This is a collection of photographs I shot, mainly through 1950-1956 and then again in 1964, covering the period when the first nine Formula 1 World Champions - Farina, Fangio, Ascari, Hawthorn, Brabham, Phil and Graham Hill, Clark and Surtees - were making Grand Prix history during the transition from front-engined to rear-engined cars. The action took me to Goodwood, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Crystal Place and Le Mans. The collection is a personal view of these times and which I stored away for more than 50 years while my career developed in other directions before making prints available for collectors and enthusiasts via this website. Along the way, that first basic camera was traded up via a Kodak Retina to a Leica 111c, with which the majority of the pictures in this collection were shot. After the RAF, a career in professional photography quickly evolved, but time was always found for some shooting at the circuits until in 1956, I was recruited by Mobil Oil as their new Staff Photographer. My first assignment - at the end of my first week (!) - was to join Donald Campbell's Bluebird team at Coniston when Campbell raised his own World Water Speed Record, an exercise repeated in 1957. At this time, my life moved in other directions, not only my career, but marriage, house building and the arrival of a young family all certainly changed my priorities and I had little time, money or opportunity to exercise my camera at the tracks. It was not until 1964 that I made a return, this time to Brands Hatch for the first Grand Prix on the newly extended full GP circuit, a race which had no less than five drivers who all either had achieved F1 World Champion status or, in John Surtee's case, would by the end of the year. Occasionally, my work at Mobil would take me back to the tracks, as in 1959 when I went to Dundrod in Northern Ireland to photograph John Surtees in his last year on two wheels and winning his seventh championship with the MV Agusta team. Another time was in 1981-1982 when Mobil sponsored the Williams team - the Alan Jones and Keke Rosberg years. But, for me, the period I covered as an enthusiast rather than as part of my work was INDEED a golden era.
More info: www.duerdencollection.com
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