After a two-year spell with Honda in F1, in 1970 John founded the Surtees Racing Organisation which competed as a constructor in Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 5000, without ever quite winning a Formula 1 GP. But John's successor as Britain's – and MV Agusta's - two-wheeled superstar, Mike Hailwood, convincingly won the 1972 European Formula 2 Championship in the Surtees TS10, to register the team's greatest success. After a frequently troubled nine-year existence in the Formula 1 paddock, not helped by a perpetual funding crisis, Team Surtees was disbanded in 1978
Having renovated a lovely 16th century Tudor house near Lingfield, Surrey, John now turned to building up a property business, and to restoring many of the motorcycles and cars he'd collected or had on loan that were associated with his long career on both two and four wheels. He enjoyed demonstrating these and other Classic machines at numerous events all over the world, but especially at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he rode historic BMW motorcycles and drove Mercedes-Benz cars alongside Nortons and MV Agustas from his own stables, with equal aplomb.