Sunday, 8 December 2013

René Dreyfus - Bugatti Star

Frenchman René Dreyfus was born in Nice in 1905.

When he was 22, he convinced his mother that he needed a Bugatti to get to the clients of his paper company faster. He actually used it for racing.

He was hired as a driver by a local Bugatti dealer, and in 1929 won the Grand Prix de Dieppe in a Type 35B. His real fame came when he beat the factory team driver Chiron in the 1930 Grand Prix de Monaco.

He was briefly with the Maserati team and later joined the Bugatti factory team. With them, he won the 1934 Grand Prix de Belgique, driving a Type 59.

For 1935, he drove for Scuderia Ferrari, alongside drivers like Nuvolari and Chiron. Dreyfus had one more major win before the war, racing a Delahaye to victory at the 1938 Grand Prix de Pau.

He went to the U.S. to race in the 1940 Indianapolis 500, finishing a creditable 10th place. It became impossible to return because of World War Two, so he stayed.

He enlisted in the United States Army during the war, and at the end of it became an American citizen. He opened the famous “Le Chanteclair” restaurant in New York City in 1953, which became a gathering place for the rich and famous, and for the racers coming to the city.

Dreyfus died in New York City in 1993.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Racing History Toy Posters

For the past few decades, I’ve been collecting vintage racing automobilia of all kinds.

The collection includes signed racing posters, racing decals, race programs, cigarette cards, racing patches, racing team press kits, racing art, but by far the largest part of my collection are my toys.

I love my toys, and I thought of a way to show them off.

I’m creating a series of posters that group my toy collection in various categories. The first in the series feature Grand Prix Cars of the 1950’s (posters no.1 and no.2), Land Speed Record cars, Grand Prix Colours, and my Tyrrell P34 toys.

The large posters are 12”x 18” and sell for $20 each plus shipping. The Tyrrell poster is 18”x 6” and sells for $15 each plus shipping, and the Grand Prix Colours is 18”x 4” and sells for $12 each plus shipping. If you order all 5 posters, the Grand Prix Colours poster is free.

I’ll be following these up with Grand Prix Cars of the 1930’s, Grand Prix Cars of the 1960’s, Grand Prix Cars of the 1970’s, Sports/GT Cars of the 1950’s, Sports/GT Cars of the 1960’s, Ferrari race Cars, Mercedes Race Cars, Bugatti Race Cars, Bentley Race Cars, and a few other interesting themes.

Considering what the going rate is for these toys, this is certainly a cost-effective alternative!

If you are interested in acquiring one or more, please email me at
BTW, wholesale inquiries are welcome.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Peter Revson 1939-1974

Peter Revson started racing in the early 1960’s.

He was heir to the considerable Revlon cosmetics empire, but chose not to be part of it.

Instead, he chose a life of motor sports, starting in club events and moving into Formula Junior, traveling around Europe in a converted bread-van to race the events.

In the late sixties, he raced for the AMC Javelin team in the Trans-Am series, with some success.

In 1969, he raced to a 5th place in the Indianapolis 500, the top rookie finish. In 1970, he co-drove with Steve McQueen to finish 2nd in the 12 Hours of Sebring in McQueen's Porsche 908/02. He also raced Penske Racing AMC Javelins, and raced the L&M Lola in Can-Am racing.

In 1971, he raced for McLaren in the Can-Am series, becoming the first American to win the Can-Am Championship, driving a McLaren M8F. He came in 2nd place at the Indy 500, also racing in a McLaren.

Pen&ink and paint markers on archival light orange stock
© Paul Chenard 2013

McLaren brought him into the Formula 1 team for 1972-73, and in 1973 he won two races, the British Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix, driving a Yardley McLaren M23.

For 1974, Revson moved to the Shadow Team, but sadly, this popular driver was killed while testing the UOP Shadow-Ford DN3 before the South African Grand Prix in Kyalami.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Danville Tour d’Élégance 2013

Each year in mid-September, the Danville Tour d’Élégance is held in Danville, California, west of San Francisco Bay.

The event is part of the main Danville Concours d’Élégance, an important Parkinson’s fundraiser, which this year celebrated it’s 9th anniversary.

For the past 3 years, I’ve worked with Deb Pollack (, who is in charge of public relations, to give the Danville Tour d’Élégance it’s look and feel in the form of the original art, and the design of posters and vehicle stickers.

Each year, we’ve celebrated the accomplishments of key people in American motor sports who have been struck by Parkinson’s.

My portrait of Richard "Dickie" Green
Pen&ink and markers on green archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2013

This year, we celebrated Richard “Dickie” Green, the well known and respected British Aston Martin motor sports mechanic and engineer, who started with Aston Martin in 1952 then moved to the USA with his spouse Doreen in 1956.

I’m very honoured to be part of to be part of such an important and growing event. In the near future, I hope to be able to attend this very worthwhile and respected fundraiser.

Doreen Green and Alma Hill

Derek Hill

Special thanks to photographers Mark Davidson, Dennis Gray and Rachel Shuler for their wonderful photography.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

François Cevert - 40 Years Ago ...

