Some years ago at some regional race, the Grant family spent a weekend camping up on the hill in the Mosport infield. We shared our favorite spot in the woods with a delightful, long haired gent and his dog. Two year old Shelby, now almost sixteen, had a wonderful time playing with the dog. Over the weekend, I came to learn that this gentleman had spent years as a pro motorsports photographer. He had been away from Mosport for a few years and had come back to see how things had changed. Oh yes, he had also just completed a biography of Canadian racing legend Gilles Villeneuve. His name was Allan De La Plante.
Allan’s book Villeneuve – A Racing Legend has gone on to become one of the most cherished editions in most serious Grand prix enthusiasts’ library.
De La Plante has been shooting hard core sports since the early Seventies, following the Grand Prix circus and the Canadian downhill ski racers known around the world as the Crazy Canucks. He has published books on topics ranging from Pope John Paul II to firefighters and cooking over fire. Perhaps his crown jewel though is the masterfully written, brutally honest book about his good friend from rural Quebec who set the world on fire behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
As one might imagine, a young guy from northern Ontario might have taken part in some pretty incredible scenes on his way to the glitz and glamour that was on offer at the pinnacle of motorsports in the Seventies. We are very excited that Allan has agreed to share some of those stories with our readers here in The Garage! Hold on to your hats, as I suspect we are about to take a wild ride through the wild world of racing’s glory days!
You can read part one of Shutter Speed:from rural Ontario to on your knees in Monaco here