In 1975 Larry Pfister took a photo that
would not only start a career but become an
iconic image of Northwest Drag Racing. The
shot of Twig Zeigler’s Funny Car in mid-air
won Car Craft Magazine’s photo contest,
became a big selling poster, and got him his
first photo pass.
Thus would begin a motorsport
photographic career that spanned some four
decades. Describing himself as a ‘professional spectator’ Pfister was proud to note that every single press pass he obtained resulted in something published somewhere.
His photographs appeared in numerous
publications such as Super Stock & Drag
Illustrated, Rod Action, Open Wheel, Drag
Racer, Mustangs & Fast Fords, Auto Sound
& Security, Sport & Compact Car, Turbo, On
Track, Canadian Biker, and even a stint with
a weekly column in the Now newspapers.
Through the 1980s he held down
positions with both the Westwood
Motorcycle Racing Association and the
Fraser Valley Drag Boat Association as
media rep producing newsletters and
organizing press conferences, as well as
providing plenty of photography. He would
also be the last official photographer of
In 1984 a photo of Victoria racer Keith
Hagadorn flipping his F1 boat on the Fraser
River at Mission captured him The Canadian
Press Sports Photo of the year. This was
particularly rewarding as it came in an
This was also a period he shot and
produced articles for an Alberta magazine
called Northern Wheels, local publication
Automotive Profile as well as Motorsport
West Magazine, where he would eventually
become the editor and layout artist.
In the late 80s, Pfister got involved in a
Burnaby Cable 4 program called Motorsport
People. Covering all kinds of events on both
sides of the border, a personal favorite
became a video called ‘Two Wheel
Challenge’ featuring Suzuki Superbike
factory rider Tom Walther of Surrey. Just as
the production came to a close Walther was
tragically killed racing in Japan. The video
went on to be a major fund raiser for track
safety across Canada, sold by Walther’s
In the early 90s Pfister all but put the
still cameras down to concentrate on video.
At around the same time something called
the World Wide Web popped up, and the two
venues came together. A website/video
production company called Horsepower
Heaven was born.
The website was the world’s first to
post live updates, same day photos and same
day video from a drag race. It went on to
become THE go-to place on the west coast and
was featured on the television program
NHRA Today hosted by Steve Evans. In
2006 he was voted NHRA Division Six
Person of the Year.
His videos were fully produced with
Pfister doing his own shooting, editing, voice
overs, jacket design and marketing. Selling
around the world, they were reviewed
favorably in Car Craft and Hemmings
In the early part of the new millennium
he produced posters, flyers and programs for
Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Evergreen
Speedway, Mission, Ashcroft and Prince
George. He also provided video and
produced television ads for LVMS, Mission
and Pacific Raceways in Seattle.
Pfister retired from all aspects of racing
in 2009 and has recently started to produce a
line of limited edition coffee table photo
books that have proven to be immediate hits.
He hopes to do many more such books
but not before he dives into his over 2000 hours of
video tape on his new Youtube Channel HORSEPOWER heaven 2.
Most of the above take from the website of the Greater Vancouver Motorsports Pioneer Society page HERE.
All words and images © Copyright 2019 Larry Pfister. All rights reserved. Cannot be used, copied or reproduced in any manner without written consent from Larry Pfister