Press Release

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12th June 2019
Please run this release immediately, with the following header

John Chatham – ‘Mr Big Healey’ – The Official Biography


Now in Paperback!
This is the authorised biography of one of the best-liked bad boys in British motorsport. John Chatham, driver, racer, repairer, rebuilder, tuner, trader and lover of Austin-Healeys, was, according to Geoffrey Healey, “uncontrollable” in his youth, and has only mildly mellowed with age. Burly and genial, but formidably competitive, and not above bending the rules when he thought he could get away with it, to many he is the archetypal club racer. John is so synonymous with Austin-Healeys that the most famous racing Healey in the world, DD300, is so well-known mainly because John campaigned it for decades, notching up tens of thousands of racing miles. But his career embraces far more than one car, and until this biography no-one had attempted to fill in the gaps.

The book is not a dry description of one club race after another. It does include a list of John’s principal sporting achievements, but no complete record exists of the hundreds of events which made up his competitive career, so the writer has not attempted to compile one. Instead Norman Burr, who was himself acquainted with John in his youth, has created a more rounded and personal account, full of motoring and sporting anecdotes, but also telling the story of John’s family, his work, his business, his three wives and his lovers. John has a comprehensive photo library from which the book is generously illustrated, with cartoons added to illustrate some of the moments that a camera was not around to record. Thoroughly politically incorrect even by the standards of the 1960s, it’s an account which will strike a chord not only with admirers of Big Healeys, but also with anyone who believes that independent thinking, and the courage to apply and enjoy it, is the greatest virtue of all.

This book is now available in paperback format, due to popular demand.

John Chatham – ‘Mr Big Healey’ by Norman Burr

ISBN: 9781787115354
UPC: 6-36847-01535-0


£25.00 (UK), $40.00 (US), $53.00 (CAN)

• Not recommended for health and safety pedants!
• The epitome of the club racer
• Foreword by Simon Taylor
• An open, honest and sometimes self-deprecating account of the life of 'Mr Big Healey'
• Views from friends and racing rivals
• The author’s own experiences of Chatham in the 1970s
• Politically incorrect, every rebel or would-be rebel will love it!
• More than just cars, tales of family, friends, wives and lovers
• Many previously unpublished photos
• A must for anyone who loves Big Healeys and MGCs


Trained as an engineer at Rolls-Royce Aero Engines and Bath University, lifelong petrolhead Norman Burr has been both a technical journalist and worked in specialist publishing. In 1997 he made his first contribution to motorsport writing with Living with Speed, an acclaimed book chronicling a year in the life of hillclimb legend Roy Lane.

Norman Burr has also chronicled the lives of Keith Duckworth, in the book 'First Principles', and John Chatham, with his book 'Mr Big Healey,' both published by Veloce Publishing.

Place of birth: Ilford, Essex • Hometown: Kelso • Nearest city: Lancaster

V5535 • Paperback • 25x20.7cm / 9.84 x 8.14 in• 160 pages • 150 pictures • ISBN: 978-1-787115-35-4 • UPC: 6-36847-01535-0
UK & EUROPE 🇬🇧 🇪🇺
View sample pages and sample text on our website - or 01305 260068/e or

Veloce books are stocked by (or can be ordered from) bookshops by quoting the correct ISBN number. We also take orders direct: telephone 01305 260068 (+44 1305 260068 from outside UK), fax 01305 250479 (+44 1305 250479 from outside UK) or e-mail Books can also be ordered on our website –

USA 🇺🇸
For information about distribution of Veloce’s books in the United States and Canada, please contact John Groton, Director of Distribution Services or 978-282-3562
View sample pages and sample text on our website - or request at

Veloce books are stocked by (or can be ordered from) bookshops by quoting the correct ISBN number. We also take orders direct: telephone +44 1305 260068, fax +44 1305 250479 or e-mail Books can also be ordered on our website – or from and other web retailers.

Front cover images in various resolutions are available from Veloce: email with your request.
You can also download a high-resolution cover image directly from the book page on our website.

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Note: All details subject to change.
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Tel +44 (0)1305 260068  

Fax +44 (0)1305 250479  


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