An elementary school teacher in Niskayuna by day, nights and weekends have seen John Grady at speedways near and far for decades, always with his camera on a strap around his neck and a big envelope of snapshots from prior weeks under his arm.
At one time or another, John was the official track photographer at all the speedways in the area, sending photos to the trade papers and selling snapshots at the souvenir booth. And for a number of years, he also wrote a racing column for the Daily Gazette in Schenectady. But his greatest contribution to the sport was providing a source for “old” photos, both for journalists and collectors, along with names and anecdotes stored away in his photographic memory.
John Grady is best known for his shots of drivers either standing beside their car or strapped in, ready to go to war. All you had to know about a driver of the past is what car number he drove. John, and in later years his son Chris and friend Bob Novak, could go into the bins of photos, filed consecutively by number, and pull out the photo you wanted. The cost was minimal and the story that went with it was a no-charge bonus.
We’re proud to share enlargements of some of John’s favorite photos with you. Our only regret is that this mini-exhibit, limited by available space, represents less than one percent of the photos he’s taken over the years.