Wooden Lacquered Cufflink Boxes – for motor racing fans, a tribute to John Surtees, but you don’t only have to be a petrol head to appreciate his talent.
John Surtees was born on 11th February 1934, his father was a south London motorcycle dealer. His first professional race was in the sidecar of his father’s Vincent motorcycle. They won but were disqualified when they found out his age. Too young yet for Sterling silver jewellery.
He entered his first race when he was 15 and at 16 started work as an apprentice at the Vincent Motorcycle factory. He grabbed the headlines in 1951 when he strongly challenged Geoff Duke the Norton star rider at Thruxton Circuit. Geoff probably owned Wooden Lacquered Cufflink Boxes by then.
Spotted by the Norton head Joe Craig, John Surtees was given his first sponsored ride in 1955. By the end of the year he had beaten the reigning world champion Geoff Duke at Silverstone and then Brands Hatch. He now had enough prize money to buy Sterling silver jewellery. Or maybe not - Norton had financial troubles – so he switched to the MV Augusta factory racing team and earned the nickname “figlio del vento” (son of the wind). In 1956 he won the 500cc world championship. In the next 3 years he won 32 of his 39 races and became the first man to win the Senior TT in the Isle of Man for 3 straight years. Hope he now had some Wooden Lacquered Cufflink Boxes.
Then in 1960 he switched from motorcycles to cars full-time. His first Formula 1 race was for Team Lotus at Silverstone. In only his second race he finished second at the 1960 British Grand Prix and in the 3rd race he had pole position in the 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix. He must have now had quite a collection of Sterling silver jewellery.
On the 25th September 1965 he had a life-threatening accident at the Mosport Circuit in Ontario, Canada while practicing. He came out of the crash with one side of his body 4 inches shorter than the other. Doctors managed to set all the breaks and stretched his body so that there was only a 1-inch difference – ouch.
In 1966 you motor racing fans will know that new larger 3-litre engines were introduced to Formula 1. Surtees drove Ferrari’s new F1 car at Silverstone and finished a close second. Just think how many Wooden Lacquered Cufflink Boxes you could get for the price of a Ferrari! A few weeks later he led the Monaco Grand Prix, ahead of Jackie Stewart but his engine then failed. Cufflink boxes are so much more reliable. However 2 weeks later he won the Belgian Grand Prix.
He was dropped by Ferrari due to doubts over his fitness for the 24 hour race after his injuries in Canada and promptly joined the Cooper-Maserati team where he finished second in the drivers’ championship. More winnings to spend on Sterling silver jewellery. He switched to Honda later that year and won the Italian Grand Prix.
He formed his own race team in 1970 and spent nine seasons competing in Formula 5000, Formula 2 and Formula 1 as a constructor. He retired from competitive driving in 1972, along with his collection of Sterling silver jewellery.
After retiring he ran a motorcycle shop in Kent for a while but had no room to sell Wooden Lacquered Cufflink Boxes or for that matter Sterling silver jewellery.
In 1996 he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he had an MBE but was given an OBE in 2008 and a CBE in 2016. Sadly he died on the 10th March 2017 at the age of 83.
Check out the Woodcote Wooden Lacquered Cufflink Boxes on One Bond Street to see the No 7 that symbolises the number from his Ferrari.