The former Kensington home of Formula One legend James Hunt is for sale for £3 million.
Hunt, who became Formula One world champion in 1976, lived at the four-bedroom property on Normand Mews from 1980 to 1982, and is commemorated with a blue plaque outside the front door.
Considered to be one of the greatest racing drivers of his generation, Hunt started his Formula One career with Hesketh Racing in 1973, moving to McLaren in 1976, where he took nine of his 10 Formula One victories.
Hunt had a libertine image, driving and living fast. Dubbed “Hunt the Shunt” for his aggressive driving and numerous accidents, Hunt made headlines for the number of women he’d bedded —he had “Sex, breakfast of champions” embroidered on his racing overalls— and wild parties.
This put him in direct contrast to his main opponent: the precise, analytical Austrian driver, Niki Lauda. Their rivalry was dramatized in the 2013 hit film, Rush, which charts their relationship during the 1976 motor racing season.
In the end, after a tense battle, Hunt beat Lauda in Japan by one point. Lauda, who was still suffering from injuries sustained in a crash at the German Grand Prix in Nürburgring, had pulled out of the final race due to poor weather conditions.
Hunt retired from Formula One in 1979 and became a racing commentator for the BBC — a career he was beginning when he moved into the mews house in Kensington.
By 1982, Hunt had begun to clean up his profligate image, settling down with his second wife, Sarah Lomax. They married in 1983 and divorced in 1989.
“The bit that a lot of people don’t understand is that wasn’t just him at all — that was just from the surface,” said Freddie Hunt, Hunt’s son and also a racing driver, in a 2021 interview on his father’s reputation. “Behind that, he was very cautious, very calculating. A meticulous, hard-working man. He was very thoughtful, even though on the outside [it’s] not so easy to see that.”
Hunt moved from Kensington to a seven-bedroom mansion in Wimbledon in 1982, where he died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1993, aged 45.
Today, the Kensington home bears few marks of its former owner, save its blue plaque. Normand Mews, near Barons Court, is a quiet, gated cul-de-sac, while the house, painted in a clean, neutral palette, is more sedate.
Spanning 2,204 sq ft over two storeys, there are three bedrooms on the ground floor, each with an ensuite. Upstairs, there is an open plan kitchen and living room which extends onto a large terrace with outdoor seating.
Advertised as a “truly stunning” double-fronted property by Chestertons, there is also a garage which is currently used as a guest bedroom (surely not how Hunt would have used it). And yes, there are two parking spaces.
The house was last sold in 2012 for £2.4 million and was listed for £2.7 million in 2018. For motor racing fans, there’s good news: the property is back on the market.