Louis Klemantaski

THE legendary motor racing photographer Louis Klemantaski has died at the age of 89.

Beginning his career before the outbreak of World War 2 his images of such legends as Caracciola and Nuvolari were ground-breaking in their composition and style, making him rightly the most famous lensman of the age. He was also an accomplished driver himself, competing at Brooklands and befriending the likes of George Abecassis and Louis Chiron.

After the war, during which Klemantaski served on the fringes of the espionage community putting his photographic skills to use 'capturing' the latest technical developments, Klemantaski returned to motor racing to immortalize the days of Ascari, Fangio and Moss.

It was with Ferrari that Klemantaski will be closest associated following his friendship with works drivers Peter Collins and Alfonso di Portago. Klemantaski in fact competed with Collins on the Mille Miglia, finishing second in 1956, and it was the deaths of both di Portago and Collins at the wheel that finally convinced him to turn his back on the sport.

The Klemantaski Collection was sold in 1982, and are one of the most popular and enduring forms of motoring art available today, being reproduced in a plethora of books and prints. The man himself was a regular visitor to historic motor racing events and will be much missed by the sport.

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