Hugh Anderson, born in New Zealand in 1936, won
four World Championships during his career and is best remembered for his
achievements on small capacity racers. Anderson began his European racing career
in the early 1960s riding the British four-stroke AJS and Norton machines. In
1961 he rode a Manx Norton into sixth place in the Italian Grand Prix and also
scored a seventh place in that year's Isle of Man TT 350ce event.
The following year, 1962, saw Anderson being approached by the Japanese Suzuki factory, then planning a major assault on World Championship Grand Prix events. Anderson quickly learned to adapt his riding style to the technique needed for the smaller two-stroke machines and, on the tiny 125cc Suzuki, took sixth place in France and followed this up with a fifth place in Ulster and a fine first in the Argentine Grand Prix.
It was in 1963 that Anderson hit the jackpot as far as his career was concerned. Suzuki had developed their 50cc racer into a real winner while their 125cc machine was a new disc-valve model which was to prove a world beater. On these two new machines Anderson swept the board, finishing the season as both 50ce and 125cc World Champion. In the 50ce class Anderson won the Argentine Grand Prix and finished second in the Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Isle of Man TT events while in the 125cc events Anderson was even more successful, winning the French, Dutch, German, Ulster and Finnish Grands Prix as well as the Isle of Man TT.
By 1964, the Japanese factories were taking the small capacity classes very seriously and things were much harder for Anderson. Honda had introduced a new four-cylinder 125ce machine which Suzuki could not match. Consequently Luigi Taveri won the 125 title for Honda while Anderson could only manage third spot in the table.
In the 50cc class, however, Anderson and Suzuki were invincible and he swept to his third world title with wins at Daytona, France, Finland and the Isle of Man. He also finished second at Barcelona and third at Spa in Belgium to complete a very successful season.
In 1965, Suzuki re-designed their 125cc twin and it proved to be quicker than its rivals, so much so that Anderson won no less than six Grands Prix (the American, German, Spanish, French, Finnish and Japanese) to scoop his fourth World Championship title. Ironically, Anderson and Suzuki had little success in the 50cc category and he scored only one win - at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The following year, 1966, was a difficult and depressing year for Anderson. In the 125ce class, Honda had introduced their incredible five-cylinder machine and Anderson and his Suzuki were no match for Switzerland's Luigi Taveri. And in the 50cc class Anderson encountered another problem - his own team mate Hans-Georg Anscheidt who beat both the Honda team and Anderson to win his first world title. At the end of 1966 Anderson declared that road racing was getting too dangerous and he retired.