A warm 2019 welcome from the Web's most visited and comprehensive tribute / information site for 1958 World motor racing Champion John Michael (Mike) Hawthorn (not Hawthorne) or 'The Farnham Flyer' as he was
often known. We sincerely hope that you find your time here is a useful and pleasant experience - we currently have 92 web pages of information for you to browse. This currently equates to over 900 printed A4 pages! Note that all material shown here is copyright and not to be used elsewhere.
Now into our twelfth year, the site has been a great success, becoming No 1 in the major search engines when looking for Mike Hawthorn. We've had lots of good responses from visitors that you can read a selection of.
In 2008, the success of this site initiated the production of the best-selling book 'Mike Hawthorn Golden Boy', the first edition of which sold out inside a few months.
Many visitors helped in its production for which we thank them.
We have to thank everyone who helped us achieve this along with all those who purchased the book, now out of print,
and gave it such kind comments, both press and personal.
While looking around, you may find you have information that would be useful to others if seen here - if so please Contact Us - as many,
many people already have - with your information and we'll do our best to add it to the site at some future date.
You'll find that the 92 pages here include information on many of the marques that Mike drove such as Ferrari, Jaguar,
Vanwall, BRM etc and there are many images of these marques. There is also a list of all the cars he drove in his career. Plus details of cars he owned such as his Alfa Romeo 8C and Ferrari 212, Lancia Aurelia and later
his Jaguar XK140 DHC and Jaguar Mk 1 saloon. Did you know Mike was a pilot and flew his own Aircraft?
Young and very talented West Country artist Paul Dove, who painted the cover image for the Mike Hawthorn Golden Boy book, has
created a number of new Mike-related artworks. These include several 'Pub signs' that 'might' have existed
at some time past. These were on show at Race Retro in 2009 although all were sold very early on the first day!
We have a dedicated page for Paul Dove with some background and examples of his
Hawthorn work so please have a look and support Paul if you are looking for something.
We have done our best to try and establish that all images and videos shown here are either
very likely in the public domain or that we have established the copyright owner (where this is possible) and/ or have permission to reproduce them from
our many contributors, especially other Hawthorn fans.
We are also using Google Earth © where this is useful - such as in pinpointing where the fatal 1959 crash occurred.
We have a large section on Mike's Tourist Trophy Garage
that was located in East Street, Farnham - the basic structure is still all there but with a different facade! If you have any memories and especially any images of it back in
the '50s and later please contact us.
Picture shows Mike Hawthorn at his Tourist Trophy Garage watching some welding work by Bill Field on a modified exhaust system for their enhanced version of the Jaguar Mk 1 while an Austin-Healey BN1 in for repair stands in the background
We have many examples of Paintings on the site.
Here is Michael Turner's painting of Mike Hawthorn's victorious Jaguar D-type, XKD 505, leading the Mercedes of
Juan Fangio through Whitehouse corner at Le Mans in 1955
If you want to make a virtual visit to Mike's grave, please do so to remember him.
If anyone went to the actual location on the day, we'd be pleased to share your images here.
We have a page for Mike's Grave and show you via Google Earth where it is located if you wanted
to visit it as many do.
It is regularly maintained and generally carries fresh flowers.
We have a comprehensive two-part report covering the events on the day of Mike's death - if you can add anything to it,
do please let us know via our Contact page.
We are updating the site as time allows so please do return to check out changes.
We were particularly pleased to receive
a nice thank you in our early days from well known Author and motorsport guru, Doug Nye, himself an expert on Mike, via the
Nostalgia Forum on the
Atlas F1 Bulletin Board.
A very well attended memorial service was held for Mike Hawthorn on Sunday 25th January 2009 at St Andrews Church in Farnham,
close to the 50th Anniversary of his death. It was a big success with over 500 people at the church, 5000 people in the streets of Farnham
and coverage by major media. Stirling Moss, Damon Hill (seen above at the service), Tony Brooks and other celebrities attended, drove some of the 70 1950s cars afterwards, and laid wreaths privately at his graveside.
You can find more details and a full report on our Memorial Service page.
The BBC also have a news page for the event.
January 22nd 2009 was the 50th Anniversary of Mike's death on the A3.
