Photography Posts

Auto-Archives Image of the Month — Remembering Daytona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Last year’s Daytona 500 Grand National Winner, Marvin Panch, who copped first place in the automobile racing classic with a record 149.601 miles per hour poses with 1962 Dodge Dart which he will drive in this year’s race February 18th.

Watching the Daytona 500 last weekend got us thinking about past Daytona 500 races and some of the stars of the day that we have forgotten. A delve into the archive produced this image of NASCAR legend Marvin Panch alongside a rather ‘stock’ looking Pontiac.

“Pancho,” most well known for his 1961 Daytona 500 victory driving for Smokey Yunick, scored 17 victories in his 15 years of racing in the NASCAR series. Driving for Wood Brothers Racing from 1962-66, Panch also had 21 poles and 126 top ten finishes in his Cup Series racing career. He finished his career driving for Petty Enterprises.

Panch’s 1961 Daytona 500 win was his first victory in NASCAR’s top division since 1957, establishing what was then a speed record for a 500-mile race at 149.601 mph. This record pace was no doubt helped by the fact that, incredibly, the entire 500-mile race was run without a single caution flag period. The caution free event was one of only three times that the iconic race ran the entire distance under green, with 1959 and 1962 being the only other two times it occurred.

“I was just setting a steady pace,” Panch modestly explained to the Daytona Beach paper, hours after his victory in a year-old Pontiac Catalina, the only non-1962 car in the field. Marvin took the lead on lap 187 of the 200 lap race when pole sitter and race leader ‘Fireball’ Roberts suffered a blown engine, and completed the race on just one change of tires. This would be the first of just three victories for Pontiac in the legendary Daytona 500, Fireball Roberts took a much deserved win for Pontiac in 1962 and Cale Yarborough the only other victory for the marque in 1983.

Just two years after his historic victory, on February 14th, 1963 at Daytona International Speedway, Panch escaped death in a fiery crash, driving an experimental Ford-powered Maserati in a test session. He suffered serious internal injuries and severe burns to his back, neck and hands. Among his rescuers was a South Carolinian racer named Tiny Lund, who won the Carnegie Medal for heroism for his actions. “We just jumped in and gave him a hand,” Lund told the Daytona Beach News-Journal shortly after the crash. “Marvin would have done the same for us.” Just ten days later, Lund drove the Wood Brothers No. 21 entry earmarked for Panch, to his first premier series victory in the 1963 Daytona 500.

After a hospital stay of several weeks, Panch announced in late April that he would return from his injuries in June at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s annual 600-mile race. He closed the 1963 season with three pole positions, a victory at North Wilkesboro Speedway in September, and top-10 finishes in all 12 of his starts for the remainder of the year.

Panch concluded his final year of competition for a variety of car owners, scoring his final victory in the World 600 at Charlotte. He announced his retirement from the sport on Dec. 6, 1966 at age 40, telling The Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald that his only regret was not winning at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR’s first superspeedway. Panch ruled out a comeback attempt, even though he declared his health the best it had been since claiming his lone Daytona 500 triumph. “I don’t have much more to gain by racing,” he told the Spartanburg paper. “Actually, I’ve been thinking about quitting for about a year. Just waiting for the right time.”

In 1963 Panch was presented the Myers Brothers Award to honor his outstanding contributions to the sport of stock-car racing, in 1987 was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and in 1998 he was named one of the top 50 drivers by NASCAR.

On Dec 31st 2015, following Panch’s death at the age of 89, NASCAR released the following statement. “For more than 60 years, Marvin Panch was a familiar and friendly face around NASCAR and Daytona Beach. He was one of the true pioneers of the sport, winning races across several NASCAR divisions, including the 1961 Daytona 500. As one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, he represented the sport with class both on and off the track. Marvin will be missed dearly, especially as we approach Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, where he was a fixture.”

