You were there...

This month our series of photos taken by you features Sicily, Las Vegas and Great Portland Street, London!

Though Alberto Pugliese now lives in Florida, he grew up in Sicily. home of the legendary Targa Florio. He was too young to catch the true road races, which ended in 1977 but after the title was revived as an international Tarmac rally, he regularly joined the crowds which thronged to watch. “The excitement started building days before the event, and we would spend hours planning which stages to visit. We would watch the top drivers start in Palermo. then jump into my Fiesta and head into the mountains. There we’d walk into a stage, watch the top dozen, then run back to the car and rush to the next stage. We had to drive at serious speeds to stay on schedule, sometimes sharing the road with the competitive cars. We did this over and over again until the morning. Being winter it was cold in the mountains, so people would light fires and everyone was welcome. The atmosphere, the sights. sounds and smells were addictive.” No wonder Alberto says the photos he took constitute some of his most treasured memories.

It took us a while to recognise one cheery youth in these 1937 shots as our own Denis Jenkinson. Bob Newton and Jenks were both at the Polytechnic Engineering school, and would often visit nearby Great Portland Street, home of car dealers. After Bernd Rosemeyer’s Donington win. his car was displayed in Auto Union’s showroom. “We stopped to drool.” says Bob. and smell that unique fuel odour which clung to it. Seeing the restricted space below the wheel I wondered how the driver could escape in a crash: Jenks said. Its quite easy’. pressed the two retaining clips and pulled the wheel off. Three salesmen chased us out of the showroom smartish.”

Growing up in Cape Town. Michael Roy’s racing interest was fired by the 1961 Cape Grand Prix, one of the first international meets to bring aces such as Stirling Moss to South Africa. Michael became a marshal and later Chief Timekeeper at the Killarney circuit just outside Cape Town. “As I seemed always to be busy, I never had time to take the pictures I should have taken,” he says. However, he did manage these glimpses of the 1960s. On a trip to the US in ’65 he arrived just in time to catch the Las Vegas 200 at Stardust Raceway. and was bowled over by the sight of Chaparrals, the Essex Wire GT40 and Shelby Cobras. His trip from Cape Town to Kyalami for the 1967 Nine Hours sportscar event was an epic in itself – 1000 miles in just under 11 hours.