GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Peter Helm at Elysée Wednesday

Last night at Elysée Wednesday, we were joined by Peter Helm who has been a pivotal character in my life in a number of ways. Back in the day, Peter was my companion in many Ferrari adventures with his SWB California spider and my GTO. We had fun on the Sunset Strip, at Willow Springs Raceway and, most famously, on Mulholland Drive. Many readers of this blog will have seen the two videos Peter shot with me as we sped along that famous stretch of road. Shooting those films turned out to be a seminal moment in both my life and career.

A couple of days ago, I was reminded of the notoriety the videos have attained when I emailed the international editor of Octane Magazine in England to ask if he would like a copy of our documentary Carrera Panamericana (1950-54) for review. In spite of the eight hour time differential, I received an immediate reply asking if I was the Stephen Mitchell in the GTO videos on Mulholland (!!). A very enthusiastic exchange of emails ensued with Robert Coucher who drives his cars as hard as we do!

Like me, Peter is seldom far from a camera and continues to chronicle his adventures. Most recently, he flew to a gathering of B-25 Mitchell bombers from World War II. I don't mean to say that Peter took a commercial flight to the event. He flew back in a B-25 and had some great video footage to show our Wednesday gathering. He shot from various locations in the plane whilst airborne--the bombardier's station in the nose, the top gun turret and the rear gunner's seat. Very exciting footage! Two P-51 Mustangs were flying in close formation with the bomber and Peter had some very good close shots of the fighters. In these photos Peter can be seen wearing his B-25 crew jacket.

Peter is one of those irrepressible characters whose enthusiasm for cars, airplanes and adventure is highly contagious. We all find ourselves enjoying life just a little more in his company and I can't think of a higher compliment to offer anyone.

1 comment:

Chad Glass said...

the old war birds are gorgeous, would love to fly in one