In the 1950s, Route 66, captured vividly by photographer David Yarrow, emerged as an emblem of the Californian Dream, earning the title "The Mother Road" by John Steinbeck in his novel "The Grapes of Wrath." This iconic road symbolized hope and aspiration for the American Middle Class, a phenomenon fueled by California's burgeoning economy and the opening of Disneyland in 1955.
The particular stretch near Amboy in the Californian desert retains the historical essence of Route 66. Its expansive landscape has attracted many artists and photographers, including the renowned David Yarrow. The journey to this isolated locale is demanding, but it’s a pilgrimage for many, drawn to the solitary yet iconic Roy’s Motel and Cafe amidst the vast desert.
Amboy's popularity poses a unique challenge to photographers aiming to capture fresh perspectives in such a frequently depicted setting. David Yarrow, known for his unique photographic approach, took on this challenge with his distinctive creative vision.
In one memorable project, Yarrow collaborated with a vintage car collector from Hong Kong, known for having one of the most revered collections in the world. For the shoot, the collector provided a rare automotive masterpiece – the 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Spider, a car as rare as it is valuable, with only 12 in existence. The logistical feat of transporting this prized Ferrari over 1,000 miles was a testament to the shoot's anticipated significance.
Yarrow's intent for the shoot was to encapsulate the spirit of Route 66, a roadway synonymous with the American Dream, signifying freedom, ambition, and the pursuit of a better life. The setting was meticulously styled to reflect the mid-1950s era, and model Daniela Braga was directed to exude a vibrant, hopeful demeanor, echoing Nat King Cole's famous lyrics about Route 66. The Ferrari's design, particularly its low windscreen, was deliberately chosen to allow Yarrow unobstructed views of the model and a wolf, ensuring they remained the shoot's central figures. This project was more than just a photographic session; it was a narrative about dreams, freedom, and the timeless allure of the open road.