A PASSION FOR PORSCHE
high action” television commercials.
Agencies hire me to visually translate their
product, and it usually involves a lot of
speed. I’d say two or three times a year,
people mention the Le Mans movie and
ask if it’s familiar to me. It’s always a funny
moment, because it’s like they’d just
discovered it and I feel like I’ve been living it
for the last 30 years of my work and driving.
My philosophy is that the camera
should be a participant, not just a
spectator. This ideal was what struck me
in the movie Le Mans. Cameras were
attached to the cars everywhere and
elaborate moving rigs allowed us to feel
the speed of the Mulsanne straight. The
production company even entered a
Porsche 908 that had been converted to
a camera car. It ran the full duration of
the race, and even though it had to pit
often to change film magazines, it still
managed a remarkable top- 10 finish.
The perspective of speed that I try to
have in my work today always seems to
come back to that movie theater of my
youth. People hold the film up as a
standard. The question and the
comments are the same: “Is it as good
as the movie Le Mans?” I love it because
that single statement says so much to
me about racing and Porsche and
filmmaking – all very close to me.
Because Steve McQueen was a racer,
his perspective and influence made a film
like no other – one that’s unequaled even
today. For me, I try to put a little Le Mans
into everything I do. You want to live it,
you want to feel it – and that’s what the
movie did and why it continues to inspire.
into everything I do”
Thanks to the Le Mans movie,
baby-blue Gulf Porsche 917Ks are
so indelibly etched in our collective
memories that the real winner of
the 1970 Grand Prix de l’Endurance
is something of a footnote.
In reality, none of the three
John Wyer Automotive-run Gulf
cars finished. The No. 20 917K,
driven by McQueen/Delaney at
the start of the movie, was best of
a lackluster bunch, completing
just 156 laps (BELOW).
Instead, Porsche took its first
overall Le Mans win courtesy of
the 343 laps logged by the
No. 23 Porsche KG Salzburg 9 17K
of Richard Attwood and Hans
Herrmann (ABOVE). The latter
had promised his wife he’d retire if
he ever won Le Mans – which he
duly did with immediate effect.
THE REAL 1970 WINNER