Thursday, October 25, 2018

Remembering Jack Juratovic

Jack Juratovic from Hemmings Classic Car

An Icon Passes On

written by Mark J. McCourt, with additional words by Ken Eberts and Jacques Vaucher, edited by James Karthauser

On October 16th, we lost a good friend and great Automotive Artist, car designer and wild character, Jack Juratovic. He left us due to cancer at age 79. He had a good life and we have great fun memories of our time spent together. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family. In memorium of this lost icon, we have dedicated this article to our friend and compatriot Jack.

Ken Eberts had this to say about his friend and business partner;
Jack was a character. Larry Wood of Hot Wheels fame said it best (Larry was one of our gang at Ford Styling in the mid 60's).  Every story that Lwood tells today about the wild and fun days at "Fords" and Detroit in the 60's has Jack at it's center.  Yes, Jack was wild but he was also a damn good designer and promoter not to mention wheeler/dealer. The Automemories Calendar that Jack illustrated for 30 plus years is a good example of his artistic abilities.  The calendars evolved from what Jack said were cartoons to exquisite renderings.  He loved Automotive Art and his wonderful collection of it featured all the great automotive artists and illustrators.  Jack always kept in touch with his friends and earlier this year he organized a reunion of the Ford gang of former Stylists.  Jack drove us all over the southern California mountains, valleys and coastline at breakneck speeds in a new Lincoln Navigator with 7-8 passengers but never missing his line.  Jack liked to drive fast and when I first met him he was racing a Jag E Type at Waterford Hills raceway.  Jack was not only one of the original 6 artists who formed AFAS but he also wrote our Preamble.  From the Preamble he went on to edit the premiere edition of Automotive Fine Art AFAS with a forward by Dean Batchelor and an introduction by Jacques Vaucher sandwiching my President's message.  He edited and published our AFAS Quarterly (print version until digital took over).  He was just as interested in AFAS today and was contributing not only his artworks but also his ideas.  But best of all he was to me a loyal friend for over 50 years.  I will miss him very much.

Marc J. McCourt wrote this fantastic Article about Jack in Hemmings Motor News in 2005;

"I'm a practicing old-car hobbyist," says automotive fine artist Jack Juratovic. "Some artists could care less about old cars on a hands-on basis, and while I'm by no means a certified mechanic, I do like to get under the hood. I consider some of my cars to be rolling sculpture, and I love to drive them as well as simply look at them." From the 1947 Mercury convertible and 1932 Ford V-8 five-window coupe that he wrenched on in high school to the restored 1939 Mercury convertible and 1946 Lincoln Continental that he enjoys driving today, Jack's always-present passion for automotive form and function has fueled his need to create artwork that celebrates the beauty and speed of fine automobiles. 
PIII and the Mallard giclee print by Jack Juratovic
PIII and the Mallard giclee print by Jack Juratovic
"Like many kids, I drew pictures of cars all through school-I thought I wanted to become an architect. Because my guidance counselor didn't know about the field of industrial design, he steered me towards mechanical engineering, but that didn't last long," he says, with a laugh. Jack switched colleges: "Before you could study industrial design, you had to take two years of fine arts-so you're skilled to go either way in the fine or practical arts." After graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1965, he went to work in the Ford Motor Company's styling studios. He became disenchanted after two years and left, racing an SCCA B-Production Jaguar until his funds ran out. Jack went on to work at Chrysler styling, then with William Schmidt Associates, a highly regarded independent automotive design firm, before founding his own, BORT, Inc. "At William Schmidt, I learned how to run a respected design firm," he recalled. "BORT was a small design shop run by myself and Jack Purcell, a Ford stylist and my old college buddy. We hauled in professional clay modelers as moonlighters on our projects, which included the Mustang II Cobra and the Monza Mirage. Those years of generating and presenting vehicle ideas-of making sketches into 3D forms-this is how I illustrate an idea. And it's only one step further to fine art." 
"Twenty years after graduating, I started painting to keep my skills sharp. I'd always admired famed automotive illustrator Peter Helck, and when I struck up a friendship with him in the early 1980s, he gave my paintings the nod," Jack recalls with a smile. "I was involved in the first Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance fine arts show in 1982, and I've pursued art full-time ever since then. I don't pound it out in quantity-I don't think I have that many good ideas," he laughs. "Painting is abstraction, but it has to have a good idea behind it or there's no justification." 

Road and Track November 1935 Duesenberg print by Jack Juratovic
Road and Track November 1935 Duesenberg print by Jack Juratovic

Jack works with water-based paints, including watercolor and gouache. "Peter Helck also inspired me to try caseins, which are milk-based paints that are very permanent," he explains. "When I start a painting, I do color rough thumbnail sketches, then I replicate them on to full scale on 300-pound illustration board or gessoed masonite. I'll create a wash background to set the tone, and then paint in colors from transparent to opaque. Nearly all of the work I do is freehand. The only time I'll take a picture is if I need it to reference the details. Sometimes I'll set up 1:18-scale promo models to act as foils to other models-it's a quick check to make sure I'm drawing the perspective correctly," he explains. 
In addition to his own inspirations, Jack has created concours and historic race event posters, series paintings and an annual vintage car calendar, along with the commissioned pieces for corporations and individuals.  No matter the project, Jack celebrates all facets of the automobile: "In the end, many of my paintings express how a car looked to me instead of how it looks to a camera-it's how my mind's eye imagined it. A good artist captures the essence of a car.  Personally, it's an esoteric thing, the emotion of how it makes you feel."

Jack and I, at the ranch with Luba
Jack and I, at the ranch with Luba  

We here at l'art et l'automobile, as you may know, are quite keen on artists and designers who contribute to and elevate the form of the automobile, and capture it's essence in their work.  Jack Juratovic was most assuredly one of those, with the work he did for Ford and Chrysler, his independent work modeling at BORT, definitely his paintings, but more importantly his spirit.  He brought liveliness and character to everyone around him, and his loss has removed a little bit of the light from the world.

Jack, we will miss you, but thanks for all the memories,


For great automotive artwork and memorabilia, don't forget to browse the many categories on our WEBSITE. And 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, October 18, 2018

U.S. Grand Prix and Formula 1

Formula 1 returns to the United States at the Circuit of the Americas

After decades of trying, Formula One may finally be growing in America

written by Sophie Bearman and Mike Larson, edited by James Karthauser

For over 70 years, Formula One has been a premier global sport, with opulent, multi-day races held in countries across the world.

Formula One’s events are wildly popular — everywhere, that is, except for the United States. But that could be changing sooner than most think.

European roots

Italian racer Giuseppe Farina wins the world’s first Formula One Grand Prix in 1950. Photo courtesy of CNBC
Italian racer Giuseppe Farina wins the world’s first Formula One Grand Prix in 1950. Photo courtesy of CNBC

Since its founding, Formula One has been an international organization.

The first world championship was held in 1950 at Silverstone in the United Kingdom. The winning driver, Italian racer Giuseppe Farina, drove a supercharged Alfa Romeo in front of 120,000 cheering spectators — including England’s reigning monarch, King George VI.

That European race set the stage for Formula One’s global presence, excluding America.

Headwinds in America

Formula One has a storied history in the United States. Mario Andretti sat on the pole for his first F1 start at Watkins Glen in 1968
Formula One has a storied history in the United States. Mario Andretti sat on the pole for his first
 F1 start at Watkins Glen in 1968. Photo By Lat Photographic

Logistically, it’s hard to be a Formula One fan in America. Most of the races take place in Europe, so watching live events often means waking up at the crack of dawn. The U.S. also has its own motor sports to watch like IndyCar and NASCAR, which has been around since the 1940s.

Peter Habicht is the founder of Formula One's largest fan group in America, located in San Francisco. The group has about 2,500 members.

“We have a difficult time following a lot of the European races because they go on at about five in the morning, so it’s a challenging proposition to get a group together, usually at a sports bar, to watch a live start of a race,” said Habicht.

Unlike basketball or football, Formula One racing provides very few American drivers to cheer on: The last American to win a race was Mario Andretti, and that was at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1978.

“The sport, under prior stewardship, began to move wherever the money was the highest," said Leo Hindery, InterMedia Partners managing partner and a former race car driver.

"And that left Formula One in places like Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Shanghai, none of which is bad for the sport except for in the process of doing that, they neglected to maintain a footprint here in the United States,” said Hindery, a Formula One promoter.

In 2005, the U.S. Grand Prix didn't turn out as Formula One might have hoped. Media reports at the time called it a disaster. At the very last minute, fourteen cars were forced to withdraw due to safety concerns. Most fans left the event feeling disappointed and cheated of their money. The race they’d come to see didn’t deliver.

“It was a low point, for sure, in American Formula One history,” said Habicht.

Improving relations with the US

Ayrton Senna leads the field at the United States Grand Prix at Phoenix in 1989.
Ayrton Senna leads the field at the United States Grand Prix at Phoenix in 1989. Photo By Lat Photographic

Still, the future of Formula One in America may be getting brighter. Competitor NASCAR has had an undeniably rough few years, which could be a boon for Formula One. More importantly, Formula One has had a significant change in leadership: In early 2017, it was acquired by Liberty Media, a U.S. company, for $8 billion.

Formula One’s new CEO, Chase Carey, has high hopes for the sport in America, telling CNBC at the time of the acquisition that he wanted to make the races feel more like Super Bowl events with mobile content, and behind-the-scenes access available for fans.

“Put an organization in place that lets us make these events everything they can be, reaches out across digital media that we're not connecting to today [and] build a marketing organization that connects to fans [and] enables fans to connect to the sport,” said Carey.

One year later and expansion in America is already happening: a new Miami street circuit Grand Prix will be added to the calendar in 2019. The race would be in addition to the U.S. Grand Prix. Hindery predicted there will be a race in the Northeast, possibly New Jersey, within the next two to three years as well.

America's untapped market

Fans greet racer Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Great Britain during the United States Formula One Grand Prix in 2017.
Fans greet racer Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Great Britain during the United States Formula One
Grand Prix in 2017.  Photo courtesy of CNBC

There’s a lot of money to be gained from ticket sales, advertisers and sponsors in America. U.S. consumers shelled out $56 billion to attend sporting events in 2016, according to a study by

“You have 325 million people in the United States which, just in sheer numbers, is an audience you shouldn’t leave behind,” explained Hindery.

Formula One could use the economic boost. In 2012, FinanceAsia, a Hong Kong-based financial news publication, reported Formula One's valuation was $9.1 billion. That means over the four-year period between that valuation and the subsequent $8 billion purchase, it lost 12 percent of its value.

However, it’s not a sure thing that Formula One will catch on in the States. U.S. Grand Prix attendance fell in 2017 by 4.4 percent from the year prior. And there are no American drivers racing in Formula One this year.

But if there’s ever a time for Formula One to capture America’s hearts, it’s now. With NASCAR struggling and new American F1 leadership, it’s possible the pastime can make a permanent mark on U.S. soil.

U.S. Grand Prix history review as Austin prepares for Formula One

Stirling Moss at the 1960 United States Grand Prix at Riverside.
Stirling Moss at the 1960 United States Grand Prix at Riverside. Photo By Lat Photographic

On Sunday October 22nd, Formula 1 returns to the U.S. for the first time with the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, at the brand new, world-class race track, the Circuit of the Americas.  Having resumed Formula 1 racing in 2007, bringing the sport back to the U.S. for the first time since 2007 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this race should be an enormous boon to the push for the sport in America.

Although F1 has had a long and at times troubled relationship with the American market, the sport also has a rich history here. Since 1950, the U.S. has hosted 62 F1 events, including races at Watkins Glen, Sebring, the streets of Detroit and several others. As some F1 fans prepare to head to Austin while others plan to watch the U.S. Grand Prix on television, here's a quick recap of F1 racing's American history.

1950-1960—Indianapolis 500: OK, technically this was not a traditional Formula One race, let alone a road-course race. But 11 times from 1950-1960, the Indianapolis 500 counted as a round of the world championship, with points scored at Indy adding to F1 drivers' season tally.

1959—Sebring: In 1959, the U.S. hosted two F1 races for the first time. In addition to the Indy 500, F1 added the United States Grand Prix to its schedule. The race, held at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, was the ninth and final round of the 1959 season.

1960—Riverside: In 1960, the United States Grand Prix moved from Sebring to the famous—and today much missed—Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, Calif. Promoters had a difficult time drumming up interest for the Sebring race the previous year, and had similar problems with the Riverside race. It wasn't until the following year when F1 moved to Watkins Glen International in upstate New York that American fans started to embrace Grand Prix racing.

1961-1980—Watkins Glen: After running the United States Grand Prix at two different venues in 1959 and 1960, the event finally found a somewhat permanent home in 1961. Originally, Daytona International Speedway was supposed to host the 1961 event, but an agreement couldn't be made. In the end, F1 went to Watkins Glen, where it remained for almost 20 years.

1976-1983—Long Beach: After a 16-year hiatus, F1 returned to the West Coast in 1976. Dubbed the United States Grand Prix West, the race found a home in Long Beach for seven seasons. The Long Beach races also marked the first time a city street circuit was used in the U.S., and the event is credited with having a major impact on turning the city around and increasing its desirability as a place to live. Of course, when F1 left after the 1983 race, Long Beach continued to host the CART World Series, and today hosts the Izod IndyCar Series and American Le Mans Series. But it was F1 that started the city's ongoing affair with auto racing.

1981-1982—Las Vegas: F1 left Watkins Glen after the 1980 running of the United States Grand Prix. The U.S. did continue to host the final race of the F1 season, but in Las Vegas. For two seasons, F1 participated in the Caesars Palace Grand Prix, which featured a surprisingly decent—if rather flat—track layout in the parking lot of the famous Las Vegas hotel. When F1 did not return to Las Vegas, the CART World Series added the race to its schedule in 1983 and 1984.

1982-1988—Detroit: The year 1982 marked the first and only time that three F1 races have appeared in the United States during a single season. In addition to races in Long Beach and Las Vegas, downtown Detroit hosted its own street race. The circuit was bumpy—no surprise to Michigan drivers—tight and demanding. Alas, F1 could not come to an agreement with the host city for 1989, whereupon CART once again added Detroit to its schedule.

1984—Dallas: Although this weekend's U.S. Grand Prix marks F1's first visit to Austin, the series is no stranger to Texas. In 1984, Fair Park in Dallas was converted to an F1 circuit to host the Dallas Grand Prix. The race turned out to be a one-off event, and it was plagued when high ambient temperatures caused the track surface to break apart. Drivers said it was the roughest circuit they had encountered, and the race was a significant physical challenge for the Grand Prix aces. Keke Rosberg won the race, but Nigel Mansell put on a memorable show by hitting a wall on the final lap, coming to a stop and attempting to push his car over the finish line. Instead he collapsed, exhausted by the heat on the rough circuit.

1989-1991—Phoenix: After the final race in Detroit in 1988, F1 wanted a new venue. It came down to either Laguna Seca in California and the streets of Phoenix, and Phoenix got the nod. From 1989-1991, the United States Grand Prix found its home in Arizona, and the first event, held in June, roasted drivers and spectators with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. The organizers learned a lesson; Phoenix's next two races were held in March.

1992-1999—Hiatus: There were no F1 races held in the U.S. during this time period, and some began to wonder if the sport would ever return. And then along came Indianapolis . . .

The 2007 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo By Lat Photographic

2000-2007—Indianapolis: After a nine-year absence, F1 came back to the U.S. in a huge way and to much fanfare in 2000. The series returned to its American roots, racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after then-Speedway boss Tony George invested millions to build a road course inside the world-famous oval. Not only that, but George dropped millions more to construct modern F1-spec garages, offices and a new pagoda and media center on the oval's front straight.

That first year, in 2000, the venue offered the largest F1 crowd in history as more than 250,000 fans flooded the giant facility, and it looked like a smash hit that would cement the series in the U.S.

However, the race—and F1 in particular—suffered major backlash in 2005 when cars using Michelin tires were forced to withdraw due to concerns their tires would fail on the Speedway's banking. With 14 entries using Michelins, that left only six cars on Bridgestone tires to start the race. Fans were not impressed.

Still, Indy hosted two more races, and though the crowds fell off significantly, the attendance was still strong compared to other F1 events around the world. Nevertheless, George found F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone's financial demands for 2008 too high to make a profit, and the U.S. bid goodbye to Grand Prix racing yet again.

U.S. Grand Prix Winners

2007, Indianapolis: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes

2006, Indy: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2005, Indy: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2004, Indy: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2003, Indy: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2002, Indy: Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari

2001, Indy: Mika Häkkinen, McLaren-Mercedes

2000, Indy: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

1991, Phoenix: Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Honda

1990, Phoenix: Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Honda

1989, Phoenix: Alain Prost McLaren-Honda

1988, Detroit: Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Honda

1987, Detroit: Ayrton Senna, Lotus-Honda

1986, Detroit: Ayrton Senna, Lotus-Renault

1985, Detroit: Keke Rosberg, Williams-Honda

1984, Dallas: Keke Rosberg, Williams-Honda

1984, Detroit: Nelson Piquet, Brabham-BMW

1983, Detroit: Michele Alboreto, Tyrrell-Ford

1983, Long Beach: John Watson, McLaren-Ford

1982, Detroit: John Watson, McLaren-Ford

1982, Las Vegas: Michele Alboreto, Tyrrell-Ford

1982, Long Beach: Niki Lauda, McLaren-Ford

1981, Las Vegas: Alan Jones, Williams-Ford

1981, