Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Artwork of Nicholas Watts



Exploring auto racing from different angles and perspectives


by Jacques Vaucher


Over the last century, not only has England been a nucleus of automobile racing but it also seems that some of the best automobile artists also come out of the UK. With names like Bryan De Grineau, Fredrick Gordon Crosby, Michael Turner, Dexter Brown, Peter Hearsey and Barry Rowe, whose artwork we featured a few weeks ago, just to name a few.


Raging Bulls giclée by Nicholas Watts


Today we are showing the work of Nicholas Watts, who for the last few decades has been using his brushes and pencils to capture some of the most important moments and scenes in the history of motor racing. 

Grand Prix of Japan 1976 acrylic painting by Nicholas Watts
Preserving a fleeting moment in time is something that historians and romantics alike often wish they could do. The paintings of automotive artist Nicholas Watts are dedicated to doing just that. He has mastered the art of capturing a brief second in time, not only through the event and local environment, but the emotional aspect as well.

Born in Tunbridge, England in 1947, Watts is a virtually self-taught artist. From an early age he was fascinated with the automobile, including its structure, form and function. Each painting of his is a celebration of that fascination, and is painstakingly researched and detailed.

Working usually with gouache-on-board and later in acrylic on canvas, Watts’ work is always exploring auto racing from different angles and perspectives. This is clearly evident in his recent work, which not only opens up new views to historical moments in the sport, but also explores new techniques of capturing speed and action on board and canvas.

Fangio - The Maestro print by Nicholas Watts
By stopping time just seconds before the most fateful event of the race, Watts has managed to hold on to the feeling of that specific moment. Even people who didn’t witness the race, or don’t know of its outcome can sense the tension in the air.

“I want to put more of myself into my paintings,” explains Watts. “I can do this through my use of color and brush strokes, without losing the exact shape of the vehicle. I doubt my style will ever become completely impressionistic, but I have moved away from the photo-realism I began with.”


He continually offers us new approaches and perspectives of the motor races, keeping his work fresh and new, and in high demand. If the past 40+ years have been any indication of his growth and potential, we expect Nicholas Watts to remain at the forefront of automotive art for years to come. In his own words, “I only hope I have enough time to create all of the ideas I have in my head.” 

The Final Targa print by Nicholas Watts
Nicholas and I go back a few decades. We started working together in the 1980’s and in 1989, the gallery of l’art et l’automobile organized a ‘one man show’ for Nicolas in our New York Penthouse gallery on 34th Street in Manhattan. Ever since, or relationship has been excellent, and to this day I am an avid fan of him, his family and his work. 

Keep up the Good work Nicholas. I am grateful to know you and will do my best to display your work with the respect it deserves and help others discover and celebrate your art.




At l’art et l’automobile we have a deep appreciation for the artistry of vintage automobiles, but particularly for the artwork that celebrates them. Nicholas Watts is at the forefront of this sense of dedication to capturing the automotive world through the lens of paint and canvas. To celebrate this fact, we have collected all our pieces by this wonderful artist and present them to you. Find out more about this collection here or enjoy looking through the gallery at arteauto.com, and perhaps add a piece to your collection.


Jacques Vaucher

For more great automotive memorabilia, don't forget to browse the many other categories on our Website. Remember we also have many more items in our gallery, do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something in particular.

And as always, be sure to Like and Share on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, share a photo on Instagram and read our Blogs.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Monterey Car Week Unrestrained

The Motoring Classic convoying down a California Highway on its way to the 68th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

How to do it all and do it large, for under $5,000 a day

by Carl Bomstead edited by James Kathauser


 Having attended Pebble for the past 25 years or so, I’ve watched costs continue to escalate and have always dreaded the arrival of the credit-card bill that documented what a great time my wife and I had. But not this time. For the purposes of this exercise, the only caveat is try to keep it under $5,000 a day.

Now, of course, this doesn’t include any car purchases — just everything else.

Arriving in style


The Motoring Classic arrives at the 68th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Courtesy of AutoNXT
The Motoring Classic arrives at the 68th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
Courtesy of AutoNXT


My first call is to Tour Master extraordinaire AlMcEwan, who is the majordomo for the famed Pebble Beach Motoring Classic. The tour is a nine-day, 1,500 mile extravaganza that leaves from Seattle, continues through the Oregon Cascades and then down the California coast, crossing the San Francisco Bay Bridge and arriving at the Pebble Beach Lodge on Wednesday afternoon. About 30 cars attend, and the requirement is that the cars have appeared on the lawn at Pebble Beach or are eligible to do so. The tour cost is $12,000 for a couple but is all-inclusive, including premium lodging, food and libations.

Fortunately, Al has an opening, and we quickly take care of the nancial arrangements.

Rolling tab: $12,000, and that’s before arriving in Monterey.


