Seventies Motor Racing

As recorded by Franco Lini with Doug Nye

FOLLOWING ON FROM the success of Sixties Motor Racing, which featured the photography of Michael Cooper, Palawan has turned its attention to the 1970s with a book that showcases a spectacular collection of images taken by Franco Lini.

An intrinsic part of motor racing’s rich fabric for 40 years, Lini even had a stint as Direttore Sportivo of the legendary Scuderia Ferrari, but it’s as a highly respected photo-journalist that he’s perhaps best remembered. The tireless Italian maintained a busy schedule working for Auto Italiana magazine, and renowned motorsport historian and author Doug Nye, who first met Franco in 1966, has carefully curated a selection of his finest photographs to feature in Seventies Motor Racing.

This was an often-turbulent decade in which motorsport was still perilously dangerous and far too many drivers paid the ultimate price. It also saw a rising professionalism and commercialisation, and the beginnings of modern Formula 1 via the growing influence of Brabham team owner Bernie Ecclestone…

But it was also a decade of iconic cars, great drivers and huge technological advances.

In Formula 1, there were the battles between Tyrrell, Lotus and McLaren that led to Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi trading the Drivers’ World Championship between them, the epic duel between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, and a 1979 title for Jody Scheckter that would prove to be Ferrari’s last until the Michael Schumacher era.

In the World Sportscar Championship, enthusiasts were awestruck by the mighty Gulf-JWA Porsche 917s of Siffert and Rodriguez. Despite opposition along the way from Matra, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Alpine- Renault, this was the decade in which the German marque really stamped its authority on sports car racing – between 1970 and 1979, Porsche took five overall wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Franco Lini was there to see it all and record it on his trusty camera – from the Nürburgring and Spa to Le Mans, Daytona, the Targa Florio, and even far-flung rounds of the newly formed World Rally Championship.

In Seventies Motor Racing, Doug Nye presents over 480 of Franco’s wonderful images from circuit, stage, pit and paddock alike. All of them are accompanied by Doug’s uniquely authoritative, informative and entertaining captions, and placed in the wider context of a world that was dealing with war, political turmoil and economic shocks such as the Oil Crisis.

Each of the 1000 numbered copies will also come with The Seventies, an essay by Michael Bracewell on the popular culture of the decade. A renowned writer, novelist and critic, Bracewell has written a number of acclaimed books about art, music and cultural history. Following the release of Souvenir – Bracewell’s look back at the London of the 1970s and ’80s – fellow writer Jonathan Coe said that he ‘proves himself to be nothing less than the poet laureate of late capitalism’.

A beautifully presented record of a transformative period in motor racing history – and in the wider world – Seventies Motor Racing is sure to become a treasured collectors’ item.