Sadly, today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of French driver François Cevert. He was killed at Watkins Glen, New York State while practising for the last Grand Prix race of the season.

He was very well-liked and admired; he was a great driver, and loyal teammate.

And we remember him still ...

Friday, 30 August 2013

Beer Label Posters for Goodwood Revival

In the past 3 years, Belgian racing history artist Nicolas Cancelier and I have been going to the Goodwood Revival, sharing vendor space to present and sell our art.

As a little custom promotion, we have a very limited number of bottles of premium “La Moneuse” Belgian beer on hand to give out to VIPs and premium clients.

Each year, I create 6 new beer labels, 3 with my art and 3 with Nico’s art, to grace the bottles.

Since it’s now become a tradition with us, we are offering posters of each year’s selection of labels. These are printed in full colour A3 format on lovely white gloss stock.

We are printing limited quantities, so please contact us if you are interested in ordering them. They retail for $15 USD/£10 GBP/€10 EUR plus shipping/fees

Paul Chenard –
Nicolas Cancelier –

You can also come find us at at the Goodwood Revival Market stand #76.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Aston Martin DBR1 – 1959 24 heures du Mans

This is my new laser-cut illustration, showing the Carroll Shelby/Roy Salvadori Aston Martin DBR1 which won the 1959 24 heures du Mans.
My illustration is laser-cut from stainless steel, the powder-coated green; I then hand-paint the additional colours using pin-strippers paint.

The hood opens to reveal my laser-cut brushed stainless steel illustration of the famous inline 6-cylinder DBR1 engine.

The side brackets are also laser-cut illustrations, and the back-plate is powder-coated in black crinkle finish.

The piece is very limited and comes in a custom-built box.

Here are the specs:
- 22” x 13” x 3” (55.8cm x 33cm x 7.6cm)
- 11 lbs 9 oz (5.25 kg)
$2700 CDN/£1500 GBP/1800 EUR/$2500 USD plus shipping/fees

© Paul Chenard 2013

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ford GT40 @ 50

50 years ago this year, one of the most iconic GT/sports racing cars appeared on the scene.

In the early 1960’s, Henry Ford II launched the “Total Performance” program, hoping that the race-winning image would push Ford automotive sales worldwide.

Though the campaign covered all matter of motor sports, Ford was particularly focused on the 24 Heures du Mans, which is considered one of the world’s most prestigious races.

Ford attempted to purchase Ferrari, who had won 6 times in a row (1960-1965), hoping that together, they could win Le Mans. Ferrari back out of negotiations, having used Ford’s bid as leverage for a deal with Fiat.

This enraged Ford, and he vowed to put all of his company’s resources into beating GT/sports Ferrari on tracks worldwide, with a primary focus on Le Mans.

Pen&ink and markers on light blue archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2013

The resulting British-designed/built race car was designated the GT40, GT standing for Grand Touring, and 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches.

After a few years of ironing the bugs out, Ford’s GT40’s took the first 3 spots in the 1966 running of Le Mans, racing Mark II’s.

In the 1967, Ford returned with the American-developed and built GT40 Mark IV’s, and took the first spot, famously driven by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt.

By 1968, Ford decided that they had reached their goal, and shut the GT40 program down. John Wyer’s Gulf Racing team (J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd.) took some of the GT40 Mark II’s and brought them to Le Mans in a high level of fit and finish.

They took the 1968 (drivers Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi), and 1969 (Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver) 24 Heures du Mans, both in the exact same car!

By 1970, the GT40 was just another obsolete race car, and Porsche took the Le Mans rei(g)ns. Today the GT4o is a highly respected collectable.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mike “The Bike” Hailwood

Mike Hailwood was a popular British racer, racing in both Formula 1 motorcycles and cars.

Born in 1940, son of a motorcycle dealer and racer, Hailwood quickly learned the business. He also started racing motorcycles in 1957, and by 1958, he was winning races.

In 1961, racing for Honda, he actually won in 3 different classes of the Isle of Mann TT, all in the same weekend! He won the 250cc World Championship that year.

For 1962, he moved to MV Agusta, and won 4 consecutive 500cc World Championships.

Returning to Honda for 1966, he again won titles in both the 250cc and 350cc classes, repeating it again for 1967.

Honda stepped out of Grand Prix motorcycle racing for 1968, and paid Hailwood not to go to another team, hoping to have him back when they returned.

He instead took up automobile racing, starting in sports/GT, moving to Formula 2, where he earned the 1972 European title. He moved into Formula 1, but retired after being badly injured in major crash during the 1974 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

He married Pauline Barbara Nash in 1975 and they had two children, a son David and daughter Michelle.

Pen&ink and paint markers on red archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2013

In 1978, a full 11 years after stopping, he returned to motorcycle racing in a stunning way, famously winning the Isle of Mann TT in a Ducati 900SS.

He retired completely from racing in 1979, and opened a motorcycle dealership. Tragically, the well-liked racer was killed with his daughter in a 1981 motor vehicle accident when a truck made an illegal turn and pull out in front of them.

