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March 10th, 2004

Winston Goodfellow:
America's Link to Italy

By Michael T. Lynch
Images copyright and courtesy of Winston Goodfellow

Goodfellow's use of colors is brilliant This photo of a 1961 250 GT California was taken just outside Saint Tropez around 10 pm one summer evening. For more photos, see Winston's website,

Compared to other industrialized nations, America and Japan are the most stridently monolingual. Perhaps that, as much as distance, is why each generation of American enthusiasts has had someone to keep them abreast of developments in Italy, long the birthplace of the most exciting sports cars in the world.

After World War II, Italian journalist Corrado Millanta filled the role. His dispatches to Road & Track chronicled the rebirth of the Italian high-performance cottage industry and carried news about the players from Abarth to Zagato. By the late 1950s, his place was taken by a California expatriate, Pete Coltrin. Coltrin made his home in Modena, married a beautiful Italian girl, and it wasn't unusual for readers to ring him up when they were visiting the Italian center of speed. A night spent in Pete's "office" at the Palace Hotel Bar, with barman Mario keeping the glasses full, was a guaranteed adventure. Unfortunately, Pete left us too early, dead at 52 in 1982.

Winston is a fixture at the world's great concours. Here he is seen being interviewed by the Speed Channel on the lawn at Pebble Beach.

Today, Winston Goodfellow provides the automotive bridge between America and Italy. He's the go-to guy for readers seeking the very latest from the insiders of the Italian automobile industry. Magazine editors love the fact that they can get their prose and photography from one source. Winston loves cars, car people and going fast. His stories and images are infectious. Within a few sentences, he puts you on your favorite stretch of road up in the hills behind Maranello or makes you taste the Salsicce con Fagioli all'Uccelletto at a power lunch in Torino with Pininfarina executives.

Goodfellow comes from a family of car people, and his youth included marques like Jordan, Willis-Knight, Ford Model A and a Mercedes 220S Cabriolet. He attended high school at Menlo High on San Francisco's peninsula. Close by was Menlo College, a haven for Saudi princes in the mid-1970s. The Saudis loved their exotics and Winston was soon face-to-face with a Ferrari 365 Berlinetta Boxer and a Lamborghini Countach. Goodfellow remembers, "Because of my family, I'd been interested in cars, but these really turned me on." His automotive focus had been decided, and it was Italian. For a time, Isos and Bizzarrinis were his specialty and he was around for the founding of their owners' club. Working in the financial services industry, he continued his research during off hours. His first article was published in 1981, the year of his first automotive trip to Italy. The next year, "I went back and met Piero Rivolta for the first time. I got him so wound up about the historical importance of his cars that he left the room. He came back a few minutes later and said, 'In a few days we will have a party.' It was held at a restaurant near the old Bresso works and was for former employees, many of whom hadn't seen each other since the company ceased operations in 1974." This was the beginning of a series of personal friendships with Italian auto executives and designers and coachbuilders from past and present, who provide Winston with information others cannot seem to obtain.

At Amelia, Goodfellow will present his stunning infrared black and white photography. The Ital Design Corvette Moray is the subject of this portrait.

During the 80s, Goodfellow continued to research and write about Italian cars. He also built on the photographic education he had received at Foothill College, where a professor was taken with a photograph that Winston took of a screen door in the middle of a field. The instructor was prescient, saying, "Whoever took this has an eye". Like many VeloceToday readers, Goodfellow was a serial collector and drove Ferraris, Isos and other exotica. As the cars he loved in high school passed from being used Italian cars to collectables, magazines wanted to feature them, and he found plenty of work. Then, concurrent with the early 90s collector car crash, his three main outlets went belly up. Winston used the slack time to write Iso Rivolta, The Men, The Machines, the definitive work not just on the subject, but on the Italian supercar industry in the era. The book remains in print today.

With the book published, Goodfellow decided to pursue writing and photography full-time and left his day job. He prepared a four-color brochure highlighting his achievements and telling editors what he could do for them. "It was just an extension of what Id been doing pushing financial services products and maintaining above-quota goals." He mailed the folder to 200 magazines around the world. Since then, he has never looked back. Manufacturers around the world, not just in Italy, now seek his photography, and he offers a line of products based on his stunning images, which includes note cards and art prints.

The ATS protrait by Goodfellow is study of contrast and angles.

"Im working on four books simultaneously right now, which is as hectic as it sounds." One will show thirty Zagato designs in thirty different United States landscapes, playing off the variety of both. Another will focus on the design element throughout the history of Ferrari through the eyes of the firm's coachbuilders. A history of Bizzarrini, encompassing the man, the cars and the company will be out in the fall. This will surely add to the cachet one of the fastest appreciating marques on the auction circuit. Finally, Winston will be doing the catalog for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts automotive show presently scheduled for 2005, centered on the Ralph Lauren collection. Considering the stir the venerable institution caused with their guitar exhibit, Winston can look forward to being quoted in all the major media.

When you see how Winston's photos interpret an automobile's shape, one has to wonder why The Automotive Fine Arts Society, in its wisdom, does not accept photographers. While you cannot see their work in the AFAS tent at Pebble Beach, there are places that do celebrate images of automobiles created by a partnership of artist and camera.

Bill Warner takes a more contemporary view and realizes that some photographs rise to the level of art. Warner is a prize-winning photographer himself, and originator of the Amelia Island Concours. This year's AIC (March 12-14) will feature The Great Automotive Photographers Exhibit. Chrysler has stepped up to make sure the presentation will be up to the standards of Amelia Island. Goodfellow's work will be there as well as that of Dennis Adler, Pete Biro, Peter Brock, Hal Crocker and Michael Furman. The event's theme is One Hundred Years of Rolls Royce and Bobby Unser will be taking time off from his heavy schedule of motivation seminars to be Grand Marshal and to circulate among a collection of cars he raced during his illustrious career. Be sure to see Winston's photos while you're there. He's looking forward to meeting you, talking about cars and maybe selling you a print.

Past Issues


Graham Gauld

Otto Linton

Giulio Ramponi Part 2

Giulio Ramponi Part 1

Curtis LeMay

Graham Robson Tells All

Jason Castriota, Pininfarina

Tom Tjaarda

Bob and Dennis Show

Ed Hugus, Obit

Joe Nastasi, Part II

Joe Nastasi, Part I

Tony Adriaensens

Otis Chandler Obit


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