Speed Demons


All images courtesy PDNB Gallery / 1stDibs


Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

Jesse Alexander stopped photographing motorsports in the late Sixties,

and turned his camera on remote islands and their avian inhabitants. Perhaps his eardrums were permanently blown. But his body of work remains one of the most impressive records of raw racing history, when men like Stirling Moss and Phil Hill stood the world on its ear with still-unmatched feats of speed. As it goes with such things, it’s the men he photographed whose fame endures, while Alexander’s name is known only to photography buffs. A case of being in the right place at the right time with the right equipment and a damn fine eye, he began by covering the original Carrera Panamericana in 1950.


Alexander then spent many years in Europe covering Grand Prix and the famous long distance races including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, where marques like Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche and Mercedes made their bones. His epic book Monaco: The Golden Age of the Grand Prix with a foreword by Sir Jackie Stewart is sadly out of print, but his Formula One Photographs, 1954-1966 with a foreword by Phil Hill and his 2010 work Inside the Archives are still available. Even better, the PDNB Gallery (Photographs Do Not Bend) in Dallas, TX will sell you an original gelatin silver print, priced at at about $2,000–$2,500 each. Time to find some space on the wall…


Words by JPS for duncan quinn