Automobil Art

Apr09

Jim Clark - Revival

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles


Prismacolor pencils on gray archival stock 22.5"x 11"
© Paul Chenard 2008


Jim Clark died tragically 40 years ago this year.
He crashed in an F2 race at the Hockenheimring in Germany in a Lotus 48.

The 5th Jim Clark - Revival will be held from the 24- 27 of April, 2009 in Hockenheim, Germany.
You can get information at the following website: http://www.jimclark-revival.com/index.php?id=15&L=1

In the above sketch, Jim Clark is racing a Lotus 33 to a win of the Solitude F1 race in 1964. Left to right, we find Clark, second place finisher John Surtees in a Ferrari 158, Graham Hill in a BRM P261 and Sir Jack Braham in a Brabham BT7-Climax. Both Hill and Brabham crashed out in the race; Surtees finished the year as F1 Driver's World Champion. In fact, everyone here was a Driver's World Champion. Clark took it in 1963 and 1965, Hill took it in 1962 and 1968, and Brabham took it in 1959, 1960 and 1966. Brabham also took it as a Constructor in 1966 and 1967. Lots of talent in one place!


Feb01

Happy Holidays!

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

This has been an amazing year for me, ending on an amazing note!

I want to say thanks to all my wonderful friends who have supported my art, and my vision of racing history.

This New Year should be very promising and exciting, whatever it may bring ...

I want to wish you all the Very Best.

Cheers!
Paul
Feb01

Bois de Boulogne - September 9, 1945

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

This sketch hows Jean-Pierre Wimille in a Bugatti Type 50B 4.7 L on his way to winning the first European post-war race, la "Coupe des Prisonniers", held in Paris.

The race was organized by Maurice Mestivier, the energetic president of the AGACI (Association Générale Automobile des Coureurs Indépendants) in honour of French prisoners and the missing of the war.

Prismacolor pencils & sticks on archival dark-gray stock, 12"x 9"
© Paul Chenard 2010
Feb01

Olivier Gendebien - A Racing Talent

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

Belgian Olivier Gendebien and American Phil Hill celebrate their first of 3 Le Mans wins together; they also won together in 1961 and 1962. Gendebien also won in 1960 with fellow countryman Paul Frère.

Prismacolor on gray-brown archival stock © Paul Chenard 2010
Nicolas Cancelier Collection

Available as a 14.5"x 11" limited edition.

Their 3 wins together were with Ferrari; here they're driving in their winning 250 Testa Rossa.
Feb01

Did I Just See Captain Nemo's Streamliner?

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

Story courtesy of Rick Rucker
Last week, I was driving near Long Beach, California. I was in a neighborhood of
businesses and homes, waiting to pull out onto Pacific Coast Highway. There wasn't a traffic light, so I expected a long wait. Suddenly, a big pickup turned at the corner where I was waiting, right across my path. The pickup was towing a trailer, and on it was one of the most unusual cars that I've ever seen. It turned onto the street where I was, only now going the other way. I had to find out what it was!

In a moment of what can only be described as temporary insanity, I mashed on
the accelerator, and did a burnout into oncoming cross traffic, turned left, went up the street fifty yards, then made a U-turn. I turned where he had, then started to look for the truck. It wasn't far away, and luckily, it had stopped. I got out of my car, and walked over to talk to the driver of the pickup. I introduced myself, as he did, and I told him that I draw pictures of cars and race drivers. I really wanted to draw this car. I have a free newsletter that shows people how to draw cars at: www.drawingcarsiseasy.com. This car will make a great drawing lesson, it is so cool! He said that I could draw the car, but could NOT say where it is stored, or what else is at that location. That is fairly common with the owners of the cars that I draw, so agreeing was very easy.

There was another man in the pickup, and between the three of us, we got the car off of the trailer. Once on the ground, it looked even stranger than it did when it was on the trailer. The whole body was in raw aluminum, and it had less than two inches of ground clearance. It had been built by hand, obviously, and it was beautiful! I'm a terrible sucker for an old race car, and this was very old. It was very narrow, not very tall, and exremely long. I was totally mystified, and my expression must have given that away.

