Fabulous atmospheric photos taken with a classic Minolta SRT101 SLR on Kodachrome film.
So much to see in these photos-fabulous 911s including the super rare TR of Alan Hamilton,the cigarette sponsorship,the pure slicks on the wide Fuchs wheels ,half cages in the cars,the officials in flat caps,jackets and collars and ties,the fuel bowsers placed right next to the paddock-one flash and they were all ash-and the sign for "Driver and Pit Crew amenity tent".Note the word tent.Contrast this with the massive mobile catering facility solely for the use of the precious Carrera Cup prima donnas at the recent Australian Rennsport.I am sure that they served a mean egg and bacon roll in the amenities tent.No tofu and mung bean salad back then.
The Farm closed to motor racing in July 1973 but in 1987 a shortened part of it was still accessible and we used it for a Jaguar customer promotion with Stirling Moss.Before the Jaguar owners arrived Stirling took me around the circuit for a few fast laps in an XJ6 and he was fast and so smooth.Straight onto the track-one medium pace recce lap and then he was into it.His car control was quite extraordinary.He made that big car dance.Then he gave me some personal tuition.A quarter of an hour of high speed driving tuition from Stirling Moss -Priceless! On that same day Keith Berryman also took me around in his D-Type Jaguar.Not everyday you get to ride as a passenger in a genuine D-Type at speed on an historic racetrack.
I am very lucky to have seen Stirling Moss racing in the prime of his career.I saw him when I went to my first ever motor race at Crystal Palace in London in 1956.He was racing his personal Maserati 250F and he won the Formula Libre race.I can just remember seeing the 250F and I certainly did not appreciate then that I was seeing one of the world's greatest racing drivers in action.Five years later I saw him win the 1961 TT at Goodwood in a Ferrari 250GT and I was also at Goodwood on that fateful day in 1962 when he had the major accident which ended his top level racing career.
And by coincidence I was at the Le Mans 24 hours race in 2011 when he decided whilst practicing in his Porsche for the historic support race that it really was time to stop.I took the photo above of Stirling in the Porsche after he had pulled off and made the decision to finally quit racing.That's his wife,Susie, coming over to speak to him-probably very relieved - Le Mans is a very dangerous track even for a young man as the 2013 race sadly showed.You can see the emotion in Stirling as he sat there semi slumped with one of his support crew waiting to drive him back into the paddock.For him that day was the end of an amazing personal journey.This photo was taken from the public spectator area looking down onto the paddock with my little Canon G9 fitted with a Canon tele-extender.A pretty small -and inexpensive-piece of kit.
We ran the Jaguar promotion at other circuits around Australia .Then it was off to the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide and which was the final round of the World Championship.It was a wonderful atmosphere for the F1 Grand Prix in Adelaide and Melbourne has never matched it although having the race at the end of the season helped Adelaide and of course F1 has changed -very much for the worse- sadly.
The photo above shows a much younger me with a much younger Stirling Moss outside the Adelaide Hilton at the time of the 1987 Grand Prix.John Crawford who took that 1987 photo was in the US last month and had dinner with Stirling and his wife Susie and Derek Bell and his wife in Florida and although Stirling is now 84 and suffered a terrible accident in his home a few years back both he and Susie look very well.
John took this photo on his iPhone.I wish that the iPhone had been invented 30 years earlier as I would have so many more shots of great motor racing moments.