These heretofore-unseen pictures illustrate a time that was unique. As the years have swept past I’ve come to appreciate how lucky I was to have been there to capture many of those moments on film.” -Jesse Alexander.
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Jesse Alexander has captured some of the most unforgettable moments in motorsports history on film. From his revealing portraits of famous drivers to his vivid images of action at Le Mans and classic grand prix circuits, his work has appeared in countless magazines, books, galleries, and museums. Many of his images-such as his famous portrait of Jim Clark, or his behind-the-scenes shots of the Ferrari and Porsche teams, have become icons in their own right.
But these well-known images represent only a small portion Alexander’s total body of work. For every photograph that racing fans already know and love, there are thousands more that have remained largely unseen. Inside The Archives brings the best of these rare images to light for the first time, revealing a fresh, often unexpected side of Alexander’s art and the world of cars and racing.
Some are new takes on classic events, such as a sweeping shot of Stirling Moss leaping into an Aston Martin DB3 at Le Mans, or the procession of red Ferraris lined up for the start at the Targa Florio. But many others treat the reader to unusual cars, lesser-known drivers, and startling settings that have never appeared in Alexander’s other books. There’s the innovative, championship-winning Vanwall driven by Stuart Lewis-Evans at the 1958 Grand Prix of Morocco, a race that would prove fatal for the Englishman. There are the beautifully prepared Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-types waiting to face American Indy cars at Monza’s short-lived “Race of Two Worlds” in 1957. And in a stunning departure from the pageantry and lush scenery found at so many European venues, there is a startling mix of home-built hot rods and exotic land-speed racers set against the otherworldly background of the Bonneville salt flats in 1965.
Regardless of the subject or setting, each of the images in Inside The Archives reflect Jesse Alexander’s unique gifts as a photographer as well as a fascination with the world or motorsports that has endured for more than half a century.