Pamela was a strong-minded woman. Just days before her passing I received an email from her with the subject line stating ‘double ugly’. The email consisted of her critiquing a badly designed SUV. She was always critical about design and she was passionate until the end.
Although we were from two completely different generations, Pamela and I developed a close friendship. We would talk and debate about design, relationships, food, and the future of Los Angeles.
Pamela was also a very generous person. She helped fund my semester in Berlin. And it was on that trip when I received the news of her death. It felt so sudden and because I was abroad I could not properly say goodbye. My heart was heavy and I truly felt like I had lost not just an instructor, but a close friend.
A few days after her passing I received an email informing me that I was mentioned in her will, which surprised me. I was honored to find out that she bequeathed to me all royalties from her library of photographs, which included some her father took of famous race car drivers in the 50’s and 60’s. Carlyle Blackwell Jr was known for photographing cars in large format, while most car photographers were using smaller film at the time.
Sorting through the negatives and helping edit the photos, I thought about how remarkable it was to be in possession of these treasured items capturing a romantic era of car racing. From the hands of a legend of car photography, passed to his talented and forward thinking daughter, and now to me, a student of car design aiming to transfer all of this passion into a future of inspiring transportation.
Here are a few select images from Carlyle Blackwell’s collection. Most of them have not been reproduced or edited until now. Pamela, thank you, and Rest In Peace. You will always have a special place in my heart.