Buy, beg, borrow or steal this video

Posted on

| Written by

I did a review of the latest Lewis Hamilton DVD earlier this week and although it’s not bad the lack of racing footage on it is a disappointment.

But if you like the sound of a video with more of a historical angle, which packs in four decades of F1 racing action, I’ve got a great pick for you. And with a bit of luck you can pick it up for pennies…

I first started watching Formula 1 in 1989 and the following year’s season ended with a milestone 500th world championship Grand Prix for the sport.

To commemorate that a video history of the first 41 championship seasons was produced called “The history of Formula One”. It was narrated by F1 journalist Nigel Roebuck and with contributions from the BBC F1 commentator Murray Walker.

At some point it must have been on television and I recorded a copy, which I watched and re-watched until the tape stopped working.

Browsing through eBay a couple of years ago I spotted a copy listed for a pound or so and immediately bidded a tenner to ensure I won the copy. When I finally got to watch the tape I was scarcely disappointed and found I could still recite whole chunks of the narrative.

Some of the period commentary is particularly memorable. Here’s Stirling Moss winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1957

Moss was back in the race but the delay had put him in ninth place. Bira now led the field and Moss set off in pursuit. One by one, he overhauled his rivals and, shattering the lap record four times, finally went to the front once more. Setting up a commanding lead, Moss came in to take on ten gallons of fuel and a bottle of pop, in 27 seconds. Some going! Then, back to those final laps and a place in motor racing history.

Hardly any of the great moments from F1’s first four decades are missed. It has Juan Manuel Fangio’s great win at the Nurburgring in 1957, Jochen Rindt passing Jack Brabham on the final lap at Monaco in 1970, Gilles Villeneuve leading a five-car train across the line at Jarama in 1981…

Watching this colourful and vividly narrated video over and over again certainly played a big part in making me the F1 fan I am today. It would be great to see a follow-up to it – although that would require FOM to let people use their F1 race footage, so don’t hold your breath.

But do grab a copy of this video if you can. I’ve found one copy on Amazon which you can buy via the link below (which F1 Fanatic will earn commission on at no cost to you):

The History Of Formula One

And there’s also one copy on eBay:

The History of Formula One VHS PAL

If you buy, or if you’ve seen it, I’d like to hear about it!

Here’s a scan of the sleeve:

Win one of five copies of Life behind Lewis on DVD in our exclusive competition

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

15 comments on “Buy, beg, borrow or steal this video”

  1. It was known as F1500 on TV and was shown in around 1990. Well worth watching – try auction sites and charity shops for a copy, there’s a fair few floating about

  2. Keith – Shouldn’t it read ‘Here’s Stirling Moss winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1955’?? :-)

  3. Dorian – Yes, it should! Thanks.

  4. Jonesracing82
    25th July 2008, 14:40

    another old VHS is called “turbo time”
    it’s a mix of F1 and 500cc racing and the main feature i recall is of early 80’s f1 cars sideways at casino square!
    it may have been release in mid 80’s but i’d certainly like a copy, anyone else seen it?

  5. Paul Sainsbury
    25th July 2008, 14:42

    Yep, I have a copy of this and it is excellent, as is anything that involves Nigel Roebuck. He isn’t a great narrator, but he wrote the script which is predictable excellent.

    Another great old video I have is a BBC double VHS called ‘the power and the glory’. That one was a cracker too.

  6. It might be worth starting a forum thread on video collections, see if we can’t sort a swap shop or similar out for UK F1Fs at least

  7. Might just pick up a copy! Thanks for the suggestion.

  8. I am trying to locate another movie, but no luck. It was a documentary perhaps called Formula 1, I watched in on TV when I was a boy, that would be more than 20 years ago :-) I remember it was a sad movie as it focused on the darker side of F1 (accidents) … I can’t find it anywhere now. The only bit of the movie that I still clearly rememeber was the Niki Lauda accident … Any idea what movie that may be ?

  9. Jonesracing82
    26th July 2008, 7:58

    could it b called “the f1 saga”
    it was a series and one part was on accidents and safety etc! was made in early 90’s

  10. milos, is it ‘the quick and te dead’, narrated by stacey keech, the cop from ‘up in smoke’? (imdb) that film is pretty morbid, but good, and thats the reality of the sport back then.

  11. @ Jimmy Kahn – Thanks ! Looks possible, found it under 2 names One by One and then Quick and the Dead, it might just be it. Looks it is yet to be released on DVD :-(

  12. Stirling Moss won the British Grand Prix at Aintree in 1955 and again at Aintree in 1957. 1st in the Mercedes, 2nd in the Vanwall.


  13. Keith

    I came across this site when a search for old F1 videos came up with your top 100. Then I saw this article. I remember this programme and I too must have had a recorded copy! It was fantastic but sadly it’s long gone now. Are there any other good dvds on the market that show the history of F1 over the decades? I can’t live off youtube snippets for much longer!



  14. Hi Owen – there is a DVD series by Duke called “The History of Motor Racing”, with a section on each decade. I’ll try to write something about it later…

  15. Buy, beg, borrow, or steal… How about download? :)

    I found a torrent of this file on one of the motor racing torrent sites. Is it OK if I give the link, Keith? It’s to an external site.

Comments are closed.