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!

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.

Monday 24 August 2009

The 1957 Mille Miglia

1957 spelled the official end of the famous Italian Mille Miglia road race, which started in 1927. As the name suggest, the route snaked its way through a thousand miles of Italy on public roads, starting and ending in Brescia.

That last race was won by Piero Taruffi in a works Ferrari 315 S, but was marred by the crash and death of Count Alfonso De Portago, his navigator Edmund Nelson, and thirteen spectators; Portago was in one of the Scuderia Ferrari team racers. There had been grumblings as a result of deaths in previous races, but this was the last straw, and the Mille Miglia was banded.

Taruffi’s other teammate was Peter Collins, driving a Scuderia Ferrari 335 S, navigated by photographer Louis Klemantaski; they unfortunately broke down, and never finished the race.

Peter Collins' Ferrari 335 S at tech inspection before the race

Working drawing, pencil on light gray archival paper, 12”x 9”
© Paul Chenard 2009

I did this sketch while sitting in the car at a soccer tournament, which my son was coaching (not cool for dad to be around the pitch).

Monday 17 August 2009

Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez – Mexican Racing Heroes

It’s a somewhat quieter time in the Summer, and this also applies to buying (or selling) stuff on Ebay.
I was searching for racing history items, when I came across two original art pieces. With no one bidding, they were easy to pick up.

They are wonderful portraits of the Mexican racing Rodriguez brothers, Ricardo and Pedro, rendered by Mexican artist Rodolfo Federico Antonio Fraga.

The 10” x 15” artworks are beautiful likenesses of the brothers, who are still very much revered in their home country.

Sadly, Ricardo was killed racing a Ferrari 156 in the 1962 Mexican Grand Prix, and Pedro was killed racing a Ferrari 512M at the Norisring in Nuremburg, Germany.

Though Ricardo died very young, Pedro continued, racing in Formula 1 (winning 2 races) and raced the World Championship of Makes, becoming a two-time World Champion (1970, 1971) at the wheel of a Wyer-Gulf-Porsche Porsche 917.

Monday 10 August 2009

SCALEXTRIC Tinplate Maserati 250F

My wife Lise and our younger son Olivier just got back from a weekend trip to Toronto to take in the Real Madrid/Toronto FC game on August 7th. Though it was a lop-sided win (5-1), it was still a very entertaining game!

While their stay was quite short, they had the pleasure of brunching with my friend Peter and his wife Huguette. Unknown to me, Peter had picked up a little something for me.

He found out that SCALEXTRIC had just release a 1/32 limited edition tinplate Maserati 250F; my favorite Grand Prix race car, driven by my favorite driver Juan Manuel Fangio, in his most famous race, German GP, Nurburgring 1957.

Peter knew very well how to pick them! It is a stunning slot racer, with all the right detail. It’s displayed in a very nice presentation box, and includes it’s own numbered card for each of the 5050 produced. SCALEXTRIC also offers a tinplate Ferrari 375 limited edition.

Needless to say, this gem will hold a special place in my collection …

Sunday 2 August 2009

An MG TF, Popular Mechanics, and the Look-off

A few weeks ago, I had a great visit from my friend Peter Felder, who drove over 1800 kms from Mississauga to visit me and see Nova Scotia.

We made our way to the Look-off near Canning so that Peter could get a stunning view of the fertile Annapolis Valley.

On our way there, something caught my eye in the form of an MG TF sticking out of the garage of Country Barn Antiques in Port Williams.

Of course we had to stop and take a look. Though the car was a little rough and tired, it was still quite nice to look at.

As we rummaged through the store, I found a gorgeous March 1929 issue of Popular Mechanics. It has a beautiful colour cover illustration of a land speed record car on the beach at Daytona, Florida. The feature article covers man’s quest for more speed. It’s a perfect addition to my collection …

We did finally escape to get to our destination, and to take in the breath-taking view.

Sunday 26 July 2009

Gran Turismo Omologato – The Famous Ferrari GTO

I you ask a real Ferrari lover which is his or her all-time favorite Ferrari, there is a very good possibility the their choice will be the ‘60s GTO.

