John Barnard – McLaren Designer and Aerodynamicist – June 1984

j.barnard,1984.signMy first race with a Photography credential was the 1982 Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix. I attended a press briefing not suspecting I was about to witness an automotive revolution firsthand. The subject was the John Barnard designed McLaren MP4/1, the first Formula One car with an entire chassis using Carbon Fiber Composite.  Constructed by Hercules Aerospace, the car on display looked like a fighter jet or a space capsule. The year before John Watson had a horrific crash of his MP4/1 at Monza and survived unhurt. Other teams rapidly rushed to design CFC based cars to capitalize on the chassis rigidity and driver safety.

In 1993 the exhibition “Design For Speed: Three Automobiles By Ferrari” organized by Christopher Mount, curatorial assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, appeared at the Museum of Modern Art New York.  The three automobiles in the exhibit were a Ferrari 166 Mille Miglia, Ferrari’s first production car; the fabulous Ferrari F40 supercar and the John Barnard designed Ferrari F1 641/2.  Ferrari donated the F1 641/2, to the Museum and, in addition to the Pininfarina Cisitalia 202 GT, became only the second automobile ever included in its permanent design collection.

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