Where to sleep


The newly renovated Pebble Beach Lodge borders the 18th hole and provides great accommodation for Concours Visitors Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resorts
The newly renovated Pebble Beach Lodge borders the 18th hole and provides great accommodation
for Concours Visitors.  Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resorts


Accommodations are always an issue during the week. I have my normal overpriced franchise motel reserved, but I’ve always wanted to stay at The Lodge. Checking with the powers that be at the concours of office tells me that there has been a cancellation at Casa Palmero, the boutique 24-room facility that resembles a Mediterranean villa. It is part of The Lodge and is renowned for its personal service, but it comes with a price. The Estate Studio that is available is $1,150 a night plus the taxes, gratuities and other fees. For Wednesday through Sunday, that’s around $6,200.

Rolling tab: $18,200.


Red cars and carpets



A Day at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Car Show Courtesy of Dwell
A Day at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Car Show
Courtesy of Dwell


I won’t have much time to relax, as my wife and I will be picked up at 5 p.m. on Wednesday for the McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center. We have purchased Red Carpet tickets for $575 each and look forward to enjoying the “see and be seen” lifestyle event that features current super and vintage cars and aircraft, along with food and beverages from the local upscale providers.

McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center
McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center
Thursday we will be participating in the Tour d’Elegance, so I will have my car ready to go at the Polo Field in time for scrutineering and renewing friendships. The majority of the entrants in the concours now participate in the Tour, which travels through 17-Mile Drive, often continues out to Laureles Grade and then down Highway One to scenic Bixby Bridge. It returns to Carmel, where the cars are parked along Ocean Avenue for all to enjoy. The cars always draw a crowd in Carmel, and this year will not be an exception.

We will get back to “Casa P” in time to unwind a bit before I gather my group of 10 or so friends and head out the Carmel Valley Road to the Baja Cantina and Hot Chili Nights — a gathering of 100 or more collector cars. The Baja Cantina is known for its Mexican food, but I’m also attracted to the automotive memorabilia that owner Pat Phinney has displayed throughout the restaurant. Dinner for the party? $600.

Rolling tab: $19,950.


Exclusive fun


The McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center is an exclusive event hosted during the Festivities Courtesy of Autoweek
The McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center is an exclusive event hosted
 during the Festivities.  Courtesy of Autoweek

Friday, my wife and I will be off to The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, as we have found a pair of tickets on eBay for $1,500, which is an absolute bargain, as they are listed on StubHub starting at $1,950.

The Quail is a day of exciting motorcars, excellent food pavilions and refreshments from a variety of premium suppliers. It is also a lifestyle event, as you can find displays for anything from exotic cars to multimillion-dollar yachts and most anything in between.

We will need some time to unwind when we return to “Casa P,” then we will join friends and walk down to the Lodge for dinner at the Stillwater Bar and Grill, which overlooks the famed 18th fairway and Stillwater Cove. A smaller, more intimate evening. $500.

But it will be an early evening, as Saturday will find us in our transportation to Concorso Italiano at the Black Horse Golf Course. Concorso Italiano was first presented in 1985 and features all that is Italian. There will be close to 1,000 cars that are Italian in origin presented in a number of classes. Keith Martin is again scheduled to have microphone in hand as master of ceremonies as he interviews owners and presents the awards. Two CI Club tickets: $495 each.

The evening will find us at the Gala Dinner for Pebble Beach entrants, judges and sponsors. We are included as part of the Motoring Classic. The fare is always exceptional and the drink is all top-shelf. The band plays on, but we will duck into the Gooding auction taking place next door. Bidder credentials there are $200, in addition to the $300 we spent at RM Sotheby’s, $150 at Bonhams, $100 at Mecum, $200 at Russo and Steele, and $150 at Worldwide Auctioneers — gotta be ready in case a special car pops up that we need to own.

Rolling tab: $24,140


Concours Sunday



Lining up for the Prestigious Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach Courtesy of CAR Magazine
Lining up for the Prestigious Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach
Courtesy of CAR Magazine
Sunday morning will arrive early, as we will be at Dawn Patrol. There, the cars are greeted by Pebble Beach Concours Chairperson Sandra Button as they enter the field. It is also the best time for photos before it becomes too crowded. We have managed to acquire a pair of tickets for the Chairman’s Hospitality at the Lodge for $2,750 apiece, which provides VIP access credentials and access to the Stillwater Bar and Grill for viewing of the award ceremony. Food and beverages will, of course, be provided.

Grand Finale: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Grand Finale: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Following the Best of Show presentation, we will take the short walk to the Beach Club for the after-party, which is part of the Motoring Classic package. It is primarily for entrants and judges, as the winners will be congratulated and the others thanked for their participation. It will have been a long day, so it will hopefully be an early evening.

When we return to Casa Palmero, there will most likely be a celebration under way in the hosted bar, so plans for an early evening will probably go out the window.








Grand total: $29,540.


Cost per day: $5,908.


Of course, this all illustrates that you can’t see or do everything regardless of your budget — and speaking of budgets, I blew my $5,000-per-day plan, too. But what’s Monterey if not a time to splurge on the experience?

With this, I have an exciting Monterey Car Week planned. But my ever-skeptical wife asks if I’m sure the magazine is going to cover this expensive trip. Could my fantasy trip be just that — a fantasy?



