As a photographer, I soon discovered that I must have a good working truck to do my job in a professional and responsible way. So in the 70’s I had 2 Chevrolet Blazers. I bought them both in America, did a little customizing of them, then drove them there for about 6 months before I shipped them to Norway. There they got a lot of attention with its fat tires and a little lifted look, but what was most important to me was their functionality.. And I proved that very soon driving all over Norway shooting fashion on location, often with 2 or 3 models.. Then I took it to Iceland and drove all over with 2 models , and we camped most of the time so we could take advantage of the great locations and the light there, and it was often in the am hours of the night!
But the big test came when I did a 6-month drive from Norway, through the Sahara to Ghana with my Norwegian girlfriend. We lived in it 90% of the time, and no one drove that route in more style and comfort than we did… My last Blazer was so good that I shipped it back to California where I now lived working in the film industry.. But my love for classic American cars was so big that when I found a 1953 Cadillac convertible that had been sitting for 16 years in a backyard in Hollywood,, I sold the Blazer and bought the Cadillac and after a 6-month restoration,, this was now my new “camera truck”. Its trunk was huge, and when I took out the back seat, I had plenty of space for the big shiny boards I used to light all my cars and bikes.. Pls see all the extra photos.. I used the Caddy for over 10 years like this, a really stylish way to arrive on location shooting other classic and custom cars. But I had one problem!! My 53 Cadillac convertible was becoming so valuable I did not dear driving every day in Los Angeles and CA deserts and mountains. So In 2003, I bought a brand new Chevy Avalanche, and I customized it to the hilt so I drove in comfort, had plenty of power with a supercharger and I had a rack in the back with all my shiny boards. It had plenty of 4×4 capacity for what I needed, and its coil-over suspension gave it a very comfortable ride. It served me great to 2011 when I bought a new Avalanche and it got the same customized treatment with even more front and back camera mounts. Most car shoots need drive shoots and video on regular roads, which we call the “ speed shots” . You drive at normal speed but shoot at a slower camera speed so it looks like the car you shoot drives really fast.. I often framed in 2-3 different cameras on the back, and then had a cable from one of them to a monitor on my dash. With a radio, I will get the behind feature car up in the frame and ask him to hold that for 30 to 60 seconds. The video camera runs from the start, and I used a remote to get the stills,, Camara number 3 would often shoot wide shots, and all this gave me great editing material for my videos. They were now becoming more and more popular as the net was of growing importance to the magazines I worked for. I would repeat some of the same with cameras low down in the front. I simply removed the tow hooks and replaced them with trailer hitches that again had camera mounts on them. It was a great system that worked every day I was on location,, or I also started to rent myself and the truck out to small film or commercial productions. No one had a all in one trk like my Avalanche! It was with a very sad heart I had to sell it when the time came to move back to Norway. Looking up Norwegian tax laws I saw I had to pay almost as much the truck cost new in taxes and duty on it,, and because it was so customized by me, there was a real doubt that it ever would get Norwegian plates as they base that on no factory specifications had been changed, even my Weelwood breaks were 100 times better and safer than the factory ones.. so I felt so handicapped starting working here and had to do with my 1995 Mercedes Wagon,,
Ja,, I had the space I needed,, but I felt I was riding a wheelchair compared to my 2011 Avalanche- But plans are now to go a radically different way. I will as soon as I can buy a 1953 or older Chevy Suburban. And I will make it to my everyday driver and camera truck with big batteries and solar on my roof. I am thinking of just doing a frame swap so I get a new truck under the pretty 53 body, but with the advantage of 4×4 to deal with the Norwegian winter, and a Duramax up front so I have the power to pull my equipment.. You will be the first to know!!