For many, many years now scientists and sci-fi writers have been promising us flying cars. But so far, these vehicles have not made an appearance on our roadways or skyways. As a veteran motor sports photographer, however, I can tell you that flying cars do exist, and I have per sally made many sightings at racetracks around the country over the past 30 years. The most recent example was just this past weekend at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama, when the green Ford Mustang pictured above made a brief flight after touching wheels with an Aston Martin shortly after the start of the race.
Over the years, there have been numerous reports of flying cars at an uphill section of the Lime Rock road course in Lakeville, CN. I myself documented several instances of flying cars at tis location, such as the Porsche, pictured above at a Grand-Am race in 2007. A more recent track modification has grounded all the cars for the time being at Lime Rock.
No less than the famous NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace himself has piloted a flying car on more than one occasion. I , among others, recorded his well documented flight of a Pontiac Le Mans at Daytona in 1993. Wallace, however, has yet to "stick" a landing!
One of my earliest photographs of a flying car took place at Daytona in a 1987 Daytona 500 qualifier. Phil Barkdoll slid sideways on the front stretch before, to everyone's surprise, his Oldsmobile headed skyward, the direct result of the recent downsizing of NASCAR stock cars in the 1980's Apparently the smaller, light cars did just fine when running a high speed in a nose-forward attitude. When the cars presented their sides or rears to the wind, however, the drivers quickly became pilots !
SO, while we still await the arrival of flying cars on the public roadways of the world, they are already a fairly common sight on our racetracks, although the flights do not tend to be of very long duration, and landings remain a problem.
I guess it's only fitting that the first entry into my new blog features old race cars. After all I basically got involved in photography 30 years ago to be able to take decent pictures of one of the sports I love: auto racing. Obviously, that wasn't the only reason I first picked up a camera, it certainly figured heavily into it.
For one thing, auto racing lends itself quite nicely to photography, with its bright colors, spectacular action and high emotions. I've photographed hundreds of motor races since 1977 including the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, so when "Rennsport Reunion III" rolled into Daytona International Speedway this past weekend and I was offered a n assignment to work the event, which featured hundreds of historic Porsche race cars and drivers, I jumped at it.
I'd actually photographed many of these machines in the past when they were "racing in anger" as the saying goes, so it brought back many memories.
The photo I've included in this post features the yellow #48 Porsche 917 driven by Jim Torres doing battle with the tiny #4 Porsche 908 of Phil Daigrepont in the Group 4 race on Sunday afternoon. I was struck by the tremendous difference in the size of the two cars as they raced side-by-side around Daytona's famous race course.
The color and history of an event like this recommends it highly to any photographer looking to fill his portfolio with images of these rolling works of art.