The owner said €œYou don't know what it is, do you?€ If he had told me that it had been designed by Jules Verne, the father of science fiction, I wouldn't have been the slightest bit surprised! It looks kind of like the Nautilus submarine in the Disney version of the movie €œ20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.€ Instead, he said that €œIt is the Eddie Miller lakester,€ as if that solved the mystery (it didn't for me). He went on to explain that a man named Eddie Miller had built the car, and driven it at over 150 miles per hour at Bonneville in the fifties! That didn't sound too hard to believe until the two men took off the engine cover.

In the place where there should have been a huge, supercharged V8, this slippery little racer had a Pontiac straight six FLATHEAD, which is normally aspirated! The engine has four Zenith carburetors, and everything is made by hand. Everywhere I looked, something else stood out as a special part that took entirely too much time to make. The guys said that Eddie Miller took over four years to build the car, but I can't believe that he could have done it so quickly! When we took off the engine cover, there was a spare, unused piston sitting on top of the engine. The pattern work that was done to cast that piston was absolutely flawless! The machine work was equally stunning. Eddie even designed, and built, his own dual distributor drive for dual ignition!

In case you aren't familiar with lakesters, they are cars that were built to run on dry lakes for speed records, hopefully. Probably some of the first ones were built from war surplus belly tanks designed for fighter aircraft. These external fuel tanks were hung on the outside of fighters to increase their combat range. When the planes were ready to engage in combat, the pilot would drop his tanks, in order to lighten the load, and to clean up the aerodynamics of his plane. These tanks are pretty thin aluminum, and they dent fairly easily. Once dropped, they were trash, crushed beyond repair. Luckily Uncle Sam had thousands of them made, and many were never used during the war. For many years they were bought by racers at surplus auctions.

Eventually, the supply of these tanks dried up, and racers began to build their
own bodies, instead of using belly tanks. This inevitably took more time, but it also allowed the builder to tailor the body to the size needed to just cover the mechanicals used, instead of a one-size-fits-all solution. Eddie Miller obviously subscribed to this theory, as his car is truly tiny in cross section, but extremely long. When we removed the cockpit cover, I was amazed how tight it was in the driver's compartment. I'm a fairly compact guy, but I would have been squeezed in there very tightly. Any fantasies I had about driving this car ended when I asked what the tank was that sat right over the driver's right leg. €œFuel€ was the answer.

My horrified look caused them to laugh, but that thought was a little too much for
me. Imagine blasting down a measured distance, shoe horned into a bullet traveling a mile every twenty four seconds or less, trapped with gallons of gas in a cockpit that is hardly roomier than a €œhoodie€ sweatshirt! In order to help you visualize the shape of the body, just think of a Korean Warera jet, without wings and tail, or a helicopter without rotors and tail.

As slick as the body is, the weird part of lakesters is that they don't have fenders, the wheels and tires are totally exposed. The builder can streamline the axle shafts and the like, but not the rotating parts. Because the dry lakes are pretty long, acceleration isn't usually a problem, so, to reduce wind resistance, the wheels and tires are very narrow. There are wire wheels on this car, and they look to be from a 1930s era car. Like most wheels of that time, the wheels bolt on with several lug nuts, not with one central nut. Here again, Eddie Miller went totally over the top when finishing the car. Where the center of the wheel would normally be open, causing wind resistance, he cast and machined his own hubcaps out of aluminum. As if that weren't enough, they have the name €œMiller€ cast into them! This car is overkill squared!

When the owner told me that he and his friend are going to completely restore
the car, and show it at The Concours d' Elegance at Pebble Beach in California this year, I totally understood why. This car is absolutely stunning, a rare jewel. The level of workmanship is breathtaking! I was going to wish them luck with the judging, but something tells me that they won't need luck! I can't wait to see it completed.

See you at Pebble!

Rick Rucker


P.S. The photos you see here were supplied by one of the two men in the
pickup. As luck would have it, I didn't have my camera with me when I €œfound€ this amazing record breaker.

