“Peter Collins, Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Jim Clark, James Hunt… that period of drivers”, he says. “I love those characters. Jenson Button is brilliant; him and Damon Hill are both examples of brilliant sportsmen, massively good ambassadors. Innes Ireland too, looked cool when he was driving.”
I love the way Layzell dips in and out of various periods, picking out faces, cars and races at random, his passion piqued by certain moments in time.
“My choice of subjects is based around cars I think are cool”, he tells me. “Cool colour schemes, for example. I like the American Sebring-type shots - their colour schemes are such fun. And 70s colour schemes are cool - the early Ferrari 512s and Porsche 917s in psychedelic colours.”
So does Layzell race? His knowledge of cars, and the way they move and perform on certain racing lines, is so precise, so detailed.
“You’ve got to have a knowledge of how cars handle. I did hillclimbing and karting, but I haven’t raced – all my exhibitions coincide with the motorsport season – I turn up everywhere in a Transit van. Although, there is no finer vehicle”, he says, small smile playing on his lips.
“I’ve got a TVR Camaro”, he tells me, and I raise my eyebrows. He’s sticking to his guns on the matter, however: “I’ve had seven TVRs – I’ve got a TVR problem. They’ve actually been pretty reliable, my TVRs. They’re so much more interesting than anything else once you’ve had one.”
I’m sure, I say, although I note he’s never painted any of his TVRs….
Images courtesy of Tim Layzell.