Rolling back the years... Pirelli will celebrates its fiftieth anniversary calendar in style

While Pirelli is much better known as Formula 1’s official tyre supplier, one arm of the Italian company’s business is celebrating its fiftieth birthday next year: its risqué calendar.

The Pirelli Calendar was founded in 1964 as a marketing tactic to promote the company’s tyres, and in its fifty-year history, a host of world-famous photographers and supermodels and actresses have teamed up to promote the company, and titillate the buyer.

At the time of its foundation in the mid-1960s – a period famous for its counterculture against the pervading climate of political conservatism – the calendar became a new niche for erotica as an art form.

The highly-prized, limited-release calendars aren’t available for general sale, which perhaps separates it from its raunchier and more readily-available counterparts from the more mainstream adults-only calendars on offer.

More often than not, previous editions have pulled together beautiful – yet tasteful – shots of some of the world’s most famous women, including the likes of Sofia Loren, Raquel Welch, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Miranda Kerr and Penélope Cruz.

So to mark the occasion, instead of using models du jour, Pirelli is bringing together some of the most famous models and photographers who have posed for it over the last half century.

The major feature will be previously unpublished photos from a 1986 calendar shot led by iconic lensman Helmut Newton, which features features former models Susie Bick, Antonia Dell’atte, and Betty Prado.

Newton’s photos were snapped at that year’s Monaco Grand Prix and on location in Tuscany, with the shots proving to be a surprising contrast to more recent – and considerably less-clothed – editions.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.