Rick Rucker Mr. Rucker is a pen and ink artist who lives in Southern California with his wife of more than thirty five years. He is a member of The Motor Press Guild, a worldwide organization of journalists, photojournalists, and illustrators.

Examples of his artwork hang in museums and offices of corporate clients. A
CEO of an American car manufacturer has commissioned Rick to draw portraits of his whole family. Rick has even drawn a portrait of The Worldwide Head of Styling of another American car company, standing by his new model, shown for the first time at The Detroit Auto show.

He can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dec23

Chad Hiltz: Customizer Extraordinaire

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

While a friend of mine Peter and I were making our way to Nova Scotia€™s famous Look Off in the Annapolis Valley, we stumbled on to a talented automotive customizer by the name of Chad Hiltz.
This is his story, as told by his partner Mandy Mosher:

Chad knows how to decorate his digs; note the cool Coop-inspired tattoo.

Chad Hiltz was born on August 31, 1971, to Patricia and Doug Hiltz in the small community of Kingsport, N.S. His father owned and operated a White Rose gas station in the early 70's when his passion began as a young boy. He loved seeing the old cars come in for fill ups'. One in particular was his uncle Freddy's 1956 Ford Crown Victoria.

His father usually had old cars and his mother drove a '46 Dodge 1/2 ton, which at the age of 14, Chad drove to school because back then you could. At the age of 16 he found a '34 Ford 3-window coupe. He somehow talked his father into selling a hockey card collection to acquire the car (I think the movie American Graffiti helped to persuade his father). He spent many nights with his Dad in the yard helping to fix up the car.

His first daughter was born at the age of 16. He then left high school to provide for his young family by working at a grain mill. Chad took an auto-body course at the local college but ended up leaving early due to fist fighting. He started a job at a chicken processing plant all the while tinkering on old cars in his spare time. Years passed and he went through a number of muscle cars. Some were sold and some ended up in ditches. He remarried at the age of 27 and spent most of his marriage in the garage customizing his mother€™s '46 Dodge; first as original than pro-street and finally settled on rat rod. He had a son Colton on April 10, 1998 then divorced a year later.

In 1999 he finally met me, Mandy Mosher. Since that point he left the chicken plant business and started his own shop at our ocean front property in Kingsport, NS. The neighbors didn't like us in Kingsport. With the 4 cyl sandblaster running until dusk, the old parts cars hanging around and the grinder running all hours of the night, the municipality visited us often. Most of the community thought we were ruining the view of the ocean; we thought they were ruining our views of classic cars and nostalgia €¦

Our daughter Harlee was born on August 15, 2004 and we left Kingsport and never looked back. We bought a house on Hwy 358 in Canning and Chad built his own shop where he happily restores/customizes old cars and hangs his signs freely. As most enthusiasts go through phases so did Chad. His first passion was muscle cars, then 50's classics, onto rat-rods and now customs. He welcomes all spectators and visitors to the shop and takes the time to talk with all. He owns a 1956 Mercury much like his uncle Freddy€™s. He also loves his latest creation the "Bat out of Hell" which used to be a '60 Chrysler Windsor.

He took a metal workshop with legendary customizer Gene Winfield last spring and now it's customs all the way. He was reunited with Gene Winfield at the Atlantic Nationals this summer where he won the special interest award as well as the Reps Choice from the Right Coast Association. Keep your eye out for Chad (The Green Goblin) and we'll hopefully see you around. Thank You.









Dec23

Sir Stirling Moss - 80 Years Young!

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

The great Sir Stirling Moss celebrates his 80th year today.

Bonne fête from all your many many fans worldwide!
Dec23

Movie Lobby Cards €“ All the Action!

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

As a collector of vintage racing automobilia, I€™m always looking for something that relates to racing history, but also something that is visually interesting.

Old racing movie lobby cards fit the (play)bill to a T.

Just like movie trailers, they don€™t indicate whether the movie is good or not, but they can still stir up the senses.

The movie theatres always received a movie promo-package that usually included posters and sets of 8 different 14€x 11€ lobby cards.

