You were there...
Starting off on Army leave at the 1956 German GP, before crossing the Atlantic for Watkins Glen in ’71
Two months on from featuring consummate historic racer Willie Green in Motor Sport, it’s time for big brother Christopher Green, who now lives in Winchester, to take his turn. “In August 1956 I was in the Army, stationed at Oldenburg in Northern Germany,” he says. “The opportunity arose for some of us from my regiment to go to the Nürburgring to watch the grand prix, and so we drove down on Saturday, pitched camp on the inside of the circuit and went back to the Wildes Schwein in Adenau for a convivial evening. The morning was beautiful and we had only a few feet to walk to the side of the track leading down to Adenau Bridge from Wehrseifen. Even with a very ordinary 35mm Voigtlander camera it was possible to get some decent photographs, because as you can see spectators could get very close to the action.”
Some years later Mr Green was back, with his little brother: “Willie was still at school. He had to endure two laps in my Mangoletsi-modified Mini which, as he reminded me, I had bent a bit on a Ford Zephyr in Switzerland. He was quite nice about it, but of course he has learned a lot since then!”
These pages are always particularly well served as far as road racing in the United States is concerned, and this month we have a batch that were shot during the 1971 Grand Prix meeting at Watkins Glen by Douglas Snyder of San Pedro. California.
“I really enjoy the look back at the past every month.” says Mr Snyder. “Watkins Glen 1971 was my first GP and my first chance to see all my heroes in person. All these pictures were taken at Friday practice – in those days it was possible to sneak into the pits without credentials.
1971 was the first year of the lengthened Watkins Glen, and the pits and garage areas were new also. I was chased out of the pits, but not before taking these pictures.”
Indeed, the pit and garage areas look extremely scruffy, especially in the shot taken of Clay Regazzoni’s Ferrari below. Mind you, the mechanics weren’t exactly dressed up to the nines either. We particularly liked the shot of Mark Donohue lost in thought, while of Chris Amon Mr Snyder says: “He was not in a good mood, and is giving me a dirty look, as I remember.”