Tag Archives: motorsport

Silverstone International Trophy 1974

Now, where were we?
What do you mean I last posted any pics in January? Ah well, I’ve been busy.

This selection comes from the Silverstone International Trophy in 1974 – my dad had presumably decided that we were now old enough for a bit of Formula 1, and we went to this event and a day of practice for the 1975 and 1977 British GP’s.
Of particular note is James Hunt racing for Hesketh. There are also appearances by Graham Hill with his own team, Henri Pescarolo who now owns a very successful sportscar (Le Mans) team, and the great Ronnie Peterson in the classic livery of the JPS Lotus.


It would seem that by 1973 we were deemed old enough to go to Silverstone for the first time – this is a VSCC (Vintage Sports Car Club) event.


My father is now a published photographer.
Back in March I got an email out of the blue from someone asking whether I’d be interested in publishing some of my dad’s 1959 Le Mans photos in a book. Ha ha, very funny I thought. Then I googled the chap’s name – Quentin Spurring. It turns out he’s a motorsport author who has published books like “Le Mans 24 Hours: The Official History of the World’s Greatest Motor Race 1960-69” and 1970-79, and I realised that this was a serious query and he must be doing the 1950-59 version.

I didn’t take long to decide that yes, I’d be happy for his images to appear! To cut a long story short, The Official History 1949-59 has just been published and I received a complimentary copy today. It’s lovely, and the 9 of my dad’s photos have come out beautifully – including one on the back cover, one as a two-page spread as the title page for the 1959 race and another on a full page.

Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?


In 1962, just for a change, my dad didn’t go to Le Mans. Instead, Bill and he went to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix. Did they fly? No. They made a proper petrolhead trip of it.
First up, they drove to Germany (what in those days would have been West Germany, to be precise) for the Nurburgring 1000km. Then they drove down through the Alps to Monte Carlo, watched the Grand Prix, and then drove back up through France, via Arles, the Gorges du Tarn, Le Mans (OK, so he went there, but not for the 24 hour race this time) and then back to Calais.
Not something you see every day – a racing car (Formula Junior – the precursor to Formula 3) parked at the side of the road, between a couple of oh-so-French vans.

One of the most iconic Formula 1 cars – the Sharknose Ferrari 156, driven here by Phil Hill.
Jack Brabham in a Lotus-Climax 24, in Casino Square.
A Porsche 718, driven by Jo Bonnier, also in Casino Square.
Bruce McLaren in a Cooper-Climax T14, celebrating his win with what looks suspiciously like a bottle of Coke. You don’t see Lewis Hamilton doing this, do you? For one thing, he’d expect to be paid an obscene amount of money to do it, and Bernie Ecclestone probably wouldn’t let him.

I think that these are some of the best photos so far. Not only did he get very close to the actions, but some of them are in colour as well:
A view down over the harbour – is this heading down towards the Rascasse corner?
Jack Brabham.
The Sharknose Ferrari 156.
Jim Clark in a Lotus-Climax 25.
Graham Hill in a BRM P57.

And we’re back…

What do you mean I last posted in March? It wasn’t that long ago, surely? Oops…

Now, where were we? Ah yes, 1961, and it’s Le Mans time again – for the third and final time, my father and his friend Bill went to Le Mans for the 24 hour race.
This, believe it or not, is the start of the race. The drivers have just run over from the bank in the foreground and are just getting into the cars. And yes, the spectators really are that close. The two cars are Aston Martins DB4 GT Zagatos. #4 is Roy Salvadori & Tony Maggs’ car, while #5 is Jim Clark and Ron Flockhart.

This is taken from directly above the pits – the Ferrari garage in this case. This is #10, a Ferrari 250, with Phil Hill getting in.
Night view from above the pits, with Bill watching.
The Salvadori/Maggs Aston Martin, in the process of retiring, 19 hours into the race. There is a sequence of several photos, showing the car coming into the pits, mechanics attending to it as usual, and then the appearance of the rather ominous leak at the back. Then there are shots of concerned mechanics studying the rear end, and finally the car being wheeled back into the garage. Fuel leak apparently.

Le Mans 1960, part 2

This little selection is from behind the scenes at Le Mans

One of the bars at night

People sleeping in the stand
La Calandre, the small hotel/restaurant where my father stayed. I can’t find any reference to it still being open, but there is a Rue de la Calandre in Le Mans, so I suppose that’s where the hotel was.
And the staff at La Calandre, saying goodbye

Le Mans 1960

Some shots from the 1960 trip to Le Mans

I’m sure I’ve made this comment before, but you just know that just out of shot, but still very close by, is someone smoking a cigarette…

The famous Maserati Birdcage – properly known as the Maserati Tipo 61
A pair of Aston Martin DBR1/300’s at the start


This is from May 1960, and is titled “Piper Equipe, Oxford” – looks like a driver or two had an eventful time at some meeting or other! Unfortunately I’m not good enough to identify the cars, and haven’t yet been able to work out where they’d been racing, or who the guilty drivers were.