Weekend Heroes has got to be the most people focused sports car racing book ever.
Oh sure there’s lots of photographs of cars and then there’s more cars, all decked out in their shiny paint jobs, a hundred or more windshields glaring in the sun, mechanics scrambling under hoods, under a car, somebody’s expensive piece of machinery off-loaded from a boat, for Hawaii’s International Speed Week.
But the photographs of people is what grabs the attention, so why bother with a caption when a photo tells it all; photos never seen before, never ever before published. Count `em! Almost six hundred pix in full screaming color, and over three hundred in black and white.
The photo on page 17 must have been taken by one of their own. Like a pride of lions sitting on the tarmac waiting for the sun to come out, waiting for the hunt; the photographers hailed and recognized in the book were a breed apart; in-your-face Paparazzi not. Hanging off a snowfence, from a tree, they went and were everywhere click clicking away, paying attention, especially to detail, where the real dust and the gravel flew, catching a spectator unaware, the beautiful lady at Stockton in August 1952 …
“Second only to a time machine, this remarkable photographic record presents an amazingly vivid window into 1950s sports car racing in the American west. Tony Adriaensens has done a staggering job searching out the characters, researching the events, and collecting photographs to capture this amateur age of string backs and dusty apexes. The imagery looks stunningly fresh making it easy to slip back and imagine you’re witnessing such young heroes as Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby gunning hard in sporty foreign imports.
Much more than a automotive book, this marvelous production through the wealth of rare photographs, brilliantly celebrates a unique era.”
I'll start with saying I have no affiliation with this book other than knowing Tony Adriaensens and Joel Driskill. I received my copy just after Christmas and have spent several hours each day devouring the three volumes. If you are a fan of 1950's sports car cars in general or American Specials and Kurtis-Kraft in particular, it is a must-have. Considering the First Edition is selling for $1200, it also appears to be a good investment!
WHO'S THE FUCKING DUDE?
Tony Adriaensens was born in April 1966 in Antwerp, Belgium.
Tony is fueled by his passion.
He published his first book (Alleggerita) in 1994.
His hunger for knowledge and determination to turn information into action has contributed to his most recent success Weekend Heroes 2.0.
Tony is a bestselling historical novelist whose books Alleggerita, OttoVu, Weekend Heroes, Ten days in Sicily, Sporterfolge and Weekend Heroes 2.0 have never disappointed anyone, they’re all extraordinary!
SOME OF OUR WEEKEND HEROES
The strength of Weekend Heroes is its remarkable period color photography. All color images in these three volumes were scanned from original 35mm Kodachrome and Anscochrome slides, and 120mm Ektachrome transparencies. Our main source are collections we gathered over the years form amateur photographers (Joe and Margaret Smith, Bob Lytle, Al Long, etc.) who usually wandered around the track and pits shooting pictures. So much different from professional photography who always used black&white film (magazines were not printed in color yet) and had to make sure they had every competitor in action from one or two vantage points. This results in the same images, only with a different car; he had to make sure to have at least on action shot of the eventual winner, something he obviously didn’t know at the start of the race.
Several years ago we invested in the best scanner on the market, a Hasselblad Flextight X1 drum scanner for excellent quality. The results are stunning!
To experience 1950s California sports car racing in vivid color zipps you right back to those days as it it were yesterday. This makes Weekend Heroes unique among motor sport books.
Next to the vivid color photography, corsaresearch also acquired a vast number of large size, 4×5 in. negatives. These were also taken by amateurs carrying the big Speed Graphic cameras. Others come from professional guys like Joe Al Denker whose pictures were used in early issues of Road & Track magazine. These large size negatives give excellent detail and are suitable for double-spread use, always taking care not to ruin the subject in the spine of the book.
Bob Gurr, famous for his connection with the Disney Studios, was a flagman working at both CSCC and SCCA events. He carried around his Leica, again with terrific full action results.
Next to this wealth of period images, we tried to find as many gadgets as possible. Items like pit passes, entry tickets and Mobil key chains specially-made for each individual race meeting give extra color to the b/w pages.
There’s no doubt you will enjoy the new Weekend Heroes over and over again, a true time machine that brings you back to the California sports car racing scene in the 1950s
When Ruth Levy hit Los Angeles in 1956, she did so with a bang! At the first Paramount Ranch meeting in August she took the chequered flag of the Ladies' Race 21 seconds ahead of Linda Scott. She entered Sunday's over-1500cc main (with the men) where she took 11th overall and first in class with her Porsche Speedster.
Here Ruthie sits behind the wheel of John Edgar's Porsche 550 Spyder - again at Paramount Ranch, but this time in March 1957 - where she finished first overall in the Ladies' go. These were happy times, especially for Ruth after flipping the Edgar Ferrari 4.9 at New Smyrna Beach exactly a month before these Paramount races. She wasn't sure she would ever race for Edgar again after that huge embarrassment. But she did and this 550 was the only car the Edgar team brought to that race weekend at Paramount.
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