Prismacolor pencils on red archival Strathmore paper 12"x 9"
© Paul Chenard 2009
Miguel Morales Collection

Available as a limited edition print.

Consider by many as one of the most beautiful cars in the world, it was designed by Sergio Scaflietti, in collaboration with engineer Mauro Forghieri as a replacement the 250 GT SWB. Wind-tunnel and track tested, powered by a 3.0 Litre V-12, the GTO sported A-arm front suspention, disk brakes, and a five-speed gearbox.

Though it was a street legal, it was conceived to do battle for the World Manufacturers Championship in the prestigious GT Class.

This beauty was also a beast, winning the GT Championship in 1962, 1963, and 1964.

Only 39 GTO’s were ever built, so the value of this prized racer can expected to be between $15 million and $30 million USD.

Monday 20 July 2009

“Go Like Hell” – A Book Review

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was kind enough to send me this book to review on my blog; here it is.

As I closed the cover of A. J. Baime’s book “Go Like Hell”, all I could think of was “hell-of-a-book”!

The book’s subtitle is “Ford, Ferrari, and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans”, and that sums up very well the subject of his book.

Baime, an executive editor at Playboy magazine, has obviously done some extensive research to put the story together, with interviews with the some of major participants, and their associates, to get the inside perspective. I very much enjoyed finding out more of the players in this vast story, in particular Ken Miles, Phil Hill and John Surtees.

This is not at all a clinical analysis of what happened, but gets right in on the feeling of the 1950’s through to the late 1960’s, and the huge clashes of culture going on then.

These numerous culture clashes float up through the background of racing, spiraling into that landmark 1966 Le Mans: hot-rodders vs engineers, time vs development, American vs Italian, horsepower vs cylinders, corporate vs casual, global vs national, staid vs flashy, speed vs safety, individual vs team …

It’s all there, working together, bringing us through this exciting period of history.

The book is very easy to read thanks to the fine layout and design of graphic designer Brian Moore, who obviously researched his subject to bring in some subtile design touches.

Though I found only one very minor error in the book, there are two points with which I really take issue.

The title “Go Like Hell” is not a quote from the book (I couldn’t find it); it’s weak and totally misses to point of the story. “Speed and Glory” from the subtitle is a much stronger and accurate title to this book, and much more attractive.

The cover, which unfortunately was not designed by Mr. Moore, is horrendous. There are two possibly interesting front cover photos obliterated by a typographic monstrosity that looks like a “TIDE” logo. As I always tell my clients, it cost just as much to do it wrong as to do it right … unfortunately, they are not even close to doing the cover right here, and they are more than 8.36 miles off …

Most of us know this story, and we also know how it ends.
But A. J. Baime gives us the behind-the-scenes and the hard to find insights that make it enthralling.

You can pick it up here at Amazon ... you won't regret it!

Saturday 4 July 2009

1972 Norton Commando 750 Fastback

Recently, a friend of mine commissioned me to illustrate her husband's 1972 Norton motorcycle as a gift.

Pen & ink and Prismacolor pencils on white archival stock 12"x 9"
© Paul Chenard 2009

It was a fun project, and I guess it solicited the required response.

Sunday 28 June 2009

Dijon 1979 - A race not easily forgotten ...

The Renault Team was favored to make a clean sweep of the 1979 French Grand Prix. A French car on French soil driven by a Frenchman and fueled by French "carburant" had the making of P.R. gold.

But they didn't count on the tenacity of the Canadian driving for Ferrari ...
Pen & ink and Prismacolor pencils on gray archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2008
Original art available, as are limited editions.

Photographer, author, keynote speaker Allan De La Plante had the chance to witness that famous race; in his words:

Hi Paul,

I was there In Dijon that crazy day and it was something else. When I returned to the pits Gilles' T4 was sitting there all alone with the front tires completely spent, but the thing that got to me was the car was growning and creaking as it cooled down. It almost seemed to talk! I am sure the car was as satisfied as everyone, well almost everyone, that saw that almighty duel.
Nice work!

You can see Allan's fabulous photography at