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Scoop! The history of car spy photography

7 months ago

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James Mills | Journalist


6 November 2023

Jim pulls on a freshly laundered and starched crisp white shirt, flicks up the collar and fastens a thin, black tie. His grey trousers are freshly pressed, black shoes are shining and there’s a pen holder in his shirt pocket. On go a set of glasses, while a clipboard jammed with papers completes the look.

He gets into his car and drives nine miles into the heart of Detroit’s east side, to a tired looking Quonset hut – a type of Nissen hut – just off Jefferson Avenue, one of the city’s main roads. He needs to get into the building, and the private photography studio inside, but the only way in is through reception and past the receptionist whose job it is to keep outsiders, well, outside.

No problem. He walks in, bold as brass.

‘May I help you?’ asks the young, female receptionist. ‘Thanks,’ shoots back Jim, ‘just here to check on the Charger progress.’ And without breaking his stride, he walks through to the studio, and finds what he’s come for: the new Dodge Charger, still a year away from showrooms.

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