John Surtees Races at 2006 Barber Vintage Festival

| 8/25/2010 9:05:00 AM

 John Surtees at Barber

John Surtees in the Barber Museum workshop with one of the MV Agustas he rode to successive world championships in 1958-1960. 

John Surtees, the only man ever to win world championships on two wheels and four, has been named Grand Marshal for the 6th Annual Barber Vintage Festival. No stranger to the Barber event, Surtees was on hand for the 2nd Annual Barber Vintage Festival in 2006, greeting fans and signing autographs, and getting in a few hot laps of the Barber track in the very Ferrari 158 F1 he took to a world championship in 1964. He also put in laps riding one of the 500cc 4-cylinder MV Agustas he rode to world championships in 1958-1960.

John Surtees at Barber II
Surtees keeps his eye on the temperature gauge as he warms up the Ferrari 158 F1 he drove to a world championship in 1964 before heading out on the Barber race track in 2006. 

I had the privilege of talking with Surtees during his 2006 visit, a few moments in time I’ll never forget. Although I’m not anyone of any note in the category, Surtees happily agreed to an interview with me, which we conducted in the Barber workshop located in the basement of the museum, the MV Agusta he would ride later that day sitting in the shop as a backdrop. Surtees was kind and gracious, putting me completely at ease as I, utterly awe-struck to be speaking with one of the greatest figures in motorcycle history of all time, groped for words. Click on the video below to get a look at John Surtees when he visited Barber in 2006.

The addition of Surtees to the list of great people and things to see and do during the Barber Festival simply sweetens the pot of what’s become, in my mind, the single greatest vintage motorcycle event in the country. Started almost on a whim and fed by the undying passion and enthusiasm of the staff at Barber – not to mention us lay folk, the bread and butter of the vintage bike scene – the Barber Festival pulls together a unique mix of location, facilities, events and people that’s unrivaled by any show.

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