In recent months, I've made the acquaintance of Larry Crane after Richard Mitchell said I should speak to him about his Carrera Panamericana tribute Ford as I was shooting the Carrera documentary at the time. I made contact with Larry and he graciously joined us in the hills of Griffith Park so we could include footage of his car and an interview with him in the Carrera documentary. During lunch at the Figaro Bistrot on Vermont, I discovered we both loved cars to an extraordinary degree and shared an appreciation for David E. Davis, Jr.
In the months following our first meeting, Larry has attended Elysée Wednesday--usually with Ed Niles in tow--and we have exchanged our views on various car-centric subjects. A few days ago, Larry wrote to me saying he was interested in doing a profile piece on me for Westlake Malibu Lifestyle magazine. Why not? It was during the course of his interviewing me that he makes reference to photos he shot of my Ferrari GTO. This took me by surprise and I asked if I could see them. He sent them immediately.
What surprised me was that--though the photos were obviously taken during the time I owned the car (SM1 license plates being the most obvious telltale)--I did not recognize the time and place shown in the photos. Larry remembered. He told me he had snapped the photos in the paddock at Riverside Raceway. That unlocked the memory. I'd driven alone to see a Can Am race and spent most of my time wandering about the garages rubbing elbows with (Sir) Stirling Moss, Brock Yates, Bill Hickman and, of course, the drivers who were racing that day. I remember standing near the end of the back straight watching Dennis Hulme in his amazing McLaren M8D flying towards the braking point for Turn 9.
I wouldn't have imagined that, while I was walking about like a kid in a candy store taking in as many of the sights and sounds of an important race as I could, someone I'd meet a lifetime later would happen upon my car and take the time to photograph it thereby providing me a memory that would have been lost forever had he not done so. I didn't have a camera that day but I am very glad that Larry did. I told him that I really enjoy the fact that the photos show my GTO parked casually between a Ferrari 275 GTB and a 289 Shelby Cobra. Weren't those the days!
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