For decades most automotive authors and journalists tend to focus on the cars, their mechanical specifications, or how they drive. I have long preferred the Big Picture—how the vehicles relate to the world around them, and their place in automotive (and overall) history—in books, magazine articles and monographs.
Particularly fascinating is the cast of characters who have populated the automotive universe. Over the years I have been extremely blessed to have known and been around a number of the visionaries who created true landmark cars, men who were often superb artists, and great risk takers. Many of their machines were so full of emotion that they have distinct personalities, traits that are often reflective of their fathers.
For decades this made exotic and performance car production the most human of industries, one that creates a product that touches people like nothing else, except perhaps music or art. I try to bring this dynamic to life in everything I write.
“When it comes to interpreting the subject matter, Winston Goodfellow is one of the best.”—Hemmings Motor News, reviewing “Ferrari Hypercars.”
The title won three International Automotive Media Competition awards, including “Book of the Year” and “Best of Book Writing.”
At most new model launches everyone drives the same car model over the same route, and has access to the same executives, designers and engineers. So how do you differentiate your work from the pack?
My approach has been to focus on automotive DNA. The marques I’ve covered over the years are filled with illustrious histories, and I’ve been very fortunate to drive many of their landmark cars. These days, such models like the one-off Mercedes Benz 300SLS seen below are very valuable and hardly ever see the light of day. They are tucked away in some secretive garage or warehouse, or are an integral part of an asset class for some “investor.”
Having decades of on-road experience in such machines when they were just “cars” gives one an entirely different point of view that is now in short supply. I’m equally blessed to have known and interviewed many of those responsible for the creation of those landmark models so one can see beyond a manufacturer’s message of the moment.
Of course, being bombarded by g-forces under hard acceleration, braking and cornering, all while hearing an engine’s wail overwhelm the cabin…well, that is a glorious part of the job, too!
And a great way to spend a day or two in the office…
My work has appeared in more than 60 outlets in nine different countries. Here are four of my favorite cover shots:
Monographs are custom-designed, limited production books devoted to a single subject such as a specific car, or an entire collection. One of the most rewarding parts of such an undertaking is you never know where the project will end up.
When a renowned Mercedes restorer commissioned a monograph on the prototype 300SLS (seen above), after studying that unique vehicle's history it was obvious it was the starting point to every open-air postwar Mercedes sports car, and thus hugely influential on the company's history. I told the restorer this would be the narrative, and he gave me a fabulous compliment when he said, "I have been with the SLS for years, first finding it, then researching and restoring it and I never saw it in that light. You have the unique ability to distill many disparate things into something simple so everyone else can see them, too.
In addition to showing a car's history, monographs can also be wonderful keepsakes, and a way to share one's passion with family and friends. One client gave them out as Christmas presents to the participants of an event he organized, while another hired me to follow his car during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in case it won Best of Show--which it did!
Each monograph is very personalized, designed and produced to reflect the commissioning client’s tastes, and their car(s) or collection.
If a monograph, custom photo shoot, portfolio set and/or notecards is of interest for your car or collection, you can contact me here.