This new edition of Full Throttle is the autobiography of Sir Henry Ralph Stanley Birkin Bt., better known as 'Tim' after the children's comic book character, Tiger Tim. He will be remembered as one of the most daring and sporting of pre-war racing drivers. A contemporary of Sir Henry Segrave and Sir Malcolm Campbell he was regarded as one of the most famous drivers of the period.
He twice won the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1929 and 1931. One of the glamorous "Bentley Boys", silk scarf flying in the wind, he was a fearless and ferociously fast competitor.
On one occasion at Le Mans he took on the challenge of pushing the Mercedes SSK of Rudi Caracciola to breaking point. He succeeded; passing the German on the Mulsanne straight, two wheels on the grass, one tyre in shreds, at 126 m.p.h. the epitome of the English racing hero.
Belying his daredevil image, Sir Henry was an unassuming, shy man who suffered from a stammer but was passionate in his belief that Great Britain should be a great motor racing nation.
Full Throttle captures at first hand Birkin's accounts of the excitement and thrills of racing that he so loved. It was first published in 1932, the year before he died at the age of 36 as a result of burns incurred from leaning on a hot exhaust pipe after finishing 3rd at the Tripoli Grand Prix.
This illustrated Daredevil Books edition features a new foreword by Allan Winn, former CEO of Brooklands Museum and reflections on Birkin's life by Derek Bell, five times Le Mans winner.
Thrills, anecdotes, humour and first hand information of the magnificent sport that is motor-racing, all are here in plenty, illuminated by a personality which stands for everything that is fine is sportsmanship.
If ever a driver epitomised the English Racing Driver, it was 'Tiger Tim', otherwise, Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin.
The Irish Times
Full Throttle is a lively, good humoured, extremely readable book.
Birkin was a sportsman to the backbone and a charming companion.
Sir Malcolm Campbell's Book of Famous Motorists
He will long be remembered as one of the most daring, brilliant, and sporting of racing drivers.