Friday, 14 June 2013

The Rainmasters

It has been a relatively rainy spring here, there ... and everywhere.

Interestingly, there are some drivers
 in motor sports history who smiled at the sight of rain before their race.

Many of these drivers were equal to their counterparts on a dry track, yet their sense of balance, and their ability to read the track and sense to minute shifts in the movement of their car gave them a clear advantage in a rainy race.
The list of such virtuosity in the wet spans the decades.

Rudolf Caracciola was one of the earliest maestros in the rain, earning the himself nickname “Regenmeister”, German for “Rain master”.

Dick Seaman’s drive of his Mercedes-Benz W154 at the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix ended fatally for him, but it was because he kept pushing even after building an unbelievable lead on an already challenging track. There is Phil Hill’s win, along with Olivier Gendebien, of the rainy 1958 24 heures du Mans in the Ferrari 250 TR. Sir Jackie Stewart showed utter bravery to take the 1968 German Grand Prix in the Matra MS10, driving in virtually invisible conditions.

Pedro Rodriguez, sharing a Gulf Porsche 917K with Leo Kinnunen, beat the second-place car by 5 laps in the rainy 1970 BOAC 1000km at Brands Hatch! James Hunt wrapped up his 1976 Championship racing to third place, after many delays, in the monsoon 1976 Japanese Grand Prix.

In the modern era, both Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna have shown their art in the wet.
Pen&ink and markers on Foamcore © Paul Chenard 2013

Senna’s drive of the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park in the less-than-stellar McLaren MP4/8 is the stuff of legends, or should I say, “Rainmasters”!

Friday, 24 May 2013

911@50 – Porsche Carrera RSR Turbo

Porsche’s development of their sports racing cars through the 1960’s took leaps and bounds, bring serious challenges to both Ford and Ferrari on the track.

Ford dropped out of the battle once they proved their point at Le Mans, and Porsche was very ready to take up the battle.

As they developed their racing technologies, they looked into ways they could be adapted to the competition versions of the 911.

With the great success of their Porsche Carrera RSR in 1973, they saw that the next logical step was to turbo-charge it.

Prismacolor pencils and Varsol on gray archival stock
19"x 16" (48.3cm x 40.6cm) © Paul Chenard 2013

Born from this approach, the 1974 Carrera RSR Turbo was a formidable monster. Turbo-charging made it powerful, but turbo-lag made it scary.

Drivers like Herbert Müller and Gijs van Lennep managed to tame it and it achieved measured success, but it became a major development tool to Porsche’s successful 934 and it’s all-conquering 935.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

911@50 – Porsche Carrera RSR

After the relative success of the Porsche 911 in competition, Porsche saw opportunity to bring it into higher levels of racing.

Starting with the 911S, the technicians developed a lightened car, and focused on increasing the capacity of the flat-six engine.

Out of these developments came the non-turbocharged Carrera RSR 2.8 created to compete in the 1973 GT Championship.

Right out of the box, the car showed huge potential, winning the 1973 Daytona 24 Hours at the hands of Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood.

This was followed up by a win of the 12 Hours of Sebring, driven again by Gregg and Haywood, joined also by Dave Helmick.

Pen&ink and markers on gray archival stock
© Paul Chenard

It famously won the last official Targa Florio, driven by Herbert Müller and Gijs van Lennep.

With the record of important wins and high placings of the Carrera RSR, Porsche took the GT Championship.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Gilles Villeneuve – 31 Years Ago …

31 years ago today, Formula 1 lost one of its most impassioned and exciting drivers, one we will never forget …

“… in equal cars – or sometimes in a lesser car – when I want someone to stay behind … I think he stays behind.”

Sunday, 28 April 2013

911@50 – “Quick Vic” and the Porsche 911

Victor Henry Elford started rally racing in the early 1960’s, slowly gaining experience and success.

In 1963, Porsche introduced the Ferdinand “Bitzi” Porsche–designed 911 as a refined replacement to their 356.

In early 1967, Vic Elford met with Porsche racing team manager Baron Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and convinced him of the competition potential of the 911 in rally racing.

Elford was right and successfully took the 1967 European Rally Championship in the works 911.

Pen&ink and markers on archival watercolour paper
12"x 18" (30.5cm X 45.7cm)
© Paul Chenard 2013

 In 1968, he took a Porsche 911T, along with navigator David Stone, to a very popular win of the grueling Rally Monte Carlo.

It was the only the beginning of legendary competition success of the many storied Porsche 911, which this year, celebrates it’s 50th anniversary.

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Automotive Decoration …

When I moved into my apartment in November 2012, I decided that I would decorate it with my racing history collection and art.

It’s taken a little while to make choices of what to put up, and how to arrange it.

I’ve now reached a point of finish that feels right.

I must add that there was a lovely large blank wall in my living room, so I decorated that with a large acrylic painting of the 1961 Grand Prix de Monaco grid.

Automotive racing history really is my passion; why not show it off?