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Superbears Book Reviews

book on hesketh racing

Magneto, November 2023

'...there are some rollockingly entertaining stories, such as luring Postlethwaite away from Surtees by “getting him rat-arsed over lunch”. It’s very easy to be swept along with the narrative, which is expertly controlled by Page; while the team’s ethos was all about having fun, it was serious fun.

This could so easily have been an over-indulgent hagiography, such are the myths and legends around the team and Hunt in particular, but the author and those he talks to pull no punches when it comes to the less glorious parts of the story. There are also fascinating insights into F1 as a whole – including the purchase of the sport’s TV rights by Bernie Ecclestone, which will make uncomfortable reading for the descendants of the team owners who had the chance to buy in but didn’t.

With unprecedented access to contemporary memorabilia, images and more, this would already be a fascinating book purely for the visuals, but the testimonies of the characters involved make this a highly recommended tome even for those with only a passing interest in motor racing.

It is really better viewed as a chronicle of a time when anything was possible, and life was a great big adventure. There is certainly excellent detail on the races and machinations both in the team and externally, but the witty asides and needle-sharp observations that pepper the book make it an essential buy. Even though the Hesketh outfit’s aspirations would not amount to the dreams this young team had, you can’t help but feel inspired when you turn the final few pages.'

The Field, August 2023

'This superbly designed book tells the story of Lord Hesketh's 1970s Formula 1 racing team. It is full of patriotism and panache and, at one stage, 'Penthouse Pets' adorning his lordship's gleaming bonnets.'

Classic Cars, July 2023

'Reading this heavy, 262-page tome documenting the rise and fall of Hesketh Racing, you quickly get the sense that the early stages of the film Rush were cruelly truncated and pointlessly inaccurate. 

Rather than a bunch of amateurish playboys, James Page's boo reveals an uncanny combination of the right people coming together at the right time in F1's Cosworth DFV-led evolution. It's the story of a team that took a leftfield but no less effective approach to F1, demonstrated the advantages of not being held back by establishment thinking and succeeded in more ways than you may think. Page doesn't shy away from the inevitable decline and fall - the loss of Kames Hunt to McLaren and the move away from the DFV that informed the basis of the business underpinning Hesketh ushered that in. But he also demonstrated the legacies the team left the sport with. A fascinating book, colourfully executed. 

Classic & Sports Car, July 2023

'The design by fellow former C&SC man Martin Port makes the most of the track action with personal happy snaps. The vibrant promotional material includes The heavily censored history of Hesketh Racing, which captured the team's sense of humour and featured Willie Rushton's brilliant grid cartoon. If you buy just one motorsport book this year, this highly enjoyable team history should be top of the list.' MW

Top Gear, June 2023

'This new book offers a proper behind the scenes look at the champagne fuelled outfit that brought James Hunt to the fore. With previously unseen photographs and documents from Lord Hesketh's personal archive, as well as interviews with Hesketh team manager Bubbles Horsley and engineer Nigel Stroud, it's the perfect antidote to the corporate world of Modern F1.'

Wheels Within Wales, June 2023

'This new book from Porter Press International, Superbears – The Story of Hesketh Racing, tells the full story of how Hesketh Racing evolved into a winning privateer team, ‘The biggest little team in the world', which captured media and motor racing public's imagination.

Thanks to its unique approach, complete with charismatic teddy bear logo, Hesketh will remain forever one of the most evocative, iconic, and popular names in Formula One history.

Proving that fact is often stranger than fiction, this story transports readers from the team's humble 1972 debut in formula three to its final F1 race in 1978. The book includes candid interviews with key players such as La Patron himself Lord Alexander Hesketh, Anthony ‘Bubbles' Horsley, Nigel Stroud, Dave ‘Beaky' Sims, Peter Gaydon, Rupert Keegan, and Frank Dernie.

Illustrated with many unique color and monochrome images from personal scrapbooks, there's even a chapter devoted to Hesketh motorcycles.

Written by accomplished motoring journalist James Page, a former editor of Classic & Sport Car, Superbears has a foreword by celebrated musician Jools Holland.'

Best of British, June 2023

'This fabulous volume is enhanced by the author's illuminating conversations with Horsley and Hesketh, the latter donating some great period material from his scrapbooks. Pour yourself a glass of good champagne and immerse yourself in the wonderful story of "the biggest little team in the world".'

Vintage Car Research and Forensics Newsletter, April, 2023

'This new book from Porter Press International is the first to tell the team’s remarkable full story, from its earliest days in Formula 3 and the glorious victories at Silverstone and Zandvoort to its rarely covered post-Hunt years in Formula 1 and even the Hesketh motorcycle.

It features in-depth interviews with Lord Hesketh and key team members such as Bubbles Horsley, Nigel Stroud, Dave Sims, Peter Gaydon, Rupert Keegan and Frank Dernie – as well as never-before-seen images from Lord Hesketh’s personal scrapbooks and photo albums. Successfully capturing Hesketh Racing’s unique blend of on-track success and off-track entertainment, it is a fitting celebration of the amazing cast of characters who were behind ‘the biggest little team in the world’.'

 Book of the Month, Octane

'This has been such a fun book to write,' says author Page in his acknowledgments, 'mostly because the people involved couldn't be more boring if they tried.' That means it is also hugely fun book to read.'

'That teddy bear logo, by the away, was actually used for less than a year, in 1974, after Hesketh was sued for plagiarism by a Dutch illustrator. It was replaced by a Superman-inspired reinterpretation, Superbear - hence the title of this large-format hardback. This kind of pub-quiz gem is why you need to buy it.' MD

GP News (DK)

'...If you are even slightly interested in the history of Formula 1, this is a really good read. You are entertained from start to finish, so GPnews can easily recommend the book.' 

Octane (German to English translation)

'For the first time, his entire story from 1972 to 1978 is told, including photos from Hesketh's private albums.'


'The story, as told by James Page, is well written and keeps the readers interest until the last page. As one has come to expect from Porter Press International, this tome is beautifully produced on high quality paper with the wonderful selection of photographs finely reproduced and at a size that allows the reader to see details in full.
To sum up, this is an important history, well written and lavishly produced and will appeal to aficionados of motor racing of all eras while leaving a feeling that somehow the sport was more entertaining nearly fifty years ago. Highly recommended.' JRCS