Bon vivant, racing-car champion, entrepreneur, wheeler-dealer, and champion-maker – this is the life of the irrepressible, effervescent Fred Opert. From a brief stint in a New York jail, to success as race-car importer/dealer, a race team owner, and a Formula 1 team manager, before tragedy caused him to walk away from the sport he loved.
With forewords by Nico Rosberg, Alan Jones MBE, and Keke Rosberg, this fascinating biography follows Fred Opert’s whirlwind lifestyle, talent-spotting successes, and trials and tribulations managing the ATS F1 team.
Fred Opert’s journey to motorsport fame started in a New York jail. Speeding in his Jaguar XK150S, while desperately trying not to miss a race meeting, Opert picked up a speeding ticket. Whether purposely ignored, or simply forgotten, on his return from a short vacation to see his parents, back to his studies at New York University School of Law, he was arrested for non-payment, receiving a fine '+ five' – or five days in jail.
Those five days were a defining moment for Fred. Despite friends bringing him books so he could study, he missed a critical exam, the seriousness of the situation leading him to reflect on what he truly wanted to do with his life.
Not long after, and without telling his parents, Fred gave up his law studies to focus on his real love: cars and racing. The rest, as they say, is history, and Fred went on to become one of the most influential, well-respected, and well-liked people in motor racing during the 60s and 70s, and the world over.
● The fascinating biography of a motorsport entrepreneur and personality of the '60s & '70s
● The story of Fred Opert, the ever-smiling team owner and talent spotter
● The adventures of running racing teams across the world, from Colombia to New Zealand, Mexico to Macau, Argentina to Japan
● The man who brought European formula racing to North America
● Stories and anecdotes from the famous drivers and team personnel who worked with Fred Opert
● He took cars from Bolton in Lancashire and made them best sellers and winners in North America
● An insight into the life of one of motor sport's most colourful personalities
● Stories from the wild days of motorsport – Rosberg, Hunt, Jones, Rahal, Redman, Rebaque and the men who worked with them
● The story of a life spent wheeling & dealing, running race teams across the globe, and the devastation of a tragedy
● Who else but Opert could export VWs to Germany?
Written with the co-operation of the Opert family, and detailing the drivers who came up through the ranks with Opert, this book features interviews with many of those who worked with him, as well as his friends and ex-employees.
Featuring rare photos of Opert, period advertisements, publicity materials, and first-hand stories from drivers, team owners, family, and friends, this biography tells the inside story of the ever-smiling risk-taker who ran teams and champions on both sides of the Atlantic.