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Amboy, California - 2023
Amboy, California

In the 1950s, the Californian Dream made Route 66 the most famous road in the world. “The Mother Road”, as John Steinbeck described it in The Grapes of Wrath, became the route of flight for the American Middle Class; a trend accelerated by the rapidly evolving Californian economy and the opening of Disneyland in 1955.

The stretch of road heading east near Amboy in the baking Californian desert showcases the Route 66 journey as it once was. The sense of scale offers the filmmaker a valuable tool kit and I have been drawn to this outpost for many years. It is a commitment of time to get there, but one that many road trippers make because of the iconic Roy’s Diner which serves as the one identifiable landmark in a barren desert.

Amboy is a known known and I worried how I could break new ground because like all spectacular vistas in the US, it has been well photographed. The challenge is not in getting there, but in transcending when one does.

I called upon a Hong Kong friend who is a passionate investor in vintage cars and owns one of the most lauded and valuable collections in the world. I explained the shoot concept and he graciously offered up one his most coveted treasures - the 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Spider. It was one of only 12 built in the world and when one comes up at auction, they sell for more than a London townhouse. His team was kind enough to transport this fabled Ferrari 1,000 miles across the country, but at least when they arrived, they understood the opportunity. It was going to be a trip well made.

The design of the Ferrari was perfect as its low windscreen allowed my lens direct access into the faces of the girl (the wonderful Daniela Braga) and the wolf. They could then hold centre stage and let all the other constituent parts play off each other.

The goal of this shoot was to play on the metaphor that is Route 66. It encapsulates the American Dream, as it was the road of freedom and ambition. Go West, work hard, stay focused and enjoy the very best of lives.

We styled to the mid 1950s and I told Daniela to exude a sense of positivity. She should look, as Nat King Cole suggested, that she was “Getting her Kicks on Route 66”.

Hard not to in that Ferrari.

The challenge is not in getting there, but in transcending when one does.

David Yarrow

Framing options

Available Sizes (Framed Size)

Standard: 52" x 54"

Large: 71" x 74"

Available Editions



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