Private View - A 'You were there' special

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New occasional series showcases the best readers’ photos, starting with early 1970s F1

We have author Christopher Hilton to thank for the wonderful photos you see here, all taken at Watkins Glen and Mosport Grands Prix during the early 1970s. Christopher contacted us following the publication of his latest book Grand Prix Battlegrounds, in which he’d used some pictures take by husband-and-wife enthusiasts Linda and Gary Carlson. Would we like them to submit a selection for our readers’ photos feature You Were There, he asked? Sure, we said. But when the package landed from Jamestown, New York we immediately realised they deserved special treatment.

Nigel Roebuck’s December issue Reflections on Watkins Glen was still in our minds as we clicked through the Carlsons’ images from various US and Canadian Grands Prix. They have inspired us to introduce this, a new (irregular) series featuring the best photographs submitted from you, the readers, for our enduring You Were There pages.

Linda Carlson explains the story behind these pictures: “I became a Grand Prix fan as a schoolkid growing up in Indiana. When the ‘British invasion’ of the mid-1960s occurred at the Indy 500, only to be followed by the movie Grand Prix, I found myself hooked on the sport and have stayed that way for these many years.

“My family moved to Western New York state in the late 1960s and I experienced true serendipity when I discovered Watkins Glen was only hours away from our house. I saw every GP at the Glen from 1968 to the end in 1980, and also attended GPs at Mosport, Montreal, Detroit, Long Beach and Brands Hatch. I dragged Gary along to his first GP at the Glen in ’71 and luckily he became a fan as well.”

The shots you see here, originally taken on slide transparencies by both Linda and Gary, sat at the back of a closet for 20 years and have never been published — until now. We’re grateful to the Carlsons for sharing their special personal archive.

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