A veteran motoring journalist’s extraordinary life, told through delightfully eccentric stories and charming diary extract. This unique book is packed with fascinating stories about classic cars and motorcycles, set in a bygone world, and properly fixed in time. (Fiction.)
Born in Shropshire soon after the end of the First World War, venerable motoring writer W de Forte has driven everything from his grandfather's first Daimler, to modern-day supercars … ridden everything from vertiginous Victorian penny farthings, to high velocity twenty-first century superbikes … travelled everywhere from the permafrost of the Arctic Circle to the baking sands of the Baja Peninsula … and met everyone from Tazio Nuvolari to Valentino Rossi.
W de Forte enjoyed an eventful career as a top-level journalist, spanning 75 years, during which time he tested many thousands of cars and reported on countless automotive events around the world. This made him uniquely qualified to comment on all aspects of classic and vintage motoring and motorcycling.
Relatively undimmed by age and ague, even in his 90s, de Forte had no plans to retire, but, in early 2011, a high-speed prang while testing a wayward Rudge Ulster at a racing circuit in Belgium brought him up with a jolt, both literally and metaphorically. After recuperating in hospital, he settled down to write his long-awaited and much requested autobiography.
This unique and insightful book is the result. Packed with fascinating stories about classic cars and motorcycles, A Life Awheel – the ‘Auto’ Biography of W de Forte is an account of an extraordinary motoring life, and the story of motoring in the 20th century.
About the author
Richard Skelton has been a motorcyclist since first taking to the road on a Yamaha FS1-E on his 16th birthday in 1976, and his first book, Funky Mopeds, was about the 1970s sports moped phenomenon in which he played an active part.
After 30 years working in the television industry as a sound editor, and time spent working as a newspaper reporter, as well as a writer for BikeSport News and other racing publications, he now combines writing books about motorcycles and classic cars with running a small B&B in the Yorkshire Pennines.