a major international event at Tubbergen Holland the following Monday. On this Dave Kenah prepared, Kevin Grant owned Norton, Hugh, at 63 years of age, gained second in the 1999 Australian Championship, beating the legendary twice World 500cc Champion Barry Sheene who was some 16 years his junior. In January 2008 riding the sane Norton, Hugh beat the current and twice Australian Champion on two occasions and made his fastest ever lap at the Pukekohe race trace. At the time, believe it or not, he was 72 years old.
“This is one of the best books of its kind. For Anderson’s career is a colossus of the sport, both on and off road. Sincere congratulations on compiling it.” Alan Cathcart, motorcycle journalist and former racer.
“A brilliant description of 1960’s racing. We are lucky he survived because this is as honest and vivid account of 1960’s Grand Prix racing as you will ever read.” Matt Oxley
"This has to be one of the best insights into racing in one of the golden periods of our sport. Hugh Anderson's recall is amazing and he really paints a fascinating picture of the highs and the lows, the fun and the sadness of a life lived to the full. - Classic Racer.
“The wording is absolutely gifted. How Hugh learnt the Isle of Man circuit is
riveting. This is a must read. The title is so prophetic. I really felt like I was there. This book won’t date, it will be as fresh for
new readers in 10 years’ time as it is now.” Grant Roff. Editor Motorcycle Trader, Australasia
“What a book, what a work, what a
memory and written in such a beautiful style.
It feels so familiar, it made me laugh and brought tears to my
eyes. Hugh, I applaud you for this
masterpiece.” Ferry Brouwer. Chief engineer for World Champions and the renowned organiser of major European historic events
“The finest sports book I have read. Your intelligent approach to racing with a
love story included, adds intrigue. I
shall read it over and over again.” Tommy Robb. Grand Prix winner
“You have brilliantly conveyed to the reader the
complexity of a racers’ mind. I am also
in awe of your amazing recall, the result, perhaps, of your incredible focus
and your legendary attention to detail.” Stuart Graham. Isle of Man TT winner, twice British and European Touring car champion