Jacques in the Gallery of L'art et l'automobile
Jacques in the Gallery of L'art et l'automobile
Monterey Week is coming quickly, August 17th to the 27th. The motoring world will be converging on the Peninsula at Pebble Beach. The 10 day long event will be packed with racetrack celebrities, Concours d’Elegance and automobile week, numerous manufacturers’ meetings, car club reunions, forums, vintage car auctions and so much more. But Carl forgot to go to the Race Track at Laguna Secca, where they hold great Vintage Car Races, namely the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion held throughout Autoweek. Great fun but exhausting.

L’art et l’automobile’s very own Jacques Vaucher will as usual be exhibiting some of our latest vintage Automobile Memorabilia at the Spanish Bay Inn from Thursday the 23rd through Saturday the 25th. Make sure to please come by, have a chat with Jacques and Karen and peruse the collection in person.

In addition, Jacques has been invited to participate in the Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum on Friday afternoon at 3:30 pm, also at the Spanish Bay Inn. He will be collaborating in a talk on “collecting everything but cars” as part of the panel, for a discussion on all memorabilia surrounding car collecting.

Come Visit, and we hope to see you there.

Jacques Vaucher

For more great automotive memorabilia, don't forget to browse the many other categories on our WEBSITE. Remember we also have many more items in our gallery, do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something in particular.

And as always, be sure to Like and Share on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, share a photo on Instagram and read our Blogs.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Automobiles of Ettore Bugatti

Bugatti Type 44 and Type 35, on display together at Petersen Automotive Museum’s The Art of Bugatti Exhibition Photo courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum © 2016

One of the greatest car manufacturers in the world.

by James Karthauser


Greetings Auto Lovers,

Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy, and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in 1909 in Molsheim, which was part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1919. The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, and for the artistic manner in which the designs were executed, given the artistic nature of Ettore's family (his father, Carlo Bugatti (1856–1940), was an important Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry designer).

Ettore Bugatti, Acrylic Painting on Canvas by Barry Rowe
Ettore Bugatti in front of his paddock at the French Grand Prix, detailed in a Painting by Barry Rowe
available in our Bugatti Collection at arteauto.com.  


After World War One, Bugatti was able to obtain at the last minute, a stand at the 15th Paris motor show in October 1919. He exhibited three light cars, the Type 13, 22 and 23, each fitted with the same 4-cylinder 1,368cc engine. Ettore Bugatti, who considered himself not just a constructor but an artist, ensured that his cars made a good showing.   

Bugatti Type 13, the smallest of the three models Ettore Bugatti exhibited in Paris in 1919.
Photo courtesy of CarinPicture.com


The company was at its peak during the 1920’s and 30’s, building some very successful race cars and luxurious sports cars. Famous Bugattis constructed during this period include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the Type 41 "Royale", the Type 57 "Atlantic" and the Type 55 sports car. The company also enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing: in 1929 a privately entered Bugatti won the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. Racing success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron).

1932 Bugatti Type 41 Royale, on display at Petersen Automotive Museum’s The Art of Bugatti Exhibition
Photo courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum © 2016


Bugatti cars were extremely successful in racing. The little Bugatti Type 10 swept the top four positions at its first race. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35 is probably the most successful racing car of all time, with over 2,000 wins. The Type 35 was developed by Bugatti with master engineer and racing driver Jean Chassagne who also drove it in Bugatti’s first ever Grand Prix in 1924, in Lyon. Bugattis swept to victory in the Targa Florio for five years straight from 1925 through 1929. Louis Chiron held the most podiums in Bugatti cars, and the modern marque revival Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. named the 1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept car in his honor. But it was the final racing success at Le Mans that is most remembered—Jean-Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron won the 1939 race with just one car and meager resources.

Bugatti Type 35 working re-creation by Pur Sang
The Bugatti Type 35 Racer, possibly the most winning race car of all time.  This particular example
is a working recreation by Pur Sang.  Photo Courtesy of Autoweek.

Bugattis are noticeably focused on design. Engine blocks were hand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing, many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment featured guilloché (an artistic pattern made trough engine turning) finishes on them, and safety wires had been threaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns. Rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Bugatti's axles were forged such that the spring passed through a carefully sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts. He famously described his arch competitor Bentley's cars as "the world's fastest lorries" for focusing on durability. According to Bugatti, "weight was the enemy".

Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic, on display at Petersen Automotive Museum’s The Art of Bugatti Exhibition
Photo courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum © 2016


At l’art et l’automobile we appreciate artistry and craftsmanship as much as anyone, and in the case of Bugatti, those characteristics have produced a marque that refines and defines the terms in the automotive industry. For many, the Bugatti Marque represents the pinnacle of classic automotive engineering, and we are hard pressed to disagree. To that end, we have amassed a good collection of items representing this illustrious marque through the decades. Enjoy looking through the gallery at arteauto.com, and perhaps add a piece to your collection.

Regards.

Jacques Vaucher

For more great automotive memorabilia, don't forget to browse the many other categories on our NEW WEBSITE. Remember we also have many more items in our gallery, do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something in particular.

