Barry Sheene and James Hunt were, quite possibly, a pair of the most boisterous and flagrant revelers in the history of motorsport, and possibly the world. Last year, British television channel ITV produced a documentary encompassing the lives of Sheene and Hunt in 1976 when they each won their respective world championships. Though they lived and competed in a time when death was still commonplace in motorsport, both managed to survive to the point of retirement, as much through luck as it was skill.
While the documentary runs just over an hour long, it is well worth watching in its entirety, as both men led extraordinary lives. Both have notorious reputations as hell-raising party-goers, but it’s never been shown in such detail. While they did enjoy the more-than-occasional drink, and the equally frequent lay, they were also tremendous spectacles when on their day.
Just to give you an idea of what each man thought of political correctness, here are a pair of quotes:
When Sheene was asked by a BBC reporter “What goes through your mind in a crash?” he quipped “Your arse, if you’re going fast enough”.
Speaking to good friend Niki Lauda shortly after the infamous Nurburgring crash that nearly ended the Austrian’s life. “I wouldn’t worry too much about your face, Niki. You were ugly in the first place.”
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