Letitia Mace of Xclusively Jaguar reviews “Win 1 …. The Remarkable Life of the Unassuming Racer”
If you are looking for a good read that relates to a native of Dorset who put his name indelibly into the motorsport hall of fame, Win Percy’s biography could be just the book you need!
I first met Win Percy in June 2012. At the time he was already living in Spain, having moved there for health reasons, the warmer climate being kinder to him than our robust British climate. Win’s racing career associated him with the XJ220 and thus he was on a list of people given to me to invite to a reunion of XJ220 Project Personnel and owners. Hailing from Tolpuddle in Dorset, Win and I had an instant bond in our West Country connections and Win agreed to become a patron of Xclusively Jaguar.
Although I have now known him for a number of years, I didn’t really know anything about him. Whenever we met it was to talk about his past as a Jaguar racing driver and all the associated antics. I had no idea that he was a successful businessman, team manager and accomplished driver of many cars in all forms of motorsport. Already held in high esteem, my respect for him has increased many fold since reading his biography.
The title, “The unassuming racer” is very accurate, but could just as easily be “The forgotten racer” given Win’s amazing list of achievements, on and off the track. I hadn’t realised quite how accomplished Win, and indeed the entire Percy family, were until I read Win’s biography! It is a frightening reminder that we are all on a knife edge and how success (or even life) can so easily be snatched away from us at a single stroke.
The farming community has provided us with a number of successful racers, but as far as I am aware, these have all been the sons of wealthy farmers, not the sons of farm labourers in tied cottages, and this real-life story about a farm labourers son who became a world class racing driver portrays the humdrum of everyday life, punctuated by tragedies, setbacks and triumphs along the way. It leads us through Win’s life from the very beginning, with enough detail to allow the reader to understand the circumstances that led to Win becoming and succeeding as a racing driver, but not so much that it becomes tedious.
Tracing Win’s racing history through his involvement with various teams and manufacturers, it also became obvious as to why Win’s book has two sleeve options, his connections with Holden being as strong as those with Jaguar.
If you know Win, but not much about his history, this book will fill in all the gaps and you will feel as though you know him all the better. It brings to our attention that despite Win’s many achievements, he never changed as a person, and his many true friends included people from all backgrounds. Some of his more accomplished, high profile friends have contributed to this book, including Martin Brundle, Murray Walker and Lord March of Goodwood.
As everyone who meets him will confirm, Win is a gentleman and a truly delightful person, as reflected in the title of his biography …. The remarkable life of the unassuming racer
Written by Spike Anderson of “Samuri” fame, who has known Win for many, many years, this A4 300 page quality hardback book features over 300 images, 281 in colour and 46 period photographs in monochrome.
Unsigned copies are available from Xclusively Jaguar, priced at £10.00 each.
P&P is £10.00 (UK) or collection can be arranged from Chard or Taunton, where I have family.
A limited number of signed copies of Win’s biography are available, priced at £50.00 each – P&P or collection, as above.
Contact Letitia Mace