This is the latest chapter in our series for photographs taken by you. This month we kick off at Monaco, hit the hills at Harewood, visit the British GP and spot Fangio playing soccer
These Monaco Grand Prix photographs from 1962 took pride of place in the collection of the late Bob Fuller, according to grandson Patrick Fuller, publishing director of our sister magazine, Autosport.
Watching at the old Gasworks Hairpin was always going to be exciting, given its proximity to the start-line on the pre-1973 Circuit but this intrepid amateur photographer could not have predicted the drama that would unfold in front of him as the 16-car field approached. Fortunately, Mr Fuller was quick on the draw and, despite lacking a motor drive on his camera, he managed to keep shooting as the action unfolded in front of him.
Maurice Trintignant’s Rob Walker Racing Lotus is hit from behind by Richie Ginther after the American had his BRM’s throttle jam open. The Frenchman’s sharp left turn into the barriers triggered mayhem behind, so it is astonishing that they weren’t joined on the sidelines by more cars. In the end, only the Porsche of Dan Gurney and lnnes Ireland’s UDT Laystall Lotus-Climax added to their number.
Times were clearly very different 42 years ago. The harbour front had no swimming pool to interrupt its length back then and it ended with the famous Gasworks hairpin rather than the left then sharp right of Rascasse followed by Virage Antony Nogues, which were introduced in 1973. Notice, too, how freely the photographers were able to stand behind the straw bales with next to no protection. The fact that a wheel had been ripped off Ginther’s car and was bouncing around seems to have fazed them not at all. Carefree days…
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A contemporary of Motor Sport columnist Nigel Roebuck’s at school, John Prosser has a sneaking suspicion that it was the future Formula One journalist’s enthusiasm for motor racing that inspired his interest in the sport.
“I remember Nigel as a bit of a motorsport nut,” recalls John. “My very first visit to a race was the 1962 British Grand Prix at Aintree on a trip from school about a week before I left, post A-levels. I suspect that Nigel had a hand in organising it. Within weeks, I’d been to Goodwood for the Tourist Trophy and Oulton Park for the Gold Cup as well as local hillclimbs and to my nearest circuit Rufforth.
“Work commitments meant that it wasn’t until the mid to late-1960s that I could afford the time to go to the practice days for the British Grand Prix, but it was fabulous fun when I did. In those days, you had unfettered access to the paddock pits and track enclosures and thus opportunities for better photos.
“However, I haven’t been to a Grand Prix since 1971 when my Interest in motorsport faded for the next 25 years or so.”
The introduction of the You Were There feature is what encouraged John to make the trip up to his attic to look for his filed away colour slides. We’re extremely glad that he made the effort.
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Being posted to Germany by the United States Air Force in the 1950s had an upside for Alex Birnie from Irmo, South Carolina. He had the good fortune to be stationed at a radio relay site at Hohe Acht, right slap-bang next to the mighty Nürburgring Nordschleife. Lucky man!
“In 1954-55, Mercedes-Benz often tested the W196 and 300SLR at the ‘Ring,” remembers Alex. “From the site I could hear the engines and like a shot I would leave the site unattended (quite a ‘no no’) and walk down to the track. That hooked me on motor racing and I got to know my way around the old ‘Ring. I’d often take either the weapons carrier or 2.5-ton 6×6 around the track. In fact, I think! still hold the track record for a 2.5-ton truck…
“The countless photos, 8mm film and video I took from then on at some 60 grands prix, sportscar and Can-Am races help jog my ageing memory of some really great races, cars, drivers and tracks.
“One of the more unusual shots that I took during my posting at Hoke Acht was at one of the Mercedes-Benz tests when there was a break in proceedings and I snapped Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss playing a little football with the Mercedes mechanics. That’s Fangio on the ball and Moss to the right, running into space. They were happy days!”
We need your photos
Do you have photographs from races or rallies gone by tucked away in a drawer at home? If the answer is yes and you feel you have some interesting anecdotes to go with them we’d love to hear from you (see postal address on page 4). We suggest that where possible you keep hold of the negatives and send prints to us — and we of course undertake to look after your treasured items and return them safely after use. Get rummaging