Website last updated: 21-3-2024

The Man Who Supercharged Bond by Paul Kenny

By: FSWL team
The Man Who Supercharged Bond
The Man Who Supercharged Bond: The Extraordinary Story of Charles Amherst Villiers is a new book written by Paul Kenny and is published by Haynes. This book is a must-read for all James Bond scholars!

Amherst Villiers, a cousin of Winston Churchill, is best known as the man who supercharged the legendary Blower Bentley, which his close friend Ian Fleming described as James Bond's only hobby.

He also designed Malcolm Campbell's first land speed record-breaking Bluebird, played a part in BRM's only world championship-winning engine, spent 20 years on the US space programme, and painted portraits so fine that his work was on display in London's National Portrait Gallery.

Had he been as good with people as he was with engines, this brilliant maverick could have achieved even more.

From the inside flap:
Charles Amherst Villiers was born into the British aristocracy, a scion of the houses of Clarendon, Marlborough and Wimbourne. By applying lessons learned in the famous workshops of Oundle School, he came to play a key role in pre-war British motor sport, supercharging the Blower Bentley that did battle with Mercedes at Le Mans, and designing Malcolm Campbell's first land speed record-breaking Bluebird.

A switch into aeronautic engineering culminated in an audacious design for a six-engine, double decker, transatlantic aircraft, before Villiers moved to the US to devote himself to rocketry, designing the gyroscope that helped win his company contracts for Poseidon and Polaris, and advising on the optimal route for Man to journey to Mars.

This remarkable Renaissance Man was also a gifted artist, studying under portrait painter Pietro Annigoni in Florence, and painting subjects as varied as Pope John Paul II, racing driver Graham Hill and James Bond writer Ian Fleming. Indeed, Fleming was so engaged with his friend that 007's `only hobby' was a Blower Bentley, and Villiers was asked to provide the initial design drawings for Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.

At an age when most men retire, Villiers returned to front-line motor racing, advising on the engine that drove Graham Hill to his first world championship. His revolutionary Grand Prix engine design a decade later was only aborted by Hill's fatal air accident.

Paul Kenny has taken each strand of Villiers' extraordinary life, and the character traits that prevented him from attaining true greatness, and woven them into an enthralling tale.

Book details:
Hardcover: 360 pages
Publisher: J H Haynes & Co Ltd
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1844254682
ISBN-13: 978-1844254682
Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3 cm

From the back cover:
His cars broke lap records at Le Mans and Brooklands. Another was James Bond's 'only personal hobby'. He spent more more than 20 years on the US space programme, and his paintings were displayed in London's National Portait Gallery. His name was Villiers, Amherst Villiers.

About the author:
Paul Kenny is one of the few Chartered Accountants who hold a degree in Archaeology, and runs a UK division of a US corporation. A lifelong motor racing enthusiast, he has written for Motor Sport and lectured at Brooklands. He lives in Teddington, Middlesex. Visit his official website for more information including a video clip with Jay Leno: >The Man Who Supercharged Bond

Order The Man Who Supercharged Bond from Amazon UK:



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