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Motorsport’s Military Heroes (Hardback)

Iconic individuals and their stories of bravery in conflict and racing

Military > Biographies P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century

By Bryan Lightbody
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 25 mono
ISBN: 9781399097116
Published: 2nd September 2022


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It is a little known fact that many of the motorsport icons of the twentieth century also carried out acts of bravery in war time.

Enzo Ferrari served during First World War, as did the 1920s Bentley Boys, John Duff, Bernard Rubin, Woolf Barnato, Sammy Davis and Glen Kidston. Flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker was an Indianapolis 500 racing driver. Muriel Thompson was a First World War ambulance driver as well as a racing driver. Commentator Murray Walker was a tank commander in the Second World War. TV presenter Raymond Baxter was a racing driver and Spitfire pilot. Carroll Shelby was a racing driver as well as a pilot and instructor in the US Airforce. His friend, engineer and racing driver Ken Miles, served through the war as a specialist in tank recovery, landing as part of the D-Day operations.

These are just a few of the men and women profiled in this book who risked all in conflict before risking all on the track.

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, October 2023

Article: Pilot's need for speed

Plus featured competition

Royal Air Force News, February 2023

Bryan Lightbody's book is fascinating and enthralling at the same time.

Books Monthly

As featured in


Having written a similar book Warzone Speedway-The story of Armed Forces Racing, I can fully appreciate the level of both Military and motorsport research in the book. Bryan Lightbody has shown a forensic level of detail in his research.

He has captured an era of motorsport which required great courage to race the early motor vehicles, courage that was taken onto the battlefields.

Trevor Davies, author

I found this a very interesting, readable and entertaining work, a worthy contribution to the historiography of motorsport.

Martin Willoughby, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association

Article: 'The life and times of extraordinary heroes'

Highlight: 'It's a gripping read and one that serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and heroism shown by some of motorsport's key heroes.'


As featured in

The Bookseller

About Bryan Lightbody

Bryan Lightbody is a former policeman who worked for a time for MI5. For twelve years he worked in close protection for senior members of the British royal family. He has written several historical novels. He currently works as a First World War battlefield guide, as well as being a personal security advisor.

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