Grover Williams Trophy celebrates the Bugatti Type 35

An incredible turn out of 32 Bugattis made up the grid of the Grover Williams Trophy race at the Goodwood 72nd Members Meeting.The 71st members race meeting was held in 1966 just before the the Duke of Richmond closed the circuit. The race, which celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Bugatti Type 35 first built in 1924,featured no less than 16 T35s in all their guises as well as the ultra rare types 51, 57 and 59. Grover Williams, an Anglo-French racing driver won the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix in 1928 driving a Type 35 Bugatti and during the war joined SOE working with the French resistance before being captured and executed by the Nazis.The race was won by Charles Knill -Jones in a type 35B seen here in pole position.

Monte Carlo or bust

I’ve just come back from a great road trip courtesy of the Vauxhall press office.Now in it’s 4th year the Griffin run takes a fleet of the latest performance VXR cars from Monte Carlo over the route Napoleon all the way to Geneva for the motor show. Up in the mountains there was still plenty of snow and the tortuous winding mountain roads were a real challenge.We were in a classic 1970′s executive model which more than managed the steep climbs and mountain passes and was considerably more comfortable than some of the moderns with their sports suspension.

 

 

Land Rovers to the rescue

Last week the Sunday Times asked me to go down to the Somerset levels to shoot some pictures of the terrible flooding.It’s only about 30 miles west from where I live in North Dorset and I hired a 4 X 4  pick up to make it through the shallower water to the rendezvous with the 4 X 4 Response team at a camp site on some higher ground.They give their time and experience driving local kids to school and marooned residents to work. Tim Douglas took us all the way to the island of Muchelney as it’s become with his fully kitted out Landie Defender with snorkel exhaust.What will they do now Land Rover has announced it will cease to make the Defender in the coming years after 67 years of production.

Photographing the Red Bull RB6 and Lotus E21

I’ve been finishing the final shoots for the update of my ‘Art of the F1 Race Car’ book and had another two icons of Formula One in the studio. First up was Red Bull’s championship winning RB6 as driven by Sebastion Vettel to victory in 2010. Who was to know that Adrian Newey’s stunning design would dominate the sport for three further years to come.Check out the portfolio page to see a sneak preview of  Vettel’s car. Also very privileged to get our cameras onto this year’s Kimi Raikkonen Lotus resplendent in it’s JPS inspired black and gold livery.Lotus sent their full F1 rig and and 5 staff to look after the car.

 

In the studio with Jensons’s Brawn F1 car

I’ve been working on an update of my award winning 2010 book ‘Art of the F1 Race Car’ shooting a bunch of Formula One cars to be added .The book is set against a black background but I recently had a contact from an old friend who now works for top London re-touchers Taylor James asking if I had any car images he could hone his art on so I sent him the raw files from the Brawn shoot. The results are amazing and can be seen on my studio portfolio web page….I’ve no idea how he got there from the image I gave him ….see below.!

Button's F1 car i the studio before the re-touch

Button’s F1 car in the studio before re-touching

Caterham Aero Seven Concept

I photographed Caterham Car’s exciting new concept the Aero Seven in the studio for them the other day .It was a night shoot as the car was being shipped the next day for launch at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix by boss Tony Fernandes .It’s fabulous shape is all carbon fibre and it’s refreshing to see a concept car that actually drives.0-60 in 4 seconds and 237 bhp on tap the Aero Seven is no slouch and features traction control technology straight form Caterham’s F1 program. Production versions of the car will hit the market in August 2014.

GT40s shake Goodwood Circuit

The South Downs reverberated as the sound of more than 30 Ford GT40s took to the Goodwood motor circuit for the Revival meeting.Under leaden skies the Whitsun Trophy race and high speed demo’s celebrated 50 years of the legendary GT40 featuring a host of famous cars such as the 1966 Le Mans winner and drivers including Emanuele Pirro,Steve Soper and Andy Wallace who lead the pack into Madgwick on the first lap. But it was the unbeatable pairing of Red Bull’s Adrian Newey and Swedish ace Kenny Brack who took the checquered flag after a storming drive in Newey’s own1965 white and red-striped no 5 Mk1.

James’ British Auto Legends stamps launched

After a great plug on Top Gear ,the British Auto Legends stamps I photographed for the Royal Mail last September will be launched next week. The 1st class issue cars feature a Jaguar E Type, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and an Aston Martin DB5.The international stamps include an MGB, Morgan Plus 8 and Lotus Esprit.The cars were shot at Plough studios in South London and designed by Design agency Why Not Associates.There is a range of collector packs and first day covers available through the Royal Mail website. http://shop.royalmail.com/issue-by-issue/british-auto-legends/icat/britishautolegends.

Land Speed Record Cars star at Goodwood Festival

This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed saw some of the all time great Land Speed Record cars on display . As well as the new Bloodhound which is aiming to reach 1000mph in 2015 there were a number of icons of the race for speed including two cars driven by Sir Henry Seagrave’s  the twin engined 1926 Sunbeam which cracked the 200mph barrier and the stunning Golden Arrow which took the record up to 231 mph on Daytona Beach in 1929. Both cars came from the National motor museum at Beaulieu.

In the studio with Fangio’s Mercedes W196

I cornered Bonhams boss Robert Brooks at the Goodwood press day and asked if I could photograph their most high profile aquisition for the July sale…..the ex Juan Manuel Fangio Mercedes W196 team car in which he won the Swiss and German Gran Prix of 1954 helping him to the F1 title that year.The car, which has been under the radar for a number of years, featured many innovative ideas for the day including in board brakes, fuel injection and desmodronic valve actuation and is in an fabulous un-restored state  remaining the only W196 on the open market.Estimate $15-20M

The incredible Audi R18 e-tron quattro

It was a great coup to get to shoot this year’s Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro for the Legends of Le Mans book.In a grand tour of Europe covering 2500 miles ,James has been photographing the last few cars for his upcoming studio art book, including a stunning 1920′s Lorraine Dietrich B3-6, a Mercedes SSK once owned by Sir Malcolm Campbell, the 2005 winning Peugeot 905HDi and the stunning Audi R8 and R18 e-tron quattro.

Shooting ‘Legends of Le Mans’ gets under way

After almost a year of planning James has started shooting his new studio book this month.To be called ‘Legends of Le Mans’ the book will feature up to 25 of the world greatest sports racing cars from throughout the 90 year history of endurance racing at La Sarthe photographed in the studio.Seen here is the 1970 Porsche 917K which won the race after 24hours and 343 laps with Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood at the wheel.