Here’s a magazine cover that inspired me with car photography when I was young. I grew up in the era of Porsche 930 Turbos, Group B rally cars, Escorts and Tyrrell F1 cars. The magazine I read in my bedroom was Cars and Car Conversions, cutting my teeth on articles about porting heads, jetting carbs. This one, titled “Ayrton Senna Rally Driver’ leapt out at me from the newsstands.
Sadly, like so many car magazines, Triple C is no more.
This article was was my all time favourite, “Ayrton Senna – Rally Driver”, written by Senna’s friend, the late Russell Bulgin. Believe it or not, I was so taken with it, I still own my issue today, stashed away with my other favourite motoring covers, never to be sold on eBay.
Bulgin was a superb writer and inspired me in many ways, resulting in my current profession as a writer. From a car photography viewpoint, the cover shot of Senna at the wheel, perfectly lit by fill in flash, must have been a tricky one to pull off with film, but if ever there was a cover shot that sold issues, that must have been the one. Senna was at the top of his game when it was shot, with John Player Special cigarette branded overalls showing how early it was in his career.
He had an intense day in the forests of Wales driving a whole range of what were at the time modern rally cars, combining front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and four wheel drive Metro 4R4. The word was that by the end of the day, his stage times were quicker than the car’s regular driver.
The Triple C masthead was seen on the newsstands under a different name, but then sadly publication ceased once again.
Instead, here’s a Behind The Scenes video of the day, with Ayrton posing for the photo shoot.