Life Photo Archive

How's this for a look back at how it was? The flagman starts an after dark 1957 drag race organized by NASCAR with searchlights for track lighting. Makes for a pretty dramatic photo if you ask me.

Or how about this color photo of Tommy Ivo wringing out his street driven, Buick powered, T-Bucket at the Santa Ana drags in California?

This one goes back to 1947, as midget racer Ted Tappett takes the win on a concrete, indoor race track.

These images are just a few of hundreds of early hot rodding photos released to Google as part of the Life Magazine Photo Archive. While Life is not a currently published magazine, it has a storied past with a priceless collection of important news photographs documenting all aspects of history. The archive is being released to Google as the scans become available. Of special interest to us gearheads are the images of early hot rods and race cars. Use search terms like "hot rod", "race car", "Bonneville", and "drag racing"... you'll be surprised at what turns up.

Also of interest... you can purchase these images as framed prints. Just right for a motorhead's den or office. Just click on the 'buy framed prints' link after you find a photo that appeals to you. While not exactly cheap, they aren't priced like museum artifacts either. Note that many of these images are square due to the film format of the Rolleiflex and Hasselblad cameras that were favored at the time. So watch what you do if you try to crop them into rectangular images with the "select size" tool.

Regardless of whether or not you want to hang these on your walls, you'd be hard pressed to find a more diverse collection of historically significant photographs anywhere. So click the link the the Life Magazine Photo Archive, and enjoy browsing through yesterday.