Bill Boddy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bill Boddy MBE
Born William Boddy
(1913-02-22)February 22, 1913
Died July 7, 2011(2011-07-07) (aged 98)
Nationality British
Occupation Motorsport Journalist,
Years active 1930–2011
Known for Editor; Motor Sport magazine

William "Bill" Boddy, MBE (22 February 1913 – 7 July 2011)[1] was a British journalist who was the editor of Motor Sport from 1936 to 1991. After 1991 he still contributed regularly to Motor Sport magazine, continuing a career that lasted eighty-one years.


His first published article, in Motor Sport in 1930,[2] was on the history of the Brooklands track where he had first gone in 1927. He worked with Brooklands Track & Air for two and half years from 1931. Bill Boddy drove the original HRG sports car, 1,497 c.c., at the Lewes Speed Trials on 4 September 1937 with a best time of 27.4 sec, finishing third in the novices class.[3] Boddy entered his Lancia at the Prescott opening rally on 10 April 1938; his 1924 Aston Martin being commended by the judges in the Best Kept Car Competition.[4] He also entered the Lancia 1,352 c.c. at the first Prescott speed hillclimb on 15 May 1938.[5] Sydney Allard won the last speed event to be held in England prior to World War Two. Having set the fastest time at the Horndean Speed Trials, his car overturned past the finish line. Both he and his passenger, Bill Boddy, were thrown clear and uninjured.[6]

Throughout World War II he was employed by the Ministry of Aircraft Production at Farnborough working on Air Publications, but he kept Motor Sport going in his spare time for the duration. After the war, he recruited Denis Jenkinson for Motor Sport to provide race reports. In February 1946 Motor Sport published a four-page "Obituary" for the Brooklands circuit, with the headline: "Built at his own expense for the nation's good, by the late Mr. H. F. Locke King - 1906. Betrayed by bureaucracy and declared an industrial area - 1946." [7]

He was awarded an MBE in 1997.[8] Boddy leaves three daughters and lived alone after the death of his wife, Winifred.


A partial list of the books written by William Boddy follows:

  • The story of Brooklands, 1948.
  • The world's land speed record, 1951.
  • — (1951). Continental Sports Cars. London: G.T. Foulis. 
  • The history of Brooklands motor course, 1957.
  • The Bugatti story, 1960.
  • Montlhéry: The Story of the Paris Autodrome, 1961.
  • The sports car pocketbook, 1961.
  • The vintage years of the Morgan three-wheeler, 1971.
  • The history of motor racing, 1977.
  • Volkswagen Beetle, 1982.
  • My thirty years of motoring for Motor Sport, 1982.
  • Mercedes Benz 300 S.L., 1983.
  • Volkswagen Beetle Type 1 and the New Generation, 1999.
  • Brookland's Complete Motor Racing, 2002.
  • Brooklands giants, 2006.


  1. ^ Cooper, Adam "Legendary journalist Bill Boddy dies at 98." 7 July 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Motor Sport, October 1937, Pages 433-434; Bugatti Owners' Club Lewes Speed Trials, Saturday, 4 September 1937, Results.
  4. ^ Bugantics, Vol 7, No. 3, May 1938, Page 9.
  5. ^ Prescott Speed Hillclimb, 15 May 1938, Official Programme.
  6. ^ Motor Sport, November 1946, Page 247.
  7. ^ Motor Sport, February 1946, Pages 31-34.
  8. ^ Cruickshank, Gordon. "Bill Boddy MBE 1913-2011". Motor Sport. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 

External links[edit]