For many years, it was thought that Richie Ginther—one of Formula One’s best known drivers of the 1960s—had, in his later life, become an angry and reclusive drunk. The classic, archetypal hero-to-zero tale. But Ginther was a thinker and an innovator that overcame much to reach the pinnacle of 1960s motorsport.
In “Richie Ginther: Motor Racing’s Free Thinker” author Richard Jenkins explores Ginther’s life in what is the first authorized biography and reveals that this diminutive Californian enjoyed astonishing triumphs in racing as a driver, a mechanic and as a team manager. His 59 years on the planet also saw him overcome bullying and terrible personal and professional tragedy to live an enriched and absorbing life.
Still just one of five Americans to have won a Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, Ginther helped two of motor racing’s most iconic teams, BRM and Ferrari, to World Championship glory, as well as being instrumental in Honda’s initial foray into Formula One, all of which is explored comprehensively.
With memories from his family, friends and fellow racers, this biography is also packed, after meticulous research, with an abundance of quotes from Richie himself to create as thorough and as deeply personal a life story as possible.
However, it’s not just the words that bring Richie to life, but also the abundance of photographs, with the vast majority of them never seen before.
A fitting tribute to a great, but complicated American racing legend.