We must get home …

I enjoy making connections.  The photograph of the Porsche Cars (GB) Ltd Carrera 6, 906-101 was taken at the Oulton Park Tourist Trophy on 29th April 1966 (driven by Peter de Klerk).  The panned image was grabbed at Knickerbrook using a standard lens on a Werra 35mm camera – enlarged by my dad to get closer to the action, this accounts for the ‘artistic’ grain. I was entranced by the lines of this fabulous machine, lines which are much appreciated to this day – the last time this car appeared at Bonham’s, it sold for €579,500 (£483,303).  Picking the right car in the pan can be attributed to the dumb luck of youth.

Porsche 906-101...

I was prompted to find and scan this image because I wanted to find a connection between this and the Porsche 550 Spyder.  Sure enough, both works of automotive art were produced by the one man – Erwin Komenda.   Born in 1904, he died a few months after the Tourist Trophy, on 22nd August 1966 – the Porsche 906 was thus his parting gift to the racing nation, a machine which set the Porsche design language for years to come.

Why the Porsche 550 Spyder?  Because this is the machine, Little Bastard, that James Dean drove to his death in September 1955.  All of this was prompted by watching Life, Anton Corbijn’s film based on the friendship between Life photographer Dennis Stock and James Dean.  This is Dennis Stock telling the story of his relationship with Dean and how he captured one of the most iconic images of the 20th century – Corbijn’s film dramatises this friendship:

We must get home–for we have been away
So long, it seems forever and a day!
And O so very homesick we have grown,
The laughter of the world is like a moan
In our tired hearing, and its song as vain,–
We must get home–we must get home again!

We must get home: All is so quiet there:
The touch of loving hands on brow and hair–
Dim rooms, wherein the sunshine is made mild–
The lost love of the mother and the child
Restored in restful lullabies of rain,–
We must get home–we must get home again!

We must get home again–we must–we must!–
(Our rainy faces pelted in the dust)
Creep back from the vain quest through endless strife
To find not anywhere in all of life
A happier happiness than blest us then …
We must get home–we must get home again!
James Whitcomb Riley

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19 comments

  1. Tish Farrell · June 29

    Thank you so much, Robin, for this wonderful convoy of inter-connections. The Dennis Stock clip is fabulous. So multi-layered. And then the touching final clip with JD reciting the poem.

    • northumbrianlight · June 29

      Thanks Tish, glad you enjoyed it – I recommend the film. Not a classic largely because Dane DeHaan’s protrayal of Dean is slightly off key, but worth a watch (currently free on Amazon Prime). I wonder if you followed the Blaster Bates link to the naming of Knickerbrook – not too blue although he would be considered too non-PC for current tastes. I like him for all the local references – I think he used to live in Wheelock.

      • Tish Farrell · June 29

        Gosh, blast from the past indeed. Blaster Bates – a great favourite of my parents. Even I remember him. Will follow up the link 🙂

      • Tish Farrell · June 29

        What a hoot – Knicker Brook :O

      • northumbrianlight · June 29

        Glad you enjoyed it, Tish 😀

  2. LaVagabonde · June 29

    Nostalgic images, nostalgic words. It seems we spend our lives trying to get home again. Those vehicles sometimes end up sending one home sooner than excepted. 😉

    • LaVagabonde · June 29

      oops *expected*

      • northumbrianlight · June 29

        Thanks Julie, I must admit I enjoy the time travel and the places it takes me – very self-indulgent 😉

  3. Pit · June 29

    Interesting, Robin, how associations work in our brains. 🙂 And thanks for that great picture of the Porsche. I agree with you: those lines are wonderful and can/must still be appreciated today.
    Have a wonderful day,
    Pit

    • northumbrianlight · June 29

      Thanks Pit – my brain is definitely RAM based – random access 🙂 Judging by the Bonham pictures, that 906 looks better now than it did when it was built. Interestingly it was eventually road registered by the next owner, Mike de Udy!
      Have a great day too
      Robin

  4. litadoolan · June 30

    This line made my heart warm ‘We must get home: All is so quiet there:
    The touch of loving hands on brow and hair– ‘ Thank you for this luxurious and engulfing post. I love learning about the cars. Hard to imagine parting with that much dosh for a set of wheels but what a joy to own I’m sure.

    • northumbrianlight · June 30

      Many thanks Lita, glad you enjoyed it – I just hope that 906-101 was bought by an enthusiast to enjoy rather than as investment to lock up in a garage.

  5. littledogslaughed · July 1

    I love reading your stories and hearing about memories. It is like all these disparate threads come sweeping together and intertwine into a very interesting whole-Thanks Robin!

  6. restlessjo · July 2

    It’s strange how some people can leave their mark, despite only being in this world a short time, Robin. Jimmy was definitely one of them. 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · July 3

      Definitely Jo. He was slightly before my time but I have read more on him since watching the film. This is a slightly harsh quote from Bogart but there may be some truth in it: “Dean died at just the right time. He left behind a legend. If he had lived, he’d never have been able to live up to his publicity.”

      • restlessjo · July 3

        Yes, I do think that’s how it is sometimes 🙂

  7. MJF Images · July 18

    Great post Robin!

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