Auto-Archives Image of the Month — Raybestos Brake Pad

4/15/1971
News Release from Raybestos

RAYBESTOS Disc Brake Pads taken from Al Unser’s winning car (ABOVE) in the 1970 Indy 500 are contrasted with a new and unused Raybestos disc brake pad. Note the very slight wear on the pads which braked Unser’s Johnny Lightning Special as it raced 500 miles to victory in the 1970 Classic. The minimal amount of wear is attributed to Raybestos’ wonder compound R-4528-19M, a special formulation designed to work more efficiently at the high braking temperatures (as high as 1200 degrees) experienced in Indianapolis type racing. Raybestos disc bake pads have been on the winning Indy 500 car for the last 14 years.

indy500_ticket_1971

Sam Hanks, 1957 Indy 500 winner and a Raybestos consultant, says, “the pads used on my car wouldn’t last ten laps at today’s speeds.” Hanks drove his 350 horsepower car to victory at an average speed of 135.60 compared to last year’s winning average speed of 155.749.

indy_500_1970-05-30

More conservative Warren Jensen, Raybestos Research Director, figures pads made from R-4528-19M perform better and wear about five times longer at today’s speeds than would pads made from the previously used material.

Meet Modern Mattel Matchbox Maven John Lambert

lamley group matchboxWe have a new expert on board to help us wrangle one of the most popular diecast brands into shape in our Catalog. John Lambert will be member of hobbyDB’s Advisory Board as an expert on newer Matchbox vehicles.

matchbox ford mustang police car

Lambert started the Lamley Group as a blog with David Tilley to discuss just about any brand of diecast vehicles. (The Lamley name combines part of each of the surnames.) Their blog evolved mostly into musings about the newer Mattel era Matchbox cars.  “We started it mainly as a joke when we realized that he and I both had a knowledge of Mattel era Matchbox that matched the knowledge of some of the Regular and Superfast-era experts. Nothing came of it until I decided to start a blog to showcase my photos.”

His pictures aren’t just well-lit and focused, they are often creatively staged with scenery and props, such as this dealership diorama full of Toyota Land Cruisers.

matchbox toyota land cruiser

As for his favorite all time casting, well that’s a moving target. “I’ve tried hard to pick one favorite casting, and it’s near impossible… One day it’s the BMW 1M, but I have a feeling the upcoming ’71 Nissan Skyline will take its place.”

He displays a “small portion of my collection loose on custom wall cases”, in his Salt Lake City home. How many Matchbox models would you guess he has? “I have no idea.  I have never counted. I am probably a little afraid to know.”

In 2013, Lambert was named the 8th “Matchbox Ambassador To Collectors” at the annual Matchbox Collector’s Community Hall International Gathering Of Friends.

matchbox off road fire engine

Diecast – There’s more to it than you think…

I remember setting up and taking the first few 1:64 scale diecast pictures that I shot back in 2009. My desk was by a window in my office. I would shoot pictures on a piece of white printer paper only when the sun was shining. At that time, it was all that I had. We had an old Polaroid ‘point-and-shoot’ that we used as a family camera – I would borrow it and burn through countless AA batteries…

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I began participating on a few forums and was floored by some of the images I was seeing from others. Quickly, I upgraded my setup. I have always been interested in the whole DIY (Do It Yourself) thing so I decided to build myself a lightbox. Halfway through 2010, I purchased my first DSLR and tripod. This enabled me to do many more things than what the trusty old Polaroid was capable of. I could go on and on about equipment and lighting setups but let’s talk about the subject. Diecast.