Fans worldwide remembered him around midday and gathered by his grave in
West Street, Farnham. You can read much more about his death on this site.
You can Register with us! This came from suggestions by people using the site
(and there are a lot more visits than we expected!) - you can access some larger images after logging on and we also have
extra member-only facilities and articles.
Mike in his Cooper Bristol, 1952
We have much already-known and even more NEW unique material on the site - with lots more given us by Mike's
fans who have contacted us since we first went live back in 2006. Many are from Farnham where his home was - including people who worked at Mike's
Tourist Trophy Garage with him back in the 1950s.
We look at Mike's life from start to its tragic end and try to cover everything on the way. We have an extensive Memorabilia section,
including Model cars. Then there are images from 1950 through 1959 and a special section on Paintings of Mike.
Plus all his career Race Results - and a lot more, 92 pages currently!
There are links to other sites and articles on subjects such as recreations of his Jaguar Mk 1,
registration VDU 881, that he sadly died in on the 22nd January 1959 after a major crash plus info on the recreated cars that have been built.
We look at his life and death, the funeral and grave, plus memorials in detail and also analyse the disaster at Le Mans in 1955.
We have a full Site Map to help you find your way around.
One of the many newspaper headlines from the period of Mike's fatal crash
The above photo shows Mike enjoying himself with Jack Hawkins and others - he is receiving a cocktail
cabinet presented to him at the Cafe Royal, London, from the National Sporting Club in January 1959.
This was only 60 hours before he died.
The question is - does anyone know what happened to the Cocktail Cabinet? Did it ever arrive at Mike's home or did the
National Sporting Club retain it - or does someone out there own it now?
Please use our Enquiries page if you know the answer!
You can see the preview news video this still came from at our British Pathe Archive link.
There is also coverage of his death there.
Win Percy, seriously injured in 2003, took Nigel Webb's recreation of Mike's Jaguar Mark 1 3.4L, VDU 881,
up the famous hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on each of the three days of the event (July 11/12/13 2008).
The car had been fitted with hand controls especially for Win as shown below -
everyone was delighted to see Win in such good spirits and back on the track after his accident and subsequent operation that went very wrong...
Mike's personal School Tuck Box surfaces after 50 years
We have been given access to Mike's personal wooden Tuck Box that he used at Ardingly College in the 1940s, complete
with its large collection of Cigarette Cards. It has been stored for 50 years and this is its first public viewing since Mike died.
In January 2008 and again in 2009 as World Champion, British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was presented with the coveted Hawthorn Memorial Trophy at the
Motor Sports Association's Night of Champions at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall in London. It was first presented in memory of
Mike Hawthorn who sadly died a few months after his great 1958 victory, 1958 being the 50th Anniversary year.
Did you know there was a second original version of this trophy?
Tourist Trophy Garage
We need any photos of the Tourist Trophy Garage in East Street Farnham, especially views of the complete forecourt as it was anytime between 1953 and 1959, and any
interior views of the workshop and facilities. See our TT Garage page for those we already have.
Were you a customer during Mike's tenure maybe or did you even work there? Again, let us know
if so - five former TT Garage employees have contacted us so far as a result of seeing this site!
June 2009: This 1:43 model of VDU 881 has been released by SMTS and is distributed (exclusively?) by Grand Prix Legends - we have an example.
However, first impressions are very poor with the model having a distorted body shell and displaying many inaccuracies -
including use of a Jaguar Mk 2 grill - that should never ever have got through to production.
There is a discussion
on this model with more photos on the
Atlas F1 Nostalgia Forum.
A Marble Plaque in memory of Mike was unveiled in his home town of Mexborough on Saturday 16th December 2006 at midday.
A classic car display was part of the celebration and a crowd assembled at 11.30am with the plaque being placed on
the side of the Intersport shop, at the corner of High Street and Hope Street, at noon. Read the full stories with Videos!
At the event, Jean Ireland (nee Jean Howarth, Mike's fiancee at the time of his death) said:
"Being born in Yorkshire made him a cut above the others as shown in his determination to be the best in his field.
