This web page would not be complete without talking about Nicky Wright. I would not have written this web page if not for Nicky. As I mentioned a couple of places on these pages, Nicky and I were going to do a book on Shelby’s Cars or at least I proposed that to him. He was going back to England to meet with his book publisher. Before he left I proposed the Shelby book to him and he was going to try to sell it to his publisher when he meet on some other projects. He told me to write the text and when he returned we’d shoot the pictures. When he returned a couple of months later, he told me the publisher felt the market for a Shelby book was so small it wouldn’t sell so no go on the book. I often wondered if the publisher later realized what a mistake that was. Regardless, I wrote out the chapters for the Shelby cars and was ready when he came back.
The next part of this story is I had used my new IBM computer to write the Shelby chapters so I had everything on a disc. Sometime later, my Mother, Donna, and I were talking and she said since I had the book written why don’t I put it on the internet. We had been working with web pages on a couple of other projects so I was somewhat familiar with doing that. So I came up with TheCarSource.com as a domain name. (I was thinking of a much bigger web page than just on Shelby’s.) And put the pages on the internet.
In those days, you paid for bandwidth used so it was pretty cheap to park the pages. I think it was the very first web page dedicated to the Shelby cars. Some years later, in 2000, a movie came out “Gone in 60 Seconds” with Nicholas Cage. I had just gotten married and was on my way to meet my new in-laws. Just before I left, I sent a note out to the Shelby owners on the email list I hosted and told them I bet that movie was going to drive up the value of our cars. That was not a universal opinion. While I was gone to Japan for the month, the searches for info on Shelby Mustangs sky rocketed. When I returned my hosting bill had gone through the ceiling. It went from $35 a month to $100’s a month. I ended up finding a new hosting company who did not charge by bandwidth. Maybe I should share a bit about Nicky so you know why I had that conversation in the first place.
I was a member of the Old Fort Mustangers out of Fort Wayne, IN. At one of our club meetings, Nicky showed up. Apparently he had just finished up a book on the Auburn, Cords and Duesenbergs working with the ACD museum in Auburn, IN. He asked the folks there if they knew where he could find some Mustangs to do his next project, a book on Ford Mustangs. As it turned out the OFMC President, Billy Pogue, lived directly across the street from the ACD Museum. So Nicky walked over and told Billy what he had in mind. Billy invited him to attend the next club meeting.
At the next monthly meeting Nicky attended and told us his next book was to be on Mustangs. It didn’t take much to convince us to make the club’s Mustangs available to him. That summer he drove most of pretty crazy following him all over the country side so he could shoot pictures. Nicky shot a lot of pictures. The Mustang book was published filled with pictures of our club members’s cars. This particular book was a pretty inexpensive, throwaway hard cover. We bought boxes and boxes of these books. Sold them as a fund raiser at car events. I bought an arm load of them myself to give to family and friends. We bought so many of those books that Nicky’s publisher was very impressed the book sold so well and so quickly. It got Nicky another book project.
There are many stories I could tell about Nicky. My Mother and I took Nicky in. He was a bit of a lost soul and my mother had a habit of taking in strays. Nicky was a stray. He became part of our family.
Early in the relationship, Nicky and I were talking. I found it a bit hard to believe much of what he told me. Most of his stories were pretty incredible. He told me he shot a series of pictures of the Queen of England, photographed most of the 60’s English rock and roll bands like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, David Crosby, Marianne Faithful, to name a few. After he was telling me this I must have told him I had trouble believing this story. He took my hand, we jumped in his car and off we went to a record store. Nicky dug out the very first Rolling Stones album to show me on the back of the album, sure enough, Nicholas Wright was credited as the photographer. OMG he did shoot those photos.
The last time I saw Nicky, he was returning to England to do a reunion meeting with the Stones. He also had plans to make up with his Mother. He told me while he was running around being a photographer, his Mother threw out all his old pictures. He hadn’t talked to her in many years he was so upset at her throwing away those one of a kind pictures. When he left for England he was fighting a cold. He met with the Stones and his Mother then ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. He died in the hospital. My Mother and I were heartbroken. We were both stunned that he was gone. Nicky left a huge hole in both of our hearts. There was only on Nicky Wright. I miss him still. Nicky died in England on January 17, 2000.
Donna Begley’s Nicky Wright pages
Pickups & Trucks
Turn of the Century
Books by Nicky Wright
Commercial Use of Images
- American MotorsAMX
- Aston Martin
Viper including the 1998 racing winning Viper
- Ford & Mercury
- General Motors
- Sports Cars
Motorbikes – lots of them
Turn of the Century
- Pickup & Trucks
- Concept Cars
- Racing Cars
1998 Viper Champion