Wonderful to see Michael Turner (right) in Monaco (above with Paul-Henri Cahier) – particularly on the occasion of McLaren’s 50th birthday. I may be wrong, but I don’t think too many of the people closely associated with the original McLaren F1 team are in town – apart from Michael, of course, and I think Howden Ganley – so I’m hoping that there’ll be a nice party – featuring Michael – to celebrate. Having said that, all seems quiet down McLaren’s end of the F1 paddock.
Anyway, Michael is in good form and is still working prolifically (when he’s not flying his Chipmunk).
He reminded us – Paul-Henri Cahier and I – about that 1966 Monaco GP: “I had designed the badge for Bruce, featuring the Kiwi, and also the maroon livery on the Group 7 sports car. Bruce then asked me to do a scheme for his new F1 car. I did so, but when I arrived in the pit lane I couldn’t see it. The car was simply white with a green stripe down the centre. I asked Bruce what had happened. ‘Michael,’ he said, ‘I’m so sorry. We were going to do the car in your livery but then John Frankenheimer came along and offered us a lot of money to paint it white with a central strip for this film he’s making with MGM. It was an offer we couldn’t refuse…'”
The film, need I say, was Grand Prix – and Bruce’s McLaren would become Pete Aron’s (make that James Garner’s) “Yamura”. Michael took it all with good grace, of course, but was determined not to let “his” livery fade away. Commissioned shortly afterwards to create the official poster for the 1966 German GP, Michael inserted the “correctly-liveried” McLaren in behind John Surtees’ Ferrari.
It’s a shame we don’t see more of Michael’s work in 2016 – although I did take this shot in a local cafe here. On the left is the official poster for the 2016 Monaco Historics (based on Michael’s painting for the 1965 Monaco GP programme); on the right is the 2016 Monaco GP poster. Which is the more memorable?
Images: LAT Photographic