As a collectible, lobby cards are very practical, being always less expensive than the poster, and less expensive to frame. You also don€™t need huge walls to display them.

They are a great way to capture the €œScreaming Excitement€ on a small budget!

Dec23

The Hubley Bluenose Special - A Gift to Canada

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

A few years ago, I was contacted via email by a gentleman from Ottawa looking for some Nova Scotia-based graphics to add to the vintage Halifax race car he had just restored. I offered to provide some period-style graphics and he accepted.

In 2007, I finally got to meet him, Dave Boon, and see this beautiful old racer with my graphics on it. Here is the story of the old racer in Dave's words.


Anyone who has visited the notorious Corner 2 during the June VARAC events (at Mosport, Ontario) will know of the historic #6€”the Hubley Bluenose Special.

This open wheel dirt track racer was the last of a succession of dirt track racers built and successfully raced by Haligonian garage mechanic Reg Hubley, over the mid to late 1930's€”and is now the only known surviving mobile Canadian pre-war race car!

The highlight of the 1930's race season for Maritime half-mile dirt pilots was the presentation each fall of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition, where on each final Saturday the 1/2 mile horse oval featured the race cars.

For the 1938 race season Reg and brother Oz built a "new" #6, with the body fabricated by uncle Milton Hubley, a sheet metal tradesman.

An accounting of that 1938 Exhibition race was given in the July 30 1957 Halifax Mail-Star as follows:

€œA homemade racing car, which in its day topped the best racers from the USA, is currently in the hands of Ted Jenkins. Auto racing reached it's peak in this area just before the second world war and top honours were taken by mechanically talented Reg Hubley (4/09/06 to 7/4/41) who drove the car to victory at the Halifax Exhibition grounds at speeds up to 100 mph against a field of foreign racing cars.

With war declared in Sept. '39 and auto racing put on hold, #6 was now taking up valuable shop floor space. It was decided to hoist the car up into the rafters for the duration€”where it rested out of sight and mind€”and fortuitously escaped the wartime scrap-drives."

Come 1995 the car is now in the possession of Reg's nephew Bob Hubley of St. John's, Newfoundland, who puts it up for sale.

I contacted him€”and fearing that it could very likely be sold outside of Canada€”I ended up buying it and had it transported to my home here in Ottawa.
The car's chassis is a Z-ironed T-frame, reinforced full length by cedar 2 x 4's. It's shod by four sturdy 1933 Chev wires (wheels), mounted at the rear on a 1926 Ford Model T rear axle, and at the front on a "suicide " re-shaped Model T front axle.

The four radius rods fitted to #6 can be found pictured in the Chevrolet Bros. 1920's catalogue at $24 per pair, as well as the two "racing spindles" at $30 a pair.

Ignition€”primitive but effective€”is by a chain driven tractor magneto. The power plant is a sturdy 4 cyl. OHV 1925 171 ci Chev engine, equipped with a 1927 "Superior" head, driving through a '20s Chev transmission.

In 2002, I completely rebuilt the engine and fitted it with a Fish carb. In February 2003 and 2006 I hauled it to Zephyr Hills, Florida where it at least held it's own on the curves in the "early big car " class.

In honour of it's origins, it's been painted Nova Scotia blue, and with the artistic help of graphic designer/illustrator Paul Chenard, it's name the "Hubley Bluenose Special ", plus the province's official seal, are emblazoned on the cowl.

Ever since obtaining #6 some 13 years ago, I've always looked upon myself as being its "caretaker"€”not the owner. To ensure that the €œHubley€ never leaves Canada, effective January 2009, this historic race car has been donated to Canada's Museum of Science and Technology transportation collection here in Ottawa.

Dave Boon
Ottawa, Ontario

Thanks to Dave's generosity, this beautiful piece of Canadian racing heritage is the sole centre-piece of the auto/transportation display at the museum in the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.
Dec23

WWII Harvard T6

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

It is a very clear fact that most men (and women) interested in vintage vehicles, are also very interested in vintage aircraft; I certainly fit into this category, and I'm discovering that I'm not alone.