And as always, be sure to Like and Share on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, share a photo on Instagramand read our Blogs.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The 7 most memorable German Grand Prix moments

Check out the seven most eye-catching and hair-raising moments that have happened at the German Grand Prix      (and one we at l'art et l'automobile feel they missed)

By James W Roberts edited by James Karthauser

The German Grand Prix has been held 75 times and has been part of the FIA Formula One World Championship since 1951, so it is safe to say that in that time a few pretty memorable events have occurred there.  Since the Second World War the race has been hosted by three venues:  Hockenheimring, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and at a shorter version of the Nürburgring and there have been plenty of unforgettable moments.  Here are seven momentous German Grand Prix moments.

Max Verstappen’s dad turns up the heat

Hockenheim, 31st July 1994

Jos Verstappen's miraculous escape at Hockenheim
Jos Verstappen's miraculous escape at Hockenheim
The 1994 F1 season saw the return of in-race refuelling and a few drivers and team bosses worried about the dangers of fuel spraying over red-hot F1 cars, but for the first eight races of the championship it was a case of so far so good.
…but then came the German Grand Prix.

On lap 47, Jos Verstappen stopped in the pits for fuel and tyres. As the refuelling mechanic inserted the fuel hose a clear liquid was seen spraying all over the car. An eerie calm followed before a huge explosion engulfed Verstappen’s Benetton B194 and his mechanics.  The cause? Benetton had fiddled with the refuelling components in an attempt to ensure a quicker stop.  Naughty.  The result? Thankfully, the ensuing fireball was quickly extinguished, Verstappen and a mechanic escaped with minor burns and Gerhard Berger went on to win a crazy race that was dogged by political squabbling and a first corner smash that eliminated ten cars on the spot.

First pole and first win for Webber

Nürburgring, 12th July 2009

Maiden win at Nurburgring 2009
Maiden win at Nurburgring 2009

By the time of the 2009 German Grand Prix Mark Webber was in his third season with Red Bull Racing and despite clocking up four podium finishes, his first Grand Prix victory eluded him.
That was until F1 returned to the reconfigured Nürburgring, under the banner of the German Grand Prix, for the first time since 1985.  Webber confirmed the promise he had been showing since coming into F1 back in 2002 and nailed pole position, the first of his career, ahead of the Brawn-Mercedes machines of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.  In the race Webber led home a memorable Red Bull Racing one-two in front of Sebastian Vettel, sealing a hugely popular victory and becoming the first Australian to win a Grand Prix since Alan Jones triumphed in the 1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix.

Piquet’s punch up

Hockenheim, 8th August 1982

Nelson Piquet
Nelson Piquet

Perhaps one of F1’s most bizarre (and comical) moments happened during the 1982 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.  Reigning World Champion Nelson Piquet was easily leading the race in his BMW-powered Brabham and on lap 18 and approaching the newly installed Ostkurve chicane he caught the lapped car of backmarker Eliseo Salazar.
And the rest is history…

Piquet contro Salazar al GP Germania 1982
Piquet contro Salazar al GP Germania 1982


"Quite what Salazar thought he was doing…and I have to say that is an absolute disgrace," James Hunt, BBC commentator.  As Piquet went to pass Salazar the Columbian driver inexplicably hit Piquet’s Brabham from behind and sent both cars spinning out of the race.  The furious Piquet leaped from his car, confronted the hapless Salazar and shoved, punched and kicked him in an act of aggression rarely seen (in front of the cameras at least) in the civilised world of F1.



After the dust had settled the Brabham mechanics discovered that Piquet’s engine wouldn’t have lasted the race distance anyway.

Patrick Tambay’s emotional win

Hockenheim, 8th August 1982

Patrick Tambay
Patrick Tambay


The 1982 season was so full of drama and tragedy not even movie director Ron Howard could’ve come up with a crazier plot.  By the time of the German Grand Prix, F1 had witnessed a driver’s strike, the death of popular Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve, and in practice for the race at Hockenheim Ferrari suffered another catastrophic blow.  Didier Pironi, the man expected to win the driver’s title had a monumental airborne accident in practice, smashing his legs and ending his career.

Didier Pironi Crash 1982
Didier Pironi Crash 1982

On race day it was left to Villeneuve’s replacement Patrick Tambay to climb into the sole Ferrari, tackle the high-speed straights of Hockenheim and bring the number 27 car home to score a memorable and emotional win for the prancing horse.

Jackie Stewart’s finest hour

Nürburgring, 4th August 1968

Jackie Stewart in the rain at the Nürburgring
Jackie Stewart in the rain at the Nürburgring

Back in the 1960s the original 13-odd mile long Nürburgring Nordschlife was a daunting prospect for any driver.

"The track is narrow, the undulations so pronounced, the bends so numerous, that you can hardly remember where you are on the circuit even on a clear day, but in fog and ceaseless spray you just have no idea at all," .Jackie Stewart.  Jackie Stewart called it ‘the green hell’ and his drive on that August afternoon at the German Grand Prix in appalling conditions has gone down as legend.

"When I left home to race at the German Grand Prix, I always used to pause at the end of my driveway and take a long look back at my house. I was never sure I would come home again."

