New Photos Surface of Pebble Beach Road Races 1953

Los Angeles based photographer Erik Jensen has dropped a set of never before seen photos of the April 1953 road races at Pebble Beach on his site. Motorsport photography will never again be as good as it was in the era that these shots were taken. No amount of telephoto lenses and levels of zoom will replace the immediacy of these photos—there’s simply no substitution for being able to get closer to the action than contemporary motorsport allows.

Among my favorites of the set is the photo above, which shows Hildebrand’s Nardi-Fiat battling K.J. Davis in his MG TD. Just look at how hard the MG’s suspension is working as Davis tries to catch up. There’s also this fun ‘staged’ shot of Ken Miles crossing the finish line in his Special. He was indeed the winner of the under-1500cc race, but apparently there was no adequate photo captured of the actual race win, so a quick photo-op was thrown together. Hilarious.

Head over to Erik’s gallery for the full set.

DISCUSS (5 Comments)

  1. Mike Jacobsen

    Harlo: I have seen at least one photo of Ken crossing the line, the car a blur (see p. 98 of Art Evans’ “Pebble Beach Remembered”). But this photo probably shows him being welcomed at the start to accept the Cup after his cool off lap rather than being staged as Erik Jensen says–note the two photos that show the ceremony and how muddy the car is! Great set of photos! A couple of errors in the captions are minor. Mike

  2. Bill

    I just scanned 12 or 13 pictures of my uncle, that he took at the 1951 Pebble Beach Road Race – here’s a link to one of them:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgreeneiv/6057572201/in/photostream

    Very interesting bit of auto history this is!

  3. Harlo

    Thanks for sharing the ’51 photos, Bill. I’ve created a new post to point people to your Flickr Set. Fantastic!

    http://thechicaneblog.com/2011/08/22/new-photos-of-1951-pebble-beach-race-surface/

  4. Bill

    Thanks Harlo!

  5. The 1954 Pebble Beach Road Races | The Old Motor

    […] who are well versed in sports car races at the time, can fill us in on more details of this event. The Chicane has some fine photos from 1953 for you to enjoy, along with a link to many more. Thanks to reader John M. Merriness for making us […]

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