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A life behind the lens

2 years ago

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Peter Robinson | Journalist


24 February 2022

The image is as vivid today as it was 60 years ago when I first saw the photograph – and knew in that moment I would always love motor racing. Peter Collins’ head is in darkness, the peak of his flimsy helmet outlined against the dry grass. His wrists are exposed, his hands covered only by small driving gloves.

Collins is holding the Nardi wheel at a quarter to three, but turning into the corner at half past 12, his left arm running straight to the top of the four-spoke wood-rim wheel. The instruments are almost as pin sharp as the black horse in the centre of the steering wheel.

The photograph perfectly captures, in a single frame, all the passionate atmosphere and drama of the Mille Miglia, Italy’s famous sports car race. I remember thinking that the picture had been taken only for me. That nobody else understood its significance or the emotion it conveyed.

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