 Epic Grand Prix Instagram


In heavy rain and fog, the Scottish driver, racing with a broken wrist, sailed his Matra-Ford in zero visibility through the spray to win the race a massive four minutes ahead of Graham Hill.  The skill and bravery Stewart displayed in a race he himself thought should have been cancelled remains one of the finest displays by any F1 driver ever.

Niki Lauda’s miraculous escape

Nürburgring, 1st August 1976

Niki Lauda at the 1976 German GP
Niki Lauda at the 1976 German GP

The 1976 F1 season had it all. The British upstart James Hunt against the cool and calculated Austrian world champion Niki Lauda. McLaren Vs Ferrari.  And at the German Grand Prix that year, the notorious Nürburgring would be the scene for one of the most dramatic events in F1 history.
Reigning champion Lauda crashed at speed on lap two and as his Ferrari slewed to a halt burst into flames and was hit by two other cars. Grainy footage dramatically shows the Austrian trapped in his burning car as drivers Guy Edwards, Arturo Merzario, Brett Lunger and Harald Ertl heroically struggle to free him.

 Where is Palmer Instagram


Lauda suffered serious burns and almost fatal smoke inhalation. He was given the last rites by a priest, but in a super human feat of recovery was back at the wheel of his car two races later.

"I am bandaged, blind and dumb. A man appears: I understand it’s the priest. He speaks Latin, it sounds like a judgement, the last rites. It makes me so cross – I want to shout: HEY STOP, THIS IS THE WORST F***-UP YOU MAKE IN YOUR LIFE. I AM NOT GOING TO DIE."

Lauda bravely retired his car from the 1976 finale
Lauda bravely retired his car from the 1976 finale

When all was said and done, Lauda only lost the 1976 driver’s title by one point to Hunt and went on to regain his F1 crown in 1977.  F1 never returned to the original Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Schumacher’s first German Grand Prix win

Hockenheim, 30th July 1995

Michael Schumacher on the podium in 1995
Michael Schumacher on the podium in 1995

The 1995 F1 season was the first where German fans could see a reigning world champion on home soil.  By the time of the 1995 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Michael Schumacher fever was everywhere, and as the championship battle heated up with British rival Damon Hill, the partisan crowd were desperate to see their new hero win.  On a hot summer day the capacity crowd basked in sun and scadenfreude as they witnessed Hill’s Williams spin off into the barriers leaving Schumacher and Benetton to make history.  The fact this happened right in front of the densely packed stadium section only added to the fan’s delight and Schumacher cruised to his first German Grand Prix victory and place one hand on the 1995 title.

Die Regenmeister - King of the Rain

Nurburgring, 23 July 1939

Rudolf Caracciola
Rudolf Caracciola

The German Grand Prix at Nurburgring would be one of the last races of the 1939 season, due to the outbreak of World War II in September, but as that event took place months before, contention was still as hot as ever.  

Rudolf Caracciola, the famous German Champion, took it upon himself to tally another win for Mercedes and for Germany.  In a pouring Deluge, Caracciola pushed his Mercedes Benz W154 from the third position to the winners circle, dealing with the weather and engine hardships.  Though he was suspicious that the Daimler-Benz Racing Team favored his Teammate Hermann Lang, he pulled out the victory and went on to become the German Road Racing Champion, proving once again his title of 'King of the Rain.'


This week marks the 77th running of the German Grand Prix. This biennial event has hosted Grand Prix and Formula 1 races since 1926 and is recently returning to the Formula 1 schedule as the Premier German Racing Event. 


 GP of Germany - Hockenheim 1983 poster by Carlo Demand 1939 German GP at the Nurburgring print by Carlo Demand, autographedGP of Germany Hockenheim 1994 official event poster
  Many prints, posters, brochures and memorabilia detailing the German Grand Prix over the years available at arteauto.com

We here at l'art et l'automobile are definitely not going to miss this illustrious event, and we very much hope that you will be joining us as well. To that end, we have gathered a collection of Artifacts and Memorabilia from this momentous race and are providing it to you, our followers. Follow this link to our Newsfeed, where you will find a sampling of the collection as well as a link to find all the German GP artwork and Automobilia we have to offer. Please feel free to tour the gallery here, and perhaps you will find something to add to your collection.

And as always, Like and Share us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Share a Picture with us on Instagram and catch up on the rest of the blog below.

James Karthauser
Development and Social Media
l'art et l'automobile

Thursday, June 28, 2018

La femme et l'automobile

Women on the Allure of Driving the Rallye des Princesses


Kate Walker of The New York Times edited by James Karthauser



Competitors in the 2016 rally, which covers country roads at speeds averaging 25 to 30 miles per hour. While the vintage cars add to the glamour, they often don’t provide the smoothest ride. Credit - Richard Bord, via Rallye des Princesses
Competitors in the 2016 rally, which covers country roads at speeds averaging 25 to 30 miles per hour. While the vintage cars add to the glamour, they often don’t provide the smoothest ride.
Credit - Richard Bord, via Rallye des Princesses

The concept reads like a dream: five days spent driving classic cars from Paris to Southern France, stopping off along the way for leisurely lunches and nights in four- and five-star hotels. As motorsport experiences go, the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille is a world apart — an all-female motorsport event aimed at providing entrants with a luxury experience in addition to an automotive adventure with breathtaking views. Some 90 women will take part in the six-day race that started on Saturday in Paris, and continues all this week, will travel some 1,000 miles of meandering roads in France and northern Spain, before crossing the finish line in Biarritz on the Atlantic coast of France.

