It would be wrong of me not to record the passing of one of the most accomplished of F1 photo-journalists with the death last week of the much-respected Bernard Cahier at the age of 81.

Bernard Cahier Cahier's photo archive now looks like a social history of the sport in which he worked assiduously across four decades from 1952.

There are many great tales involving this charismatic Frenchman who washed up in California after war service with the Resistance in Brittany. He quickly got a job as a car salesman at Roger Barlow's International Motors operation in Los Angeles, one of the biggest sports car dealerships in the USA, where is gravelly French accent ensured that his career was a great success, particularly selling British MG TCs and TDs which were much admired by the female population.

"You wanna Tissy, or a Tiddy?" was Bernard's regular opening gambit and, by all accounts, these little English sports cars flew off the shelves and out of the showroom doors. It was during this time he would meet his wife Joan, the newlyweds moving to Paris in 1952.

Cahier quickly penetrated the sport's inner circle and became involved in helping the careers of a number of drivers, most notably Phil Hill and Dan Gurney, the former going on to become the first American world champion in 1961.

Jim Clark photographed by B.CahierThere was sometimes a fat commission available for pairing off various drivers with particular teams and for the 1958 French GP Cahier did a deal for Troy Ruttman, the 1952 Indianapolis 500 winner, to make his Formula One debut driving a Maserati 250F for the Italian private team, Scuderia Centro-Sud.

Perhaps in the excitement of the moment Cahier got carried away with his sales pitch, but it seems as though Ruttman formed the impression he would be getting a car the equal of five-times champion Fangio's works machine.

Sadly the Centro-Sud cars were past their best. Ruttman finished 10th, five laps behind Hawthorn's winning Ferrari. The American driver was not best pleased and, legend has it, Cahier made himself scarce, A gregarious personality and staunch friend to many in the Grand Prix community, Cahier is survived by his wife and son Paul-Henri, also a accomplished racing photographer who continues the family business.