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Richard Kelley: James Hunt “The Natural”

500500GBP850850GBP17501750GBP30003000GBP £ 500 - £ 3000USMAN

British 1976 World Driver’s Champion James Hunt, beer in hand, relaxes with a cigarette and Penthouse Pet of the Year Victoria Lynn Johnson after winning the 1977 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

From the beginning, James Hunt was loaded with an explosive combination of adrenaline and massive amounts of testosterone; he was among the most aggressive of racers. With a reputation as a wild man with next to no race results, Hunt had little chance of progressing further until he was “discovered” by Lord Hesketh. Adopted by this privateer team, Hunt’s found a breakthrough with his victory over Niki Lauda’s Ferrari at the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix. Overnight, Hunt’s reputation skyrocketed, and he quickly became the United Kingdom’s new hope of a World Champion. With that, McLaren offered him a contract, and Hunt’s natural speed eventually brought him the 1976 World Championship, again defeating Lauda.

James Hunt will always embody the romantic, spontaneous and not-so-politically correct Formula One era that will never be seen again.

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