Prismacolor pencil on white archival stock © Paul Chenard 2009

A gentleman from British Columbia commissioned me a sketch of him racing his Triumph Spitfire in 1964. He liked the result so much, that he commissioned to sketch him in a WWII Harvard T6 he had the privilege of flying this past Summer.

Prismacolor pencil on white archival stock © Paul Chenard 2009

It reminded me that there was a Harvard for sale about 25-30 years ago at the Fredericton (my hometown) airport, and I was wrangling to find the money, which was only about $25000.

The reality of preservation, maintenance and storage sunk in ... needless to say, I didn't get it. I wonder what they are trading for now?
Dec23

Car companies come and go €¦

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

With the current instability in the automobile industry, it€™s easy to forget that it has happened before. Lots of companies disappeared during the first World War, and the stock-market crash of 1929, not to mention WWII.



I found a 2-page spread from English publication Modern Boys Book of Hobbies circa 1937 that shows the brand logos of the car companies that existed at the time.



A very few still exist, but most are long gone €¦
Dec23

French Racing Blue

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

In these days of race cars covered with sponsors logos and colours, it€™s easily to forget that race teams used to race for their country, not their sponsors.

To differentiate the country for which to team raced, a colour-coding was developed. The first usage of this came during Gordon Bennett Cup races in 1900-1905 which was a race between Nations and their automotive products. Germany was assigned white, Belgium yellow, USA red, United Kingdom green, and France blue.

As more and more countries got into racing, the colour palette grew, and some colours changed, most notably Germany to silver, Italy to red, and the USA to white with blue, but France maintained it€™s traditional blue.

The cars that shared those various shades of French blue are Peugeot, Ballot, Amilcar, Salmson, Voisin, Delage, Delahaye, Talbot-Lago, Gordini, Alpine, Matra and of course, Bugatti.

They were much simpler times, when racers drove for their nation, and not necessarily the highest bidder.

This all changed in 1968, when Colin Chapman carried non-automotive, Players cigarette graphics on his Lotus 49€™s.

The advertising floodgates were opened for good €¦ and gone, with very few exceptions, were the international colours.

All images © Paul Chenard

Dec23

Cars in the Park 2009 - Halifax

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

MGA

For the past 2 years, there has been a car show held in the beautiful setting of Victoria Park along South Park Street here in Halifax.

Austin Healey 3000

For it's third year, the organizers were kind enough to invite me as the guest artist for the show.

Lead Sled

It was a new experience for me, and I very much looked forward to it, though I had no idea how it would go.

1933 Dodge

I would set up and start illustrating, but time after time, as I was getting into the sketching, bystanders would stop and look, which is fine, but then they would start to converse with me.

1953 Sunbeam Alpine

It became such that I would have to get up and move to another subject before I could completely finished a sketch. I was very surprised at the interest people seemed to have of my art. It was a really fun experience that I look forward to doing next year.

TriKing

I managed to get six sketch done in all, which you can see here.
Dec23

Bruce McLaren's Last Season ...

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

"The Last Season" is an excellent book featuring an overview of Bruce McLaren's racing career, but mostly focusing on the 1969 (his last season of racing) Can-Am.



















The book also highlights the other drivers participating in Can-Am: Denis Hulme, Peter Revson, Lothar Motschenbacher, Mario Andretti, John Surtees, Dan Gurney, George Eaton, Chuck Parsons, John Cordts, Sir Jack Brabham ...


It's written by Jeanne Beeching and was published in 1972. Well worth looking for ...
Dec23

Classic and Sports Car - December Motoring Art feature

Categories // Automobil Art, Syndicated Blogs, Diecast Vehicles

Last December, Classic & Sports Car did a feature on my vintage racing automobilia.

This December, they have followed it up with a nice feature on my racing history art.

As you can see, Mick Walsh has done a nice job in the writing, and their designer has created a stunning layout.

I'm so very proud to be featured in such a fine classic car magazine which promotes racing art such as mine.