Dobcross writer captures motor rallying’s craziest years in new book

A HIT film about motor rallying’s craziest years has been released as a limited edition book with the help of a Dobcross producer.

p29 mad wheels book cover
NEW BOOK: Madness on Wheels

John L Matthews and his company Bigger Picture Films made the original ‘Madness on Wheels’ for the BBC to relate the rise and fall of ‘Group B’ in the 1980s.

The sport was more popular than Formula 1 but headed out of control with ever-more powerful cars and abruptly ended in tragedy in 1986 after a series of horrific tragedies.

Now, the Bigger Picture team has delved back into the archives to release film interview transcripts in a new hardback book, including World Champions Ari Vatanen, Walter Rohrl, Stig Blomqvist and many more.

Former rally driver John said: “‘Madness on Wheels’ is without doubt one of the best films we have made at Bigger Picture and it received rave reviews.

“We had over twenty hours of interviews for the film and we only used a fraction of them. What we have here in the book are all of the main interviews with minimal, if any, editing.

“We have recorded one – if not the most – exciting and important times the world of motorsport has ever seen. I wanted to put that down for history and record it forever.

“Traditionally at Bigger Picture we have launched a DVD at this time of year but now we have something different. It’s a perfect gift for a petrolhead this Christmas!”

The book is the second released by the company after ‘Grand Prix: The Killer Years’ which has been shown in 32 countries as a film and was published in hardback earlier this year.

John will be signing copies of his new book, as well as showing some of the original film and giving a short talk, on Thursday, November 19 at the Lime Kilm Café at 7.30pm. Drinks and snacks available.

‘Madness on Wheels’ is available as a hardback online via and all major motorsport book sellers. The book costs £19.99 or alongside a copy of the original film for £29.99.


FOR A chance to win a copy of ‘Madness on Wheels’ signed by John L Matthews, simply answer this question:

What is the name of the film company which first produced ‘Madness on Wheels’?

Email your answer, with full name, address and daytime telephone number, to or write to: Madness on Wheels competition, Saddleworth Independent, 5 Kinders Crescent, Greenfield, Saddleworth OL3 7JQ.

The first correct entry drawn after the closing date of Friday, December 4 wins the signed copy of the book.


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