Arthur Smithers Retrospective

3 min read

The apocryphal Arthur Smithers entered our consciousness in the first Ground Effect catalogue of 1994, endorsing the Cappuccino cap.

"A modern day rendition of the classic cycle cap as worn by Arthur Smithers during the 1953 Giro d'Italia. Crafted from non-exotic materials and adorned with an embroidered Ground Effect logo. Mandatory millinery for post-race events, the beach, and mornings after the-night-before."

He went on to develop a surprising photographic talent, credited as the creative inspiration behind our long running series of classic black and white historical photos with ourselves inserted Forest Gump style, wearing Ground Effect garb.

In a deferential nod to the incomparable Arthur Smithers, we've trawled through the catalogue archives to deliver this retrospective selection of his 'best' work.

Summer Catalogue 1998-99


Context: The iconic Rockefeller Center smoko break.
Caption: "Damn Elroy ... you know that pastrami on rye makes me giddy."


Context: Steve reimagined as James Dean in Times Square.
Caption: A cold night on Manchester Street for Steve while doing under cover work for the Style Police.

Summer Catalogue 1999-2000


Context: 1950's 3D movies, popcorn and coke.
Caption: Early attempts at virtual reality.


Context: VJ Day spontaneous romance.
Caption: Guy does the Time Warp, Times Square 1945.

Summer Catalogue 2000-01


Caption: Steve and McArthur jump the queue to claim the prime viewing spots at the beach volleyball tournament. 


Context: Looks like a pre Belushi, pre Animal House fraternity stunt.
Caption: Doctor Who? Only Guy had figured out that the Tardis had already moved on to the next series.

Summer Catalogue 2001-02


Context: Presumably Vegas or the Moulin Rouge chorus line.
Caption: Fraser’s Follies.


Context: Surely Brittany, Christina and Justin are in there somewhere.
Caption: Steve auditions with the mouseketeers.


Context: The Iron Lady and her incomparable sense of style.
Caption: Guy and Maggie share a moment outside Number 10.

Winter Catalogue 2002


Context: Mao's obligatory Little Red Book.
Caption: Guy suggests Classic NZ Mountain Bike Rides to guide the revolution.


Context: Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow and the Yellow Brick Road.
Caption: You're a long way from Kansas now Fraser.

Summer Catalogue 2002-03


Context: Beatlemania.
Caption: "Easy there girls." Steve restrains the fans.


Context: Black and white movie nostalgia.
Caption: En garde!


Context: Still smiling, so must be pre-Watergate.
Caption: "I'd keep that one to yourself Mr President."

Winter Catalogue 2003


Context: Charlton Heston and Ben Hur.
Caption: Giddy up. Guy Maximus cracks the whip.

Summer Catalogue 2003-04


Context: Is it soccer or football?
Caption: Assume the position. Guy and Steve deploy the traditional defence in the face of evil.


Caption: Fraser belts out a psalm from Classic NZ Mtb Rides.

Winter Catalogue 2004


Context: Sci-fi before CGI.
Caption: Do Daleks dream of electric sheep? Fraser taunts the bad guys.

Summer Catalogue 2004-05  


Context: Back in the day golf clubs were allowable excess baggage, bikes were not. Eat the rich!
Caption: Fore! Yes ma'm, this really is a set of Golf Clubs. Guy flies light with his Tardis bike bag.

Winter Catalogue 2005


Caption: Fraser grabs the wheel during the '52 Oslo Olympics.

Summer Catalogue 2005-06


Context: We definitely had a chip over the inequities around flying with bikes.
Caption: "Come on Noah, what do you mean just two bikes?" Guy haggles over excess luggage.

Winter Catalogue 2006


Caption: Stunt double Steve shows Kong some attitude.

Summer Catalogue 2006-07


Context: Mick and Keif taunting the constabulary shortly after just doing a stint at Wormwood Scrubs.
Caption: "Lads, I'm putting the band back together". 

Winter Catalogue 2015


Context: Our last catalogue, so we couldn't resist going back to the beginning.


2 Responses

Carl Dalheim
Carl Dalheim

May 07, 2020

Kiwi brilliance, again. Cheers Carl from Northcote

Ian Broomfield
Ian Broomfield

May 06, 2020

Loved the photos, brilliant stuff. Ian from Darwin

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