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.