I started collecting redlines back around the same time I started the whole photography thing. History has always been an interest of mine and that led me to think….very few of my redlines are in ‘mint’ condition, but each one has a story to tell.

classic-32-ford-vicky-ig

At one time they were new. Brilliant. Perfect. Hanging on the pegs at the local store, various hues shining bright in all their glory. Since then, days and days of play have taken their toll. Their magnificence is now long gone. ‘Beaters’. ‘Junkers’. ‘Fillers’. ‘Perfect for restoration’. These once loved toys are now referred to as many different names. The paint may be scratched, faded, and dull. The axles are bent and a wheel or two may be missing. The beauty – long faded away – but yet these toys are survivors.

broken-daytona

The damage they wear is unique to their history, similar to how a scar is to you. That scar happened in a specific place and time. It can be linked to an event. When you look down on that blemish you tend  to remember what you were doing and where you were when you got it. These toys have a similar story to tell, yet they have no voice. In their silence, all they can do is lend themselves to our imaginations and ask for us to interpret their exclusive story in any way we’d like.

kid-paint-DCP

Photography has taught me to see everyday things in a whole different way. I challenge you to take a minute and really look at your collection. If you are fortunate enough to still have some cars from your childhood, step back and remember those moments and listen. I bet quiet a few of them have a story to tell.

Shoot Your Collectibles Like a Pro

I write about old (pre-1940) and antique (true centenarians) on my blog and since I’m a retired photographer, I thought I would share some techniques to help you take better pictures of your collectibles.

Photographic Lighting
Let’s take a look at a Hubley Pile Driver Truck I bought recently. I use tungsten quartz lights called “focusing spots”. Of course, any lighting will do. It’s usually better to use indirect sunlight, since this light will have less contrast, and record the bright areas (highlights) and the dark areas (shadows) much better than bright and direct sunlight.

I used 2 lights for the first set of photos to illustrate some basic principles for photographing a toy. The first light that was high and to the left of the toy, created the direction and depth to the toy. The second light (to the right and lower) added detail into the dark shadow areas. This allowed the camera to capture the overall detail of the toy best.  I also added a few silver reflectors to add some extra bright spots (highlights) to the toy.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-1Here is the first light (high and to the left). It’s called the “main light”, and it’s purpose is to create the 3D (depth) and mood for the photo.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-2This light was positioned to the right and lower. It’s purpose is to add light into the shadows. It is less bright than the “main light” so that the main light will still create the depth of the image. Also, in a photo, you want to only see the effect of one light, since we only have 1 sun.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-3This photo presents a silver reflector card. You can use aluminum foil glued to a piece of cardboard. In this case, I use the discarded silver foil on cardboard boards that come with smoked salmon or trout.  The silver cards add some extra bright areas or sparkle to the toy truck.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-4In this photo, you can see how I used 2 reflector cards. I also used a plastic coin-filled champagne bottle and an empty plastic nit container to support the reflectors.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-5You can see the double weights of the pile driver in this photo.
I also originally purchased this toy because it was unique. It’s a pile driver and originally it had a string attached to the top driver part.  The toy also came with smaller pointed “poles” made of wood. They would be placed under the driver, and as the driver was release by a cord, the heavy weights came down, and drove the piles (pointed poles) into the ground.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-6You can see the double cast wheel where the sting would wind around and pull up the 2 weights. Once the 2 weights hit the top, the weights could then fall (one actually released from the other). And hit the pile (wood pole). Doing this repeatedly would eventually force the pole into the ground.

Toy Photo Details
When you are photographing a toy, or anything, it’s important to present some of the details of the toy for the viewer or buyer to see. Also, it’s crucial to show the condition as honestly as possible.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-7This photo of the side of the truck shows you the detail of the panel sides that were  cut out separately (pressed steel) from the truck chassis.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-8This photo shows you the front of the pile driver where it fits into slots of the truck. Also shown are 5 truck roof lights that were cast into the detail.

Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-9This photo presents the nicely-detailed cast iron front fender and grill of the truck.Hubley Pile Driver-PSCR-10A close-up of the side of the truck

In 1965, this nice toy sold at the suggested retail price of $3.98. When you look at the nice details, the components, and the time that it would take to assemble the toy, it certainly was well worth the price at the time. Good photography will increase your chance of getting a good price for your collectibles (or enjoy showing it to others online).