It’s important to focus on the positive each year, and 2016 has been a very momentous one for me here at HOONART. In this spirit of this, I’m taking a moment to look back and compile some of my favorite photographs captured this year, new friends I’ve made, and some of the most exciting moments I’ve witnessed in 2016. I’m sharing metadata for these shots as I have them available. If you don’t see them here, I will update this post with the photo’s exposure, aperture, and ISO settings in a day or so when I have some time to look it up.
USAF Thunderbirds flying over the opening of the Daytona 500 race
The crowd went wild during a close photo finish. Denny Hamlin pulled out an extremely close win.
Rolex 24 at Daytona
I felt like my photography really shined at Rolex 24, capturing a few shots where I was just blown away seeing them straight out of the camera. These shots have been edited, as they usually are, but only mildly, mostly to sharpen things up a little.
Number 30 Frikadeli Racing 911 zooming past the ferris wheel at the Rolex24 in Daytona. This was taken at 1/125 at F/5.3 with ISO at 6400, 92mm. This was shot through a chain link fence, but I was able to use some tricks to avoid it being visible in the photo.
The #88 Starworks Motorsport prototype with Maro Engel sitting in it, seeming to be waiting while repairs were made. The old Steve McQueen Le Mans quote came to mind, that “When you’re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.” Judging by the time this was taken, this was to repair the car after a spin due to cold tires. This was taken through the garage window very late at night. I didn’t have the special ticket giving me full access to the garage area, but sometimes you luck out and a good shot happens right through the window.
Corvette Racing’s amazing 1-2 finish at the Rolex 24.
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Two beautiful Miuras sitting on the lawn. The dark green example to the left is an SV model which recently underwent complete restoration to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the debut of the Miura.
They also burned up the grass a little with their exhaust. How cool is that?
Goggles and gloves sitting in a 1955 Swallow Doretti.
Former factory test driver Valentino Balboni driving an orange Lamborghini Miura around Amelia Island. 1/1250 at F/5, ISO 640.
Unrestored interior of a 1955 Pegaso Z-102 Coupe Saoutchik Berlinetta Prototype. The sun added some nice warmth to this shot.
12 Hours of Sebring
The weather was pretty nasty this year at Sebring 12 but I still managed to get this great shot of Alegra Motorsports’ prototype slamming into the dirt on the side of the track, and a fan in the foreground cheering. It was definitely an interesting moment and I still have no idea how I turned the camera on, set focus and took the shot in manual in the little amount of time that I had as the car was skidding off of the track temporarily.
Three Countaches Seen In One Week!
In June, when we were in California, I happened to see and photograph three Lamborghini Countaches in one week, completely by happy accident. Only two of the three were posted here previously. The final one, claimed to be a Walter Wolf special (Walter, not Winston), was seen at the San Diego Automotive Museum. I never got to post the shots from that visit, but I’m showing the Wolf shots here, below. The other cars from that visit will eventually make their way onto my Instagram.
The first Countach I saw during that week in June was on the rooftop parking area of the Petersen Automotive Museum. It was that of Axis Wheels owner, James Chen. And who was talking with him, but RJ de Vera, who I also got to meet later at the Lamborghini Centenario unveiling.
James Chen’s Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole, taken at 1/800 at F/5, ISO250. If you follow classic car blogs, you may have seen this car a few years ago on Petrolicious. The 5000QV is arguably the ultimate form of the Lamborghini Countach. Possessing a 5 liter V12 which is more powerful than the earlier 4 liter cars, and having the distinctive wheel flares and rear wing that were added to the Countach later on in its production run.
RJ de Vera and I meeting at the Petersen during the Centenario unveiling. This was taken by my wife Nina at 1/320 at F/4.5, ISO6400.
Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition on display at Canepa Design. This was taken as part of a quick visit where we only had about an hour to view and take photos at Canepa, as a quick stop along our way down the Pacific Coast Highway.
This is supposedly one of the Countaches that F1 team owner Walter Wolf had customized. I was unsure whether it was real at first glance, because of the black fender flares. Those being added aftermarket, it only makes sense that they might not match the rest of the car. The other odd thing was that if you look at the following photograph, the fender flare has cracked a little. Countaches, being so rare, are usually in better condition. Also, for some reason the back of the car says “5000SS” but I can’t find any record online of that name being used for these cars, so who knows whether Wolf just couldn’t decide on a name or if that was added by a later owner, or if this is not really a Wolf. I couldn’t see the steering wheel very well, but it did not appear customized, so this could also just be an early car with fewer customizations. The sideview mirrors also look different than what I’ve seen on most Countaches, so there are some questions here, but it was still an interesting car to see. Over its shoulder you can see a Bizzarrini roadster which for some reason did not have any wheels or tires installed at the time. These shots were taken at ISO3200 because it was a little dark in there. The Nikon D750 thankfully has good low light performance, so we didn’t end up with much grain even at such high ISO. The museum was tightly packed with automotive treasures, so there wasn’t much room, which meant using a wider angle 24mm lens. This was taken at 1/250 at F/5.
In addition to the cracked fender flare, the wheels look a little rough, but apparently these were individually cast Campagnolo (or possibly Campagnolo style) magnesium wheels. Many of the styling and performance changes that Walter Wolf added to this Countach and two others, would be later adopted by Lamborghini themselves, to become part of the later car’s evolution, as seen on the 5000QV. This car was special ordered with the prototype of the 5 liter engine that wasn’t quite ready for production when the Countach debuted. It also has the flares to house the wider Pirelli P7 tires. Taken at 1/200 at F/5.
A quick glimpse of the rear with its F1-inspired wing (mostly for appearance). Here you can see “5000SS” oddly added to the back. Check out the meat on those tires. Shot at 1/125 F/5, ISO 3200.
RWB Kei Kishi Porsche 911
The Rauh Welt Kei Kishi 911 on display at Spacebar in Orlando, FL on its day of completion. It was still so fresh from everything being buttoned up that some tape had to be left on the front fenders that day due to how hot it was outside.
Akira Nakai arriving in the newly customized 993 Porsche 911. This was a difficult shot to get, because I loved having some of the side of the car in the shot, but it had to be way over-exposed to see Nakai san in the passenger seat. I was able to bring down the highlights in RAW but the color was pretty fried from that. Despite that, I still like how it came out in the end.
I loved the low depth of field in this shot of the classic Toyota Soarer.
Miatas! Miatas! Miatas!
I attended a few Miata events this year including a meet on a rooftop as well as when we all went down to sign the millionth Miata. Loved the way these came out with the sun setting in the backgrounds.
Signing my name on the millionth Miata. This was taken with my iPhone 6S Plus by a Mazda employee who was nice enough to capture the moment for me.
This last shot was actually taken on my iPhone 6S Plus but I think it works great as an ending shot as we bid adieu to 2016 tonight and look forward to a whole new year of opportunities tomorrow.
Stay safe out there and have a happy new year!