The somewhat mysterious gentleman with the dark glasses standing at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1960 is non other than Hans Tanner. Who was Hans Tanner you might ask?
Hans Tanner was a somewhat mysterious Swiss, born in 1927, who came to light and fame as an automotive historian, quasi-journalist and “fixer” through his various Continental automotive contacts, especially for those Americans who came over to compete in the European racing world of the 1950s and 1960s. He offered access and guidance to dealing with Ferrari, Maserati, OSCA and others. Tanner had close relationships with Phil Hill and Mike Hawthorn, as well as many other drivers. He divided his time between Modena in Italy and Los Angeles where he eventually moved.
Tanner is perhaps best known as an author of The Ferrari, the first serious book in English about the cars from Maranello, published in 1959 and afterwards revised and expanded by Tanner and Doug Nye. He also wrote several other books and numerous magazine articles, many of which were illustrated with photographs by the famous lensmen of the day, such as Louis Klemantaski and Peter Coltrin, another famous Modena resident, both of whose archives are now part of The Klemantaski Collection. Other Tanner books include the Maserati Owner’s Handbook and Ferrari and Maserati in Action.
In his later years in Los Angeles, Tanner stayed involved with the Ferrari world that he had had a hand in creating, but also got involved with firearms. In 1975, diagnosed with cancer, he fatally shot his then girlfriend and himself, ending what had been an interesting existence with tragedy.
Photo by Ami Guichard ©The Klemantski Collection