Jim Miner’s 1960 Nurburgring 1000km

These photos shot by Jim Miner at the 1960 running of the Nuburgring 1000km caused quite a sensation when his daughter, Kat Miner, uploaded them to her Flickr. There was a tremendous outpouring of interest from the vintage racing community, and it’s easy to see why.

Even in today’s Hipstamatic and Instagram faux-vintage photo effects, there’s something noticeably otherworldly and atmospheric about these shots captured by the young serviceman stationed in Frankfurt. The colors are somehow both vivid and lush, but also cold and chillingly dramatic. The blue tones are amplified, making the greens so vibrant, but also giving everything a foreboding mood. They are haunting.

Even though there’s only these few photos from the day, they hint at a wonderful story. Partly, I think that the fact that there’s so few is what captures my imagination about the event. There’s no shortage of photos from any modern event. Everyone has a camera in their pocket and many spectators spend the bulk of the race looking at the action through their phone’s screen while they snap away hundreds or thousands of images.

These photos though—and I readily acknowledge I’m reading more into this than I should—seem considered and carefully shot. After all, film and processing was never cheap enough to click away with the fury of a digital photographer.

Whatever the case, let’s at least sit back and appreciate how marvelous these photos are… And keep scanning those old slides and negatives, people!

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