12 Months of Can Am Legends
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Thu, Oct 15, 2015
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Product Review VELOCITY Heroes of American Racing Historic Auto Racing Calendar 2016 Heroes of the Can Am 50th Anniversary Special Photos and notes by Pete Lyons Open calendar and photo: 17” x 22” Main photos: 11” x 17” Published by Octane Press, Austin, Texas 78704 ISBN - 10: 1-937747-49-7 ISBN – 13: 978-1-937747-49-7 $29.95 U.S. Review by Doug Stokes It is my unshakeable belief that this fellow named “Pete Lyons” has secretly developed some sort of personal time travel machine… how else could he have taken these twenty-five (never before published together in calendar form) incredible, indelible images the greatest racing cars and drivers of the iconic Canadian-American Challenge Cup? … Each photo looks as though it was just taken last weekend. The smell of tortured brake pads and the fearsome sounds and acrid smell of smoking hot 600 cubic inch/thousand-horsepower monster motors having just now stopped reverberating in our ears and searing our lungs. 2015 is the fiftieth anniversary of the legendary unlimited sports car racing phenomena that swept across North America stocked to the gunnels with machines that regularly, annually, and easily shattered speed records at every venue they visited. This spectacular calendar is a beautiful reminder of those animals and the brave men who put the boot to them. The storied Can-Am Series was where cutting edge aerodynamics and full ground effects were first really put to use. This is where good racers became great and the great ones became immortals … This calendar is the visual proof of that claim. Pete Lyons calls his offering by precisely the right name: “Velocity” that’s what Can Am racing was all about and that’s what his camera has frozen perfectly here. Every driver pictured in this very large format calendar is a true “one-namer”. No racing fan is going to ask: “… Who?” with the names Donohue, Follmer, Gurney, Hall, Hulme, Koveleski, McLaren, Motschenbacher, Oliver, Parsons, Revson, and Surtees emblazoned on the sides of the twelve Can-Am cars celebrated in this collection. If you’ve seen a Lyons calendar in the past, you already know that the amazingly sharp and evocative main images will knock your eye out … but you have another treat coming as each month rolls on. There’s a small black and white shot of each featured driver and Pete Lyons’ own personal reminiscences about that driver and that their record as a driver in this remarkably competitive series. Lyons was there, he covered those races in words and pictures. He was an integral part of the movement … he lived it. The debate over whether Pete Lyons is a great photographer who can write exceedingly well or a great writer who also takes very, very good photos has raged among his legions of fans for many years. In my case, when I see twenty-five photos like these and then read each of the accompanying mini-bios, I know that this guy is a true master of both forms; a perfectly comfortable, totally competent artist when wielding either camera or notepad. The best thing about finding out about this beautiful calendar here on LACar.com is that we know how to get your copy (or one for a very lucky friend AND yourself) personalized directly by the photographer himself, the redoubtable Pete Lyons. Just go to his site (www.petelyons.com) order yours (and theirs too) and then simply put in the name that you’d like the calendar autographed to on the final page of the order form where it gives you the chance to “review your order”. By the way, Pete still has a (very) limited number of copies of some of his previous year’s Can-Am calendars available on his site. No, 2012 or 13 are not coming back any time soon … But the images are stunning and (as noted above and below) eminently frameable. They are all on his website … Enjoy! -DS *Happily, for those so inclined, each of Lyon’s 12 monthly masterworks is fully suitable for framing. There are two small holes at the very top of each shot for use when hanging the calendar … They could almost be left in without notice, but in no case would cropping them off damage the design or balance of the original photo.