In the hills of New Hampshire, off the beaten path, lies a small airport that houses some of the rarest automobiles in the country. My first visit to this majestic garage was back in 2015 when I was sent to photograph the Brough Superior car (1 of2) for The Boston Cup. The owner pulled me aside and asked if I like supercars. But why, of course! He opened the door and turned on the overhead lights. My jaw hit the floor when right in front of me sat this gorgeous private plane and directly behind it sat a magnificent Ferrari F40, the pinnacle of 90’s supercars. You could wave a hand in front of my face and I wouldn’t have flinched. I was completely star struck! I could hear the twin turbo 2.9 litre V8 ripping and roaring even with the car sitting completely motionless.
Upon leaving for the day I told him I would like to come back to photograph this monstrosity of a machine when the time was right. A year later I was given that opportunity. Time was of the essence as he was very busy and I only had a 3-hour window.
As always I needed an assistant and once again I brought my friend Karthik Bhaundry. Karthik is as a car designer and knows that to proceed to the future you need to know the past. You can only get so far by seeing photographs in a book, but to see, touch, and ride in the actual cars, that is when your imagination can run wild and be inspired to create something new.
As we lined up my Mini (the camera car) and the Ferrari F40 on the runway, one in front of the other, I opened up the hatch and climbed into the rear. We had the whole runway to ourselves and we decided to set the speed to about 50 mph. It was quite bumpy being an emergency landing area. We did a couple of passes to get the rolling shots and then proceeded to do the same to capture some video. I asked the owner if he could take Karthik for a a ride down the tarmac. He was more than willing and I went to the passengers side and opened the door “forcing” Karthik to get in. His reaction was priceless. The look of disbelief and confusion like he just won the lottery.
As soon as he clicked the buckle in, there was no countdown to his rocket ship ride. Pebbles pelted my shins as it leaped forward trying to strip the pavement down to dirt. You would think there would be a massive growl coming from the V8 but all you could hear was the turbos spooling a quarter mile away, reaching a speed of around 120mph.
Karthik returned and looked like he just got back from the future. There might as well have been smoke pouring out of the car as he got out of the rocket. I wanted a smile like his, so I climbed in and went for a ride, too.
Setting the car up on the runway to photograph the interior, I noticed using the wide lens that my car was visible in the photograph. Kindly asking the owner of the Ferrari to move it he informed me that I only had 25 minutes to photograph the car before he had to meet with a client. Hearing the rush of air dumping several times out of a wastegate, I notice my car is off on a joyride. It hit me like a brick! All of my camera gear including the lens needed to finish the shoot was being thrown around the back of my car, that he had taken, without permission. My cell phone was in my car, and I had no way to contact him for the 20 minutes he was gone. The F40 sat in front of me with the keys in the ignition. Being respectful I found myself some shade at a nearby hanger and waited for his return. As you can imagine I was kind of perturbed but didn’t let it show. I was able to finish up the shoot but not to the quality that I wanted since I did not have my equipment and time.
Edited by: Stephanie Montaquila