47 Facts About Mike Hailwood


Mike Hailwood is regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time.


Mike Hailwood competed in the Grand Prix motorcycle world championships from 1958 to 1967 and in Formula One between 1963 and 1974.


Mike Hailwood returned to motorcycle racing at the age of 38, taking victory at the 1978 Isle of Man TT.


Mike Hailwood died in 1981 following a road traffic accident in Warwickshire, England.


Mike Hailwood was born at Langsmeade House, Great Milton in Oxfordshire, the only son and elder child of Stanley William Bailey Mike Hailwood, a millionaire businessman and managing director of a motorcar sales company as well as successful motorcycle dealer.


Mike Hailwood had raced, in the pre-World War II era.


Mike Hailwood had a comfortable upbringing; he learned to ride at a young age on a minibike as a small boy in a field near his home.

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Mike Hailwood was educated at Purton Stoke Preparatory School, Kintbury, and Pangbourne Nautical College where he wore a RN cadet uniform, but left early and worked for a short time in the family business before his father sent him to work at Triumph motorcycles.


Mike Hailwood saw his first race at age 10 with his father, and first spectated at the Isle of Man TT races in 1956.


Mike Hailwood first raced on 22 April 1957, at Oulton Park, finishing in 11th place.


Mike Hailwood teamed with Dan Shorey to win the Thruxton 500 endurance race and finished in four classes of TT race with one podium.


Mike Hailwood lost the chance at winning a fourth race when his 350 AJS failed with a broken gudgeon pin whilst leading.


In 1962, Mike Hailwood signed with MV Agusta and went on to become the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championships.


Mike Hailwood then went on to win the GP race, which carried World Championship points, in the afternoon of the same day.


In heavy rain, Mike Hailwood won the 1965 Hutchinson 100 Production race at the Silverstone circuit on a BSA Lightning Clubman entered by dealer Tom Kirby, beating the Triumph Bonnevilles entered by Syd Lawton.


At the 'Motor Cycle' 500 race at Brands Hatch in 1966, Mike Hailwood demonstrated a Honda CB450 Black Bomber fitted with a sports fairing.


Mike Hailwood enjoyed great success at the Isle of Man TT.


Mike Hailwood won what many historians consider to be the most dramatic Isle of Man race of all time, the 1967 Senior TT against his great rival, Giacomo Agostini.


Mike Hailwood stated to Motorcycle Mechanics that even without suitable machinery from Honda he would not go elsewhere, preferring to retire prematurely and he would in any case finish at the end of the 1968 season.


Mike Hailwood appeared in selected UK events, in 1968 appearing in the post-TT race at Mallory Park on a Honda, and in 1969 he participated in the Mallory Park Race of the Year riding a Seeley.


Mike Hailwood had already started to race cars and with no other factory racing teams available to compete against MV Agusta, Hailwood decided to pursue a career in car racing, placing third in the 1969 Le Mans 24-Hour race in France as a co-driver of a Ford GT40 with David Hobbs.


Mike Hailwood again rode for BSA at the 1971 Daytona race, qualifying on the front row.


Mike Hailwood crashed at low speed when waving to the spectators at Governor's Bridge, a tight hairpin bend close to the end of the 37-mile course.


Mike Hailwood lived a playboy lifestyle as a jet-setter covering 30,000 road miles and 160,000 air miles in a year travelling to circuits around the world whilst based in his bachelor-flat at Heston, West London, where he kept his high-powered sports cars.


Mike Hailwood had two children: daughter Michelle in 1971 and son David.

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Mike Hailwood married their mother, model Pauline, on 11 June 1975.


Mike Hailwood participated in 50 Formula One Grands Prix, starting with an early phase between 1963 and 1965, debuting in the British Grand Prix on 20 July 1963, achieving two podium finishes and scoring a total of 29 championship points.


Mike Hailwood was in contention for a victory at his first Formula One race in six years, the 1971 Italian Grand Prix.


The first five finishers were covered by only 0.61 seconds, and Mike Hailwood was fourth, 0.18s behind the winner Peter Gethin.


Mike Hailwood won the 1972 Formula Two European title and earned a podium finish at the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans.


Mike Hailwood was recognised for his bravery when in the 1973 South African Grand Prix he went to pull Clay Regazzoni from his burning car after the two collided on the third lap of the race.


Mike Hailwood's driving suit caught fire, but after being extinguished by a fire marshal he returned to help rescue Regazzoni, an act for which he was awarded the George Medal, the second-highest gallantry award that a British civilian can be awarded.


Mike Hailwood left Formula One after being injured badly at the 1974 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring and retired to New Zealand, where he was involved with a marine engineering business together with former McLaren manager Phil Kerr.


Mike Hailwood was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1975 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.


In 1977, Mike Hailwood had travelled to Australia to ride large-capacity Ducatis in long-distance races and a 30-lap event on a Yamaha, together with historic race machines.


In May 1978, Mike Hailwood rode a demonstration to spectators at a Donington Park national motorcycle race day of the Yamaha XS1100 with full fairing in Martini colours, which he was to use to re-acquaint himself with the TT course, including any subsequent alterations since he raced at the Isle of Man in the late 1960s.


Mike Hailwood stayed on for the following Monday to test his Yamaha TZ750, TZ500 and TZ250 race machines together with his F1 TT Ducati which he had previously tested in the rain at Oulton Park.


On 3 June 1978, after an 11-year hiatus from mainstream motorcycling, Mike Hailwood made a comeback at the Isle of Man TT in the Formula I race, a World Championship class based on large-capacity road machines first introduced for 1977.


Mike Hailwood was awarded 'Man of the Year' for 1978 after a public vote organised by Motorcycle News weekly newspaper.


Mike Hailwood raced at the 1979 Isle of Man TT before retiring for good at the age of 39.


On Saturday 21 March 1981, Mike Hailwood set off in his Rover SD1 with his children Michelle and David to collect some fish and chips.


Mike Hailwood claimed to have been told by a fortune teller in South Africa that he would not live to 40 and would be killed by a truck.


An annual 'Mike Hailwood Memorial Run' was discontinued after the 2011 event.


Mike Hailwood retired with 76 Grand Prix victories, 112 Grand Prix podiums, 14 Isle of Man TT wins and 9 World Championships, including 37 Grand Prix wins, 48 Grand Prix podiums, 6 Isle of Man TT wins and 4 World Championships in 500cc.


Mike Hailwood was awarded the Segrave Trophy for 1979 "in recognition of his Isle of Man exploits in the Senior and Classic TTs", with his close friend Ted Macauley awarded a special Seagrave Medal.

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Mike Hailwood was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2001.


In 1981, a section of the Snaefell Mountain Course was named as Mike Hailwood's Rise leading to the highest point at Mike Hailwood's Height in his honour.