When did you make the move to California?
Giddings: We remained in New York from 1971 to 1976, by which time we had discovered the lure of California.
By this point in time, we owned a number of businesses, and I was traveling extensively.
One of the reasons we moved was that my friend, Tom Spalding, had asked me to join him at Spalding Racing, where we pioneered Race Vision, one of the first—if not the very first—company to produce real-time motor racing on TV, and you will know this, Dennis, as you were our brilliant team photographer.
What was your first exposure to motor sports?
Giddings: My mum was avid about motor racing. Thus, I enjoyed thumbing through her albums of Kodak Box Brownie black-and-white photographs of Brooklands.
For sixpence at a jumble sale, I purchased a copy of “The Boys Book of Motor Racing” (on my bookshelf to this day), and started to read about the greats of racing.
As we lived close to Goodwood, I was caught umpteen times getting in under the fence.
Eventually a representative went to see my mum who explained, “I don’t know where it comes from ….he just loves his Dinky toys and car books … I really don’t know what to do.”
“Well, Mrs. Giddings, we shall come up with a way for him to come into the circuit through the gate, and we shall put him to work as a timekeeper’s spotter/ assistant, and we shall even supply him with a boxed lunch.”
The timekeeper’s tower was the tallest building on the track. Thus I got to see and meet all of the leading drivers of the day. In the meantime, I was busy delivering newspapers, groceries, “gigging” at various jazz clubs, venues, and dance halls, earning as much money as I possibly could.