Although he left Yorkshire as a small boy, he still remained a Yorkshireman at heart. And before he asked my father for my hand,
he reminded him that he was a true-born Yorkshireman. So my father gave us permission to marry"
An armband worn by Mike Hawthorn |
Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for his fantastic Championship win! Like Mike Hawthorn back in 1958, 50 years ago, he took
the title by one point, also becoming the youngest ever world champion.
Lewis will also win the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy for the second year running.
See our Book Launch page below for a personal greeting from Lewis and videos. Lewis was also kind enough to send a greetings
message to the launch of the book on Mike written by the creator of this site with help from all its visitors.
A celebration was held, 50 years to the day of Mike Hawthorn's World Championship win, on October 19th 2008 at the
Barley Mow in Tilford, one of Mike's favourite pubs. We have lots of photos from the event.
Studio 88 (Graham and Michael Turner) released a limited edition (100 only) print to celebrate the 2008 50th anniversary of
Mike's World Championship win. You can find more details HERE
Redhill Roofing re-roofed the Mike Hawthorn Sports Pavilion at Farnham Park in 2008! Good news
as the current state of the place was just appalling considering who it's meant to commemorate... There were also moves in 2009 to
have the memorial plaque erected that should have been there from day one but nothing seems to have happened...
We met with ex Tourist Trophy Garage Fitter, Frank Swan - Frank worked there from 1950 - 1954 and has
many memories and photos of that time. Read Frank's Story for more information.
And we have a page all about the Tourist Trophy Garage Transporter that was used to move Mike's
Cooper-Bristol around in the early 1950s.
Our account of Mike's Funeral has been updated with a detailed report on the proceedings including a list of mourners
plus new photographs from a former Tourist Trophy Garage employee who was there. Plus detail of Mike's Will and the value of his estate from the Probate document.
DID A SHOT KILL MIKE? - this staggering question was asked by a national newspaper back in 1959 after Rob Walker discovered evidence of mysterious
accidents at the location where Mike crashed. Read all about it here ....
We also have an extract from Paul Skilleter's book about Norman Dewis, Jaguar's Chief Test Engineer, where Norman discusses
what it was like working with Mike and other 50s drivers.
A Ferrari 212 Barchetta (VIN No 0165EL) said (but so far unconfirmed) to have been originally bought by Mike Hawthorn/ Leslie Hawthorn (Mike's father) and or the Tourist Trophy Garage from Ferrari off their Earls Court Show stand in 1951 as a chassis only and then given to local E.D. Abbott Ltd Coachmakers by him to be bodied, has been offered up for sale by an Australian site for some £675,000. It has been variously registered as NUA 1 (1952), TPC 489 and 212
We are looking for more information on this car since nothing surfaced during previous research for this site or the book Golden Boy nor does anyone who worked at the Tourist Trophy Garage at this time remember the car or any mention of it at all which is very unusual. The car currently has a different body to the 1950s Abbott DHC, apparently having been rebodied ca 1984 in an identical type to the Phil Hill 212 Barchetta so has no resemblance at all to the original Abbott bodied car anyway.
Above: the Abbott-bodied touring Barchetta 212 chassis No 0165EL seen in-period by Frensham Great Pond and below the car as it is today, nothing like the original concept which seems a great loss for history, originality and its unique appearance
We are collecting information for an article on this car. If anyone out there has any direct personal knowledge, written documentation or memories of this car (wonderfully described as the ugliest Ferrari ever built), either in chassis or Abbott bodied form, especially period photographs (with Mike would be great but anyone would do!) other than from the series of the one above and from the period involved (1951 - 1954), and that definitively links the chassis or car to either Leslie or Mike Hawthorn or the Tourist Trophy Garage in period (existing documentation does not), would they please Contact Us.
Another piece info we have been given is that it could have appeared as a show car at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show (Oct/Nov 1952), if so, it would have been in Abbott bodied form since 1971 correspondence from Abbott confirmed that they had finished it (and it was the only one they built) in September 1952. It does NOT state though who they had built it for. A search of the 1952 show catalogue does NOT appear to offer any trace of it - Ferrari did not exhibit and Abbot only displayed two Bentleys. There are no other references that can confirm this - does anyone have docs or photos of it at Earls Court in 1952??.