[READ MORE: The Rich History of the Rallye des Princesses]

The first Rallye des Princesses in 2000 even included actual royalty: it counted among its entrants Princess Helene of Yugoslavia. She competed again in 2002 and 2006. The rally’s appeal extends beyond European royalty, and many of the 180 entrants this year are simply women who are passionate about cars and racing. Anne Sampeur of France, who first took part in 2014, came across the event by accident, when she stumbled across the start of the race in Paris. “I discovered the Rallye des Princesses while strolling Place Vendôme with friends about 10 years ago,” Sampeur recalled. “At the time, we had an HMC — an Austin-Healey replica, but my husband didn’t want to lend me his car. When I was ready to register, we bought a silver gray 1979 convertible Beetle.”

Anne Sampeur, right, and Joelle Szpala in a 1979 Volkswagen Beetle in the 2014 rally. Credit Richard Bord/Getty Images
Anne Sampeur, right, and Joelle Szpala in a 1979 Volkswagen Beetle in the 2014 rally.
Credit - Richard Bord/Getty Images

Since 2014, Sampeur has entered the rally with friends and family, and in 2017 competed alongside her 14-year-old daughter, Matisse, who served as navigator. The pair entered a navy blue 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider 1600. “It was great,” Sampeur said. While the vintage cars add to the glamour, open-top vehicles running at an average of 25 to 30 miles per hour along glorious country roads, the drive is often not smooth because of the age of the vehicles. “We place a particular premium on comfort, as the performance involved in driving a vintage car for 350 kilometers per day on country roads is one that ought to be paired with a well-earned rest,” said Viviane Zaniroli, the founder of the event.

Richard Mille, a lead partner accompanies the 18th Rallye des Princesses last summer photo courtesy of Invictus Magazine
Richard Mille, a lead partner accompanies the 18th Rallye des Princesses last summer
photo courtesy of Invictus Magazine

That well-earned rest includes spa treatments, luxury hotels, Champagne receptions and fine dining every evening, with a party at the finish line to round off the adventure. One regular participant is Coralie Chehab of Switzerland, entering her fifth Rallye des Princesses this year. Chehab is passionate about the event. “So many anecdotes, so many crazy laughs, so many memories to tell. Rallye des Princesses is not just a rally, it’s a vacation with 200 friends and cars.”


Florence Migraine Bourgnon, Julie Gayet, Jovanka Sopalovic at the Rallye des Princesses  photo courtesy of Purepeople.com
Florence Migraine Bourgnon, Julie Gayet, Jovanka Sopalovic at the Rallye des Princesses
photo courtesy of Purepeople.com
The Rallye des Princesses is open only to vintage cars — those registered before 1989 — split into groups roughly by decade. Some entrants own the cars, while others borrow from friends or drive cars furnished by sponsors. Chehab shares “an amazing 1967 gray convertible Mercedes-Benz 250SL Pagoda” with her co-driver and friend Gaëlle Wacziarg. The car is provided by a sponsor. “This beauty is definitely part of our team; she even has a name now — we call her Titine,” Chehab said. “Driving this car is a real pleasure, even though she is 50 years old. She is very comfortable and super easy to drive. A dream for this kind of rally.” Chehab entered the rally at the urging of Wacziarg, who returned from her first event full of enthusiasm. “I always had an interest in cars and always loved driving, but never thought I could participate in something so exceptional as the Rallye des Princesses,” Chehab said. “In the end, it didn’t take much to convince me to take part in this great adventure.”

The Rallye Route is a Beautiful Winding Affair through Southern France Photo courtesy of Franceracing.fr
The Rallye Route is a Beautiful Winding Affair through Southern France
Photo courtesy of Franceracing.fr

One of the advantages of driving a loaner vehicle at a rally is that maintenance is taken care of by the car’s owner. “We are pretty lucky with Titine; we never had serious mechanical problems,” Chebab said. “She is very well maintained by our sponsor — he always makes a check before and after every rally. “The car suffers a lot during the week, with the changes of temperature — Paris during the spring is not always sunny, while in the South of France the weather is already warm — and I think the worst for the Pagoda is when the road book takes us into the mountains,” she said about the route map. “She is a heavy car and not really made for climbing.”

