BUT DOES ANYONE KNOW AN ARTIST NAMED 'OAKLEY?'
I am fortunate to know many people in the world of auto racing and the motor sport generally. Inside the circle are some I consider to be real friends.
One of them is Paul Madder, a brilliant photographer who has an extensive catalogue, a few examples of which are published below.
In addition, he collects racing memorabilia: prints, in particular. Which is the real reason for this post today.
Among the photographs he’s taken himself is one that shows a young James Hunt in all his glory, surrounded by beautiful women.
Another shows two legends of the glory days of F1 in the 1960s and ‘70s – Ken Tyrrell and Colin Chapman – in conversation at a Grand Prix in Europe.
Three others are connected to that awful day in 1976 at the Nurburgring in Germany when Niki Lauda was nearly burned to death. One shows a grim Brett Lunger, who was one of four drivers to pull Lauda out of his car, riding on the back of a wrecker that’s returning his damaged car to the garage area (Lauda and Lunger had collided, starting the accident). Another is a portrait of little Arturo Merzario who, along with Lunger, Harald Ertl and Guy Edwards, saved Lauda’s life that day. The last one is a photo Madder took of Lauda before the race that nearly killed him.
The real reason I’m posting this photographic blog today, however, is to publish four racing and rally prints from the 1960s. Two of them are signed by an artist named 'OAKLEY.'
Paul is keen to find out about Oakley. Who he (or she) is? Where he lives and so-on. It's a long time ago, but the prints might trigger a memory.
If anyone knows, or has suspicions, I would ask them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass on the correspondence to Paul. And if 'Oakley' is identified, I will report back on that.
Meantime, I have been working on a book about Canadian motorsport for the past six years, which I will finish one of these days, and Paul has kindly given me some of his best photos to use as illustrations.
I’d better get cracking and finish that book. If these photos serve to whet your appetite - well, as they say – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
"LITTLE" ARTURO MERZARIO, RIGHT (REAL NAME ARTURIO MERZARIO), STOPPED TO HELP PULL NIKI LAUDA FROM HIS BURNING CAR AT THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX IN 1976. OTHER DRIVERS TO HELP WERE BRETT LUNGER, HARALD ERTL AND GUY EDWARDS. (PHOTO, COPYRIGHT PAUL MADDER)