Dan Hogan’s first book, “Nurburgring: 1953 German Grand Prix, The Men and the Machines,” is a compendium of the author’s black and white photographs with a forward by famed automotive historian and photographer, Jesse Alexander.
Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Hogan, who today lives in Carpinteria, moved to Lompoc in 1952 for basic training at Camp Cook Army Base, now Vandenberg Air Force Base, and was deployed to Germany in 1953 after WWII. “I knew absolutely nothing about photography when I arrived for duty with the 44th Quatermaster division at Giessen, Germany, in 1953,” said Hogan, “I didn’t even own a camera.” Nevertheless, he developed a quick passion for photography and became a rookie eyewitness and documentarian to the beginnings of Formula 1 racing at Nurbrugring, Germany, in August 1953. This was the German Grand Prix during the Golden Age of racing.
Working as a military taxi driver, a “cushy, gravy job,” he was stationed in Giessen, 26 kilometers from Frankfurt, Germany, where he studied photography at the USO Service Club. Giessen was a town that had been heavily bombarded during the war because of its nearby Luftwaffe Air Base. In 1953, the devastation was still very apparent when Hogan arrived during the final months of the American Occupation of Germany.
A competitive racer himself, Hogan sharpened his skills racing his ’54 MGTF at the Santa Barbara Airport Races in 1955, and at many events up and down the coast of California. He later participated in the International Speed Week Races in Honolulu in 1957.
Later, the young Army veteran decided to settle down, raise a family and start a business. For 37 years he was the owner of Van Wyk Body Shop at the corner of Haley and Chapala streets in Santa Barbara. Semi-retired, he moved to Carpinteria in 1987.
Hogan’s trove of historic photographs is published in a special collector’s edition featuring the 1953 German Grand Prix at Nurburging. “Nürburgring” will be on sale at Rods and Roses on June 29, and Hogan will host a book signing at the event. For more information or to purchase a book, contact Dan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Museum-quality prints can also be ordered from the photographer.