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Why, oh why isn’t motorsport like it used to be?

Remember when motorsport had soul? In a racing world of access no areas, drivers who are as characterless as many of the circuits they drive around and hybridised cars that are not even loud, let alone deafening, there’s never been a better time to cast your mind back to the golden eras of the past…

A new book from the French publishing house Éditions Cercle d’Art titled Car Racing 1967 comprises a wealth of wonderfully evocative photographs from the 1967 season in the famous DPPI agency archives. Mixing black-and-white and early colour images, the largely unpublished photographs capture the most beautiful cars, the brave, brazen personalities who risked their lives driving them and the circuits that, despite their shocking danger, were (and, in some cases, remain) utterly magical places to stage motor races. 

There’s ‘Quick Vic’ Elford in the cockpit of his Porsche 911 rally car, customary cigarette pursed between his lips; Carroll Shelby looking somewhat concerned with Dan Gurney in the pit lane at Le Mans; and the chaotic start of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, where the photographers were able to get as close as they dared to the braying pack as it roared passed. Arguably more prevalent is the cavalier manner in which the races – be it Formula 1, sports cars or rallying – were held and the powerful human stories that are told in many of the atmospheric images. 

Additionally, there is anecdotal commentary from Johnny Rives, a mainstay of the motorsport circus since the early 1960s, and Manou Zurini, who was DPPI’s first photographer. The result is an intimate glimpse into the world of motor racing in 1967 and a greater feel for what the former heroes of ‘our’ sport were really like. The 252-page tome will be available to buy from March 2020, priced at 95 euros. There will also be a limited-edition volume strictly reserved to 200 copies, each accompanied by an original DPPI photograph. 

Photos: Éditions Cercle d’Art © 2020 

If you’d like to do more than read about motorsport in the 1960s and channel your inner Stirling Moss or Bruce McLaren, you can find a broad range of historic racing cars from the period listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.