Born in Marseille in 1927, the son of a French general, Bernard Cahier attended his first race at an early age when his father took him and his older brother Guy to a race at a now defunct track called Miremar.
“I was about 5 years old at the time, and we sat high in the grandstands overlooking the circuit, which was an Indianapolis type oval. There were Alfa Romeos and Mercedes, and of course being France, a lot of blue Bugattis, driven by men like Louis Chiron and Rene Dreyfus. It was the great Tazio Nuvolari at the wheel of an Alfa who won, ahead of the French driver Raymond Sommers in a similar car, then Chiron and Dreyfus. The noise of the engines, the roar of the crowd and the fantastic smell of Castrol R was an intoxicating mixture that I would not soon forget.” Forget indeed.
During World War II Bernard joined the resistance, then the tank division of the French 2nd Armored Division, earning a Croix de Guerre and the American Presidential Citation in the process. A year working in Camaroon was followed by some time spent in America where he would meet his wife of 50 years, Joan Updike.
Returning to Europe in 1952, he attended his first Grand Prix at Monza in September of that year, taking photographs with a Kodak Retina II. From that moment, he never looked back.
F-Stops, Pit Stops, Laughter and Tears is the story of Bernard Cahier’s long and fascinating journey through the automotive world of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, focusing on the sport of motor racing. You’ll see that world as Bernard saw it—through his vast collection of photographs. You’ll also read in detail many of the stories about the friends he made along the way, including Enzo Ferrari, Carlo Abarth, Henry Ford, Huscke von Hanstein, Sir Alec Issigonis, Carol Shelby, Sergio Pininfarina, Juan Fangio, Jean Claude Killy, Zora Arkov Duntov and Bill Mitchell. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.