Wednesday 14 July 2010

Philippe Étancelin – Private Racer

Philippe  “Phi-Phi” Étancelin was a French privateer racer who started racing in 1926, winning the Grand Prix de Reims. During his racing career, he drove Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Maseratis, and Talbot-Lagos.

Born on December 28th, 1896 in Rouen (Normandy), he was a wool and down merchant through the Winter, and raced in the Summer. His wife Suzanne was his pit manager, giving him signals in French sign language.

In the illustration below, Étancelin is on his way to winning the French Grand Prix de Pau in 1930, driving his Bugatti Type 35C. He also won the race in 1936, driving his Maserati V8 R.I., one of only 4 produced!

Scratchboard 7”x 5” © Paul Chenard 2010

In 1934, he raced an Alfa Romeo with Luigi Chinetti in the 24 heures du Mans.

After he retired in 1953, the French government awarded him the Légion d'honneur for his contribution to the sport of automobile racing.

He passed away at the age of 85 years old in 1981. 

I want to personally thank André Étancelin for his help. Merci!


Jeffery Blackwell said...

So beautiful, Paul.

The reverse image - how do you do that? I did some intaglio - is this a wax-on-metal technique? said...

Thanks for the feedback Jeff!
Scratchboard is thin masonite coated on the smooth side with a layer of white "clay" and that is covered with a layer of black "ink", almost like black primer. Using a sharp tool, you scratch away at the black, drawing the highlights and the textures. I could have scratched away the black all around, and had the image go right to the edge, but I chose to vignette it. It gives it a more vintage feel ...