Wednesday 23 December 2009

Happy Holidays!

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.


Monday 7 December 2009

Classic and Sports Car - December Motoring Art feature

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.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Bruce McLaren's Last Season ...

"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 ...

Friday 20 November 2009

Cars in the Park 2009 - Halifax


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.


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

Friday 6 November 2009

Car companies come and go …

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 …

Thursday 29 October 2009

WWII Harvard T6

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?

Wednesday 21 October 2009

The Hubley Bluenose Special - A Gift to Canada

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 his father 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:
“A 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 “Hubley” 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.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Racing Art by the Book

A friend of mine Holly DeWolf, an illustrator, writer and teacher, had a book launch for her new book “
Breaking Into Freelance Illustration”, published with How Publishing.

Illustrator Dayle Dodwell, writer/illustrator Holly New DeWolf and I at Holly's book launch.

Holly had asked me to contribute to her book and of course, I happily obliged.

The launch took place at Argyle Gallery in Halifax, and was a well attended event. It was also fun to meet other contributors and other local artists.
You can pick up her great book through Amazon:

Tuesday 6 October 2009

François Cevert 1944-1973

Born in 1944, François Cevert (née Goldenberg) was a well-liked and talented French Formula 1 and Sports/GT driver.

He began his motorsports career on two wheels, but switched to Formula 3 in 1966. In 1968, Cevert took the French Formula 3 Championship.

For 1969, Cevert moved up to Formula 2, and finished third in the Championship. While in F2, his capabilities captured the notice of (Sir) Jackie Stewart, who encouraged Ken Tyrrell to consider Cevert for the team. Tyrrell took his advice and signed Cevert up for 1970.

Original in Prismacolor pencils on mid-gray stock
© Paul Chenard 2009

Limited edition of 50 Giclee prints 11"x 14.5" (27.9 cm x 36.8 cm) available.

Over the next four seasons, Stewart and Cevert became fast friends, through the wins and the losses. Stewart became Formula 1 Drivers World Champion in 1971, with Cevert winning the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen and taking third place overall.

The team did poorly in 1972 against a powerful Team JPS (Lotus) but came back strongly in 1973. Stewart won the Championship, and was expecting to be replaced by his friend Cevert for the next season, as he had decided to retire at the season’s closing.

Cevert’s year had been very good too, with six 2nd place finishes, but in the very last race of the year at Watkins Glen on October 6th, his Tyrrell 006 crashed horribly during Saturday morning qualifying, and this shining star with the striking blue eyes was extinquished.

This talented and popular pianist and race car driver will never be forgotten by his fans and his peers.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Movie Lobby Cards – All the Action!

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 “Screaming Excitement” on a small budget!

Thursday 17 September 2009

Sir Stirling Moss - 80 Years Young!

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

Bonne fête from all your many many fans worldwide!

Monday 7 September 2009

Chad Hiltz: Customizer Extraordinaire

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.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Phil Hill 1927-2008

Sadly, yesterday was the first anniversary of Phil Hill's passing.

He was a great man, a Championship-winning racer, a master restorer, an enthralling writer, and a classical music lover.

He represents a time of heroes, and thankfully survived a dangerous period in racing.

He missed by all who've had the privilege of knowing him and knowing of him.