A Selection of Vintage Cars lined up for the Next Leg of the Rallye des Princesses Photo courtesy of Zaniroli.com
A Selection of Vintage Cars lined up for the Next Leg of the Rallye des Princesses
Photo courtesy of Zaniroli.com

Sampeur struggled in 2015, breaking the clutch on her 1968 MGC at the end of the first day. “With the help of the MG club, I managed to find a garage to repair it with a clutch disc for an old car — 47 years old! So we didn’t run one day and took 7,000 penalty points,” she said. “On Tuesday, the hose was drilled. We saw the problem before departing for a regularity trial. We parked the car, and with rags and Scotch tape we fixed it to keep it going until lunch, where the great team of mechanics repaired it with real tools. “On Wednesday, the reverse gear decided to collapse, so we couldn’t make U-turns — to park the car we needed the help of mechanics to push us. And to finish the rally, before arriving in Saint-Tropez, our rearview mirror fell off. We laughed for a long time.”

The ultimate women’s motor sport get-away... Photo courtesy of Zaniroli.com
The ultimate women’s motor sport get-away...
Photo courtesy of Zaniroli.com

Making her Rallye des Princesses debut this year is Susan Fesmire of Texas, who will be driving a 1970 Triumph convertible.

“This is my first R.D.P., but I suspect not my last, and this may all sound over the top, but I have had more fun getting ready for this event than anything I have ever done,” she said. “I first learned about the rally from a friend of mine in 2014. Her adventure sounded so glamorous and challenging,” she said. “Over the next two years I thought of the race often. I frequently checked the race website and Googled images from past races. I was fascinated by the idea of a race for non-racers, the gorgeous French countryside, sleek historic cars and chateaus all with your best girlfriend. When I pored over Rallye pictures, they showed beautiful women of all ages, from all countries, who seemed not unlike me. They looked amazing, but also real. “The idea of participating stayed in the back of my mind,” Fesmire said. “Then one Sunday morning in August 2016, I was looking at the Rallye website and decided that I was going to do it,” she said. “All I had to do was convince my best friend to go with me.”

The Rally des Princesses is designed for women by a woman Viviane Zaniroli. Photo courtesy of Zaniroli.com
The Rally des Princesses is designed for women by a woman Viviane Zaniroli.
Photo courtesy of Zaniroli.com


“That Sunday morning was over a year and a half ago, and the allure of the race has not waned for Suzanne or me,” she said of her friend and co-driver Suzanne Swaner, also of Texas. “The 19th Rallye des Princesses has given us almost two years of planning, strategizing and daydreaming about six amazing days spent behind the wheel of a gorgeous red convertible, laughing with my best friend while participating in the most glamorous all-women car rally in the world. It just doesn’t get any better.”

Nazanin Lankarani contributed reporting.



Modern Aphrodites and dream cars have always made good combinations, and by the splendor of its forms the automobile has always been associated with feminine elegance and charm. From the manufacturing to competition, from daily driving to Concours d'Elegance, women have always been present in the world of Automobile.


Concours d'Elegance poster by Alain LevesqueLouis Vuitton, Bagatelle Concours d’Elegance 1991 poster by Razzia


For the next week l'art et l'automobile gallery is proud to feature a showing of artwork promoting the presence and influence that women had with the automobile culture in the last century. All items are available for purchase, but please note that in most cases we only have one of each of those pieces, so they will go on a first come first served basis.

Monte Carlo original tourism poster by Steve Carpenter, late 1960's'Industry & wisdom' bronze sculptures by Paul Aichele, 1891


Enjoy, and we hope you will find it an interesting subject that you would want to display on your wall or your shelf.

Don't forget to head to our Shopify Store for more great automotive memorabilia. We have many more items in our gallery, so do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for something in particular. And as always, Like and Share us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Share a Picture with us on Instagram and catch up on the rest of the blog below.

Cheers!


Jacques Vaucher
Owner and Curator
l’art et l’automobile

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Porsche Museum builds a second “No. 1” 356 prototype

Replica is more accurate than the existing No. 1


Daniel Stroll of Hemmings Daily


Photos courtesy Porsche.
In its first decade, 356-001, the first vehicle to carry the Porsche name, suffered a number of ignominies. The letters in that nameplate got rearranged, an Opel full of nuns rear-ended it, and two of its seven private owners allowed it to lapse into neglect. Porsche itself, which has owned the car for the last 60 years, hasn’t done much better, restoring it but leaving intact many of the modifications those seven owners made. Using modern technology, however, the Porsche Museum has created a far more authentic replica as part of the marque’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

As it was conceived, the 356-001 wasn’t supposed to be badged a Porsche. Instead, as Karl Ludvigsen noted in “Porsche: Origin of the Species,” the Porsche family and senior staff wanted to renew the company’s design-consultancy relationship with Volkswagen and give the 200 or so workers on the company’s payroll in Gmünd, Austria, something substantial to do.

Inspiration came from a variety of sources, though chiefly from the design work Porsche was doing at the time for Cisitalia. “At the time that company was building a small sports car with a Fiat engine,” Ludvigsen quoted Ferry Porsche. “I said to myself: Why shouldn’t we be able to do the same thing with VW parts?” War-surplus Kubelwagens were common in that part of Austria, so Porsche had plenty of raw materials to work with.

The tubular space frame chassis that Erwin Komenda drew up in the summer of 1947 used Volkswagen suspension front and rear, though it placed the engine ahead of the rear axle to conform to Ferry Porsche’s wish that the car’s design emulate the pre-war Auto Union Grand Prix cars. To accommodate the mid-engine design, Komenda simply rotated the Volkswagen suspension 180 degrees with the transaxle. As Ludvigsen pointed out, that was less than ideal.


The leading-arm design of the rear-suspension geometry meant that when the rear wheels bounced up, or when the car rolled in a turn, the wheels toed outward instead of inward. In theory this reduced their cornering power and tended to increase oversteer. As well, torque reaction from rear-brake application tended to lift the rear of the car.

For an engine, the Porsche team simply repurposed a Volkswagen flat-four with a handful of modifications to bump output from 25 to 35 horsepower. Despite the increased performance, the Porsche team relied on cable-operated brakes.

Porsche 356-001 shortly after completion.

Komenda finalized the body design in the early months of 1948 and by April Porsche craftsman Friedrich Weber began construction of the aluminum body, ultimately finished in yellow. While Ferry Porsche once stated that construction of the body took two months, Ludvigsen wrote that Weber finished the body in a little more than three weeks, plenty enough time for the Porsche team to road-test serial number 356-001 prior to its July 4 debut at the Swiss Grand Prix in Bern and its July 11 demonstration laps at Innsbruck’s Rund um den Hofgarten road race.

By this time, Porsche had already turned its sights toward producing the 356 itself, albeit in a rear-engine configuration dubbed the 356/2. With their sights set on production, the Porsches decided to sell 356-001 in September 1948 to Josh Heintz of the Reisbach garage in Zürich. Heintz in turn sold it to Peter Kaiser, who rearranged the Porsche lettering on the car’s nose to read Pesco, a name he found snappier than Porsche.

Porsche 356-001 while in Hermann Schulthess’s ownership.


Kaiser had the brakes converted to hydraulic and drove it regularly until he sold it in 1951 to Zürich-based importer AMAG, which in turn sold 356-001 to Rosemarie Muff who, according to Ludvigsen, drove the car into the ground. Its next owner, Hermann Schulthess, rebuilt the car and replaced the Porsche lettering, but ended up sandwiched between the aforementioned Opel full of nuns and another car in a crash on the Gotthard pass. AMAG repaired the damage and in the process reshaped both front and rear ends and converted the single-piece rear-hinged engine and rear trunk cover to two pieces: one for the engine bay, one for the rear trunk.

Schulthess also had Porsche itself install a 1500S engine and larger hydraulic brakes before entering 356-001 into its first and only competition event, the Mitholz-Kandersteg hillclimb, in 1953. A baker by the name of Igoris swapped a 1300 coupe for 356-001 but, as Ludvigsen wrote, suffered from buyer’s remorse and simply garaged the car. Auto mechanic Franz Blaser bought it from Igoris and overhauled the car once again before exchanging it for a brand-new Speedster when Porsche finally decided to track down its very first car in 1958.

Around 1975 Porsche then restored the prototype one more time, though not to its original configuration: The 1500S engine remains part of the car, as do the hydraulic brakes, two-piece decklid, reshaped front and rear sheetmetal, and the bucket seats it picked up at some point.

356 No.1 Replica being assembled.


To celebrate the car’s 70th anniversary, the Porsche Museum decided – rather than subject 356-001 to another restoration – to re-create 356-001 a it appeared in 1948. To do so, the museum had 356-001 3D scanned and compared those scans with original photographs and with digitizations of Komenda’s original drawings.

Museum staff then edited the 3D scan to the prototype’s original shape and used that data to carve a life-size model of the prototype from rigid foam. That foam then served as a buck of sorts for modern-day craftsmen to build from scratch a new chassis and aluminum body before finishing the car with exact replicas of the trim, upholstery, gauges, and other fittings that adorned the original prototype.

For the most part, that is. Museum officials decided not to install a drivetrain in the replica. Instead, they had a basic tube axle fitted to allow the replica to roll around. According to a spokesperson for the museum, the decision to build it sans drivetrain was to avoid labeling it with terms such as “replica” or “recreation” and to avoid confusion with the original; instead, the museum considers it a “showcar.”

The Porsche Museum has scheduled an extensive tour for both the prototype and the replica, starting with a June 8 ceremony in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen and continuing to Johannesburg, Goodwood, Guangzhou, and Vancouver. The prototype itself will also make an appearance at this year’s Rennsport Reunion in September at Laguna Seca.

We here at l'art et l'automobile are diehard Porsche fanatics, and we love finding and sharing tidbits of Porsche's legacy, like this replica, with our followers.  As a matter of fact, we are currently in the midst of a big Promotion of Porsche Memorabilia on our Website as we speak.  Not long ago, our blog detailed the history and creation of some Victory Posters commissioned by the Porsche Factory, and we've just released Chapter 2 of that collection that we acquired.  You can visit the Gallery here, and possibly add one of these pieces to your collection.  But hurry they're going fast, and We Only Have One of Each.  

And as always, Like and Share us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Share a Picture with us on Instagram and catch up on the rest of the blog below.


James Karthauser
Development and Social Media
l'art et l'automobile