By: Adam Cooper . **THIS RARE BOOK HAS A SLIGHT TEAR ON THE DUSTJACKET BUT IS OTHERWISE IN EXCELLENT UNREAD CONDITION**
Old Etonian Piers Courage was destined for a career in the family brewing business until he caught the motor racing bug. He shared his passion with a car- mad gang of ex-public schoolboys who included Frank Williams, Jonathan Williams, Sheridan Thynne, Charlie Crichton-Stuart and Bubbles Horsley. They occupied a notorious flat in Harrow where visitors included Innes Ireland and Jochen Rindt.
After learning the ropes the hard way, towing his own Formula 3 car around Europe, Piers became a regular winner. He was acknowledged as Britain's most promising young driver when he accepted the 1965 Grovewood Award from Jim Clark. However, his career stumbled after a premature move to Formula 1 with BRM in 1967, plus a series of disastrous crashes in a Formula 2 McLaren. He salvaged his reputation by achieving success as a privateer in the 1968 Tasman series. Later that year, given a second chance by BRM, he also scored his first World Championship points.
In 1969 he joined forces with Frank Williams to run a private Brabham and the fledgeling team scored two memorable second places, in the Monaco and US Grands Prix. In 1970 Piers turned down an offer from Ferrari to stay loyal to Frank and drive the new De Tomaso Formula 1 car. Tragically he was killed in a horrific accident in the Dutch Grand Prix, at the age of just 28.
Written with the support of the Courage family, and featuring the reminiscences of dozens of people who knew Piers, this remarkable book tells the story of a charming man full of laughter and driving talent who died before realising his potential. Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, it is an enthralling read for nostalgic motorsport fans of a certain age but will also interest present-day enthusiasts, describing a time when motor racing was relatively informal, very hazardous - and a whole lot of fun.
Adam Cooper, educated at Dulwich College and the City University Business School, became a motorsport journalist in 1985 while still a student. He is a regular contributor to Autosport and Motor Sport, and is Grand Prix correspondent of the American monthly Road 6- Track.