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Honda: The Golden Age (Hardback)

(Isle of Man TT 1959-1967)

Colour Books Transport

By Matthew Richardson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781399051477
Published: 14th March 2024



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When the fledgeling Honda Motor Company wanted to break into Europe, they knew their machines had to prove themselves at the greatest motorcycle race in the world, the Isle of Man TT. At that time part of the World Championship series, the TT attracted the biggest names in the racing world. It was also the toughest and most challenging event of its kind.

In 1959, the first Japanese riders to reach the Island experienced a culture shock when they encountered western lifestyles for the first time, and this was only a few years after the Second World War. Yet they won over young hearts and minds, and helped rebuild bridges.

Not only that, Honda machines proved themselves reliable – and fast. They were soon picking up race victory after race victory and the likes of Jim Redman, Luigi Taveri and Mike Hailwood were queueing up to ride them.

When they walked away from Grand Prix motorcycle racing in 1967, Honda had won everything there was to win on two wheels at the Isle of Man TT. A legend was born, and the Honda name would go from strength to strength. Yet founder Soichiro Honda never forgot how it all started, and the Isle of Man retains a special place in Honda company history.

"...it brilliantly captures the atmosphere and drama of Honda's early days on the island. Recommended!'

Bike Rider Magazine - August 2024 issue

As featured

Manx Independent

"This is the second book by Matthew Richardson I've read and enjoyed. Whilst I grew up reading about this era I didn't manage to get to the TT until 1970. However, this was the next best thing to actually witnessing the sights and sounds. I've been an avid fan of Mike Hailwood and saw him on British circuits before going to the island to witness his amazing comeback. Matthew has embellished memories for me and his use of quotes from the works riders of the day was illuminating. I will certainly be on the lookout for any future TT literature by Matthew."

John Walters
 Matthew Richardson

About Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson is Curator of Social History at Manx National Heritage. He has a long-term interest in military history and has published several outstanding books on the subject including 1914: Voices from the Battlefields, The Hunger War: Food, Rations and Rationing 1914-1918 and Eyewitness on the Somme 1916. He also has a keen interest in the history of the Isle of Man TT and, in addition to producing several acclaimed exhibitions on this subject, worked with Dave Molyneux on The Racer’s Edge: Memoirs of an Isle of Man TT Legend.

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