We must get home …

I enjoy making connections.  The photograph of the Porsche Cars (GB) Ltd Carrera 6, 906-101 was taken at the Oulton Park Tourist Trophy on 29th April 1966 (driven by Peter de Klerk).  The panned image was grabbed at Knickerbrook using a standard lens on a Werra 35mm camera – enlarged by my dad to get closer to the action, this accounts for the ‘artistic’ grain. I was entranced by the lines of this fabulous machine, lines which are much appreciated to this day – the last time this car appeared at Bonham’s, it sold for €579,500 (£483,303).  Picking the right car in the pan can be attributed to the dumb luck of youth.

Porsche 906-101...

I was prompted to find and scan this image because I wanted to find a connection between this and the Porsche 550 Spyder.  Sure enough, both works of automotive art were produced by the one man – Erwin Komenda.   Born in 1904, he died a few months after the Tourist Trophy, on 22nd August 1966 – the Porsche 906 was thus his parting gift to the racing nation, a machine which set the Porsche design language for years to come.

Why the Porsche 550 Spyder?  Because this is the machine, Little Bastard, that James Dean drove to his death in September 1955.  All of this was prompted by watching Life, Anton Corbijn’s film based on the friendship between Life photographer Dennis Stock and James Dean.  This is Dennis Stock telling the story of his relationship with Dean and how he captured one of the most iconic images of the 20th century – Corbijn’s film dramatises this friendship:

We must get home–for we have been away
So long, it seems forever and a day!
And O so very homesick we have grown,
The laughter of the world is like a moan
In our tired hearing, and its song as vain,–
We must get home–we must get home again!

We must get home: All is so quiet there:
The touch of loving hands on brow and hair–
Dim rooms, wherein the sunshine is made mild–
The lost love of the mother and the child
Restored in restful lullabies of rain,–
We must get home–we must get home again!

We must get home again–we must–we must!–
(Our rainy faces pelted in the dust)
Creep back from the vain quest through endless strife
To find not anywhere in all of life
A happier happiness than blest us then …
We must get home–we must get home again!
James Whitcomb Riley