1966 Chevrolet Corvette: Photographing a Pop Icon
May 28, 2015
We're on-board with the revolution. We like fuel-efficient V8s, turbocharged four-cylinders, EVs and high-performance hybrids. They're the future and we're headed there one way or another. But like all car people, we?re nostalgic.
So we bought an icon.
A Nassau Blue, 300-horsepower V8-powered wedge of classic American desire. We bought a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. You can read more about our motives here.
When I heard we were buying a '66 Corvette, my first thoughts turned to photography. When we introduced our 1987 Grand National a couple of years ago, I indulged my art director sensibilities on one of the most entertaining projects I've ever been involved with, pairing the imagery of that frenzied, electric decade with one of its iconic cars.
With the popularity of Mad Men entrenching the spirit of the mid-Sixties into today's pop culture, I naturally wanted to bring some of that period flavor to a Corvette shoot. I made my pitch and got the nod.
Our resident photographers Scott Jacobs and Kurt Niebuhr deserve the bulk of the credit, as do imagery production specialist Sal Meda and Bryn MacKinnon, who selected wardrobe and advised on the overall tone.
Rather than cast for models, I asked fellow Edmunds employees to participate, much like we did with editor James Riswick on the Grand National shoot. Tessa, our employment experience manager, and senior production manager John Adolph were thankfully open to the idea.
We also hired Emily Warren to handle the all-important hair and makeup for the shoot. Emily worked with us on the Grand National shoot and was as excited about the project as we were.
We scoured the internet compiling ads from 1966, ranging from Corvette to fashion to anything else from the year, just to get a feel for the tone. We used these samples as a guide, but didn't set out to faithfully recreate each shot. Over several weeks, we scouted locations, bought clothing, secured permits and cleared schedules.
We also developed a loose storyline. The "night out" series of shots shows Bob and Bunny (Kurt came up with the names) having a grand time at restaurants, clubs and the theatre.
The next day, Bob and Bunny head out for a picnic and all is going swimmingly.
Then Bob slipped up and called Bunny by someone else's name. She would have none of this, especially after Bob tried to smooth things over by reciting bad poetry. Bunny regained her composure, freshened her makeup and dreamed of diving into the freewheeling '60s in a psychedelic dress.
Bob made the mistake of leaving the keys in his new 1966 Corvette. Say goodbye to Bunny and your 'Vette, Bob. Bunny left him in a cloud of dust, tire smoke and despair.
Free of Bob's limitations, Bunny pursues a life of adventure and success. Maybe we'll check in again with Bunny if we acquire a '70s-era long-termer.
Until then, we hope you enjoy the shots.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor