Del Gregory is the founder, editor and photographer behind B500, a new digital magazine that explores the world of car culture and design. Already, he’s scooped exclusive stories with Magnus Walker, David Gandy and ex Bugatti designer Etienne Salomé. This is his story.
Del, your magazine is less than a year old. How has the journey been?
Because we're digital and online, as opposed to a print magazine, we’ve achieved much faster and greater reach. It's been an interesting journey. It's quite incredible, actually, to think that people are taking the trouble to download the magazine and read it online. We’ve even got readers as far away as Canberra in Australia and Anchorage, Alaska. We’re a free online magazine. It just kind of found its feet and taken off.
Where did the idea come from?
I retired early from what I was doing before, and I wanted to do something that has been my life's work, which is photography, design and publishing. In the past, I had created a luxury online portal called Billionaire 500 in 2001 and it took off quite well. Essentially it was a portal for billionaires and the luxury life if you like, and probably the first one of its kind. I sold it in 2007. Then in March last year I launched B500, a motoring, motorsport and culture magazine.
What was it like launching a magazine in the middle of a pandemic?
For our first issue, I had a trip lined up to visit Touring Superleggera in Milan for the cover story. I bought the flights in March, and I bought the tickets. And then, of course, everything hit the fan. Milan was the first European city to go into major lockdown. So, my flights were cancelled. As a back-up, I sent an email to Magnus Walker in Los Angeles one Friday night to see if I could go talk to him to be on the cover of my new magazine. I didn’t even expect a reply. He responded immediately and said “of course, how about Tuesday?”. So, the following week I travelled to LA, got 200 shots of Magnus and flew home. I was on the last flight out of LA actually before Trump shut European flights down. I was literally on the last flight out. And that was my first front cover back in March last year. The magazine’s not even a year old yet, but we’ve produced six issues.
What are some of the stories you tell?
I've always tried to do something exclusive. I pushed a few buttons with people but amazingly, everyone I contacted said “yes”. I was talking to people like Sasha Selipanov, chief designer at Koenigsegg, who gave us an exclusive Q&A for issue five. We’ve also had Etienne Salomé, the former Bugatti designer, for issue four, and David Gandy for issue six. He gave me the exclusive on the restoration of his Porsche 356.
What’s next for you and B500?
I suppose the other thing that's come out of it is that I became friends with Etienne Salomé, the former designer of Bugatti. He designed La Voiture Noire. We became mates over the summer, and we've now gone into business together. We're producing with Arkonik five Etienne-designed Land Rover Defenders.
Read B500 here: https://issuu.com/b500magazine/docs/b500-6