Cobra Memorabilia

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Sir

I was very interested to read the article on Graham — son of Michael — Turner in April’s MOTOR SPORT and in particular to see the reproduction of his painting of Phil Hill driving the Cobra at the 1964 Targa Florio.

I enclose a photograph of the painting that Michael Turner did of the Hill Cobra at the same event, which is signed and dated ‘1964’, so it would appear that Graham was celebrating a 25th anniversary of his father’s (and Hill’s) achievement, if my magnifying glass serves me correctly on the more recent painting’s date.

The ‘original’ shows a different location during the event, with a GTO in the background, and I believe that this painting was printed (in reduced size!) as a Christmas card with a worldwide distribution the same year. I was lucky enough to be offered the original painting in 1974, though I tendered it as a (tiny!) down payment against an original Daytona Cobra Coupé that was owned by the same person who possessed the Targa Florio Cobra, in 1979, who lived in Arizona. (Incidentally, some 15 years after the event, the Targa Florio Cobra was still totally original, having only covered the Sicilian mileage from new, and I imagine that this is possibly still the case, eleven years later!)

I therefore sent the painting out to Phoenix, but unfortunately the deal over the Daytona Cobra fell through (it is still the one model that has escaped me within the Cobra marque, and the one that I would most like to add to the collection!), and the painting returned to grace the office wall once again, where it has remained ever since.

Finally, it is interesting to note that Graham’s painting has the village of Cerda as its background, which is almost identical to that shown in Geoff Goddard’s famous photograph of Hill and Cobra, depicted in Georgano’s Encyclopaedia of Motorsport on page 502. In the photograph, however, Hill is fighting the Cobra further through the bend, whilst Graham has based his action a few seconds earlier — much nearer his father’s angle in fact.

In any event, the original (’64) painting is the one piece of Cobra memorabilia that I treasure above everything else!

R. Leach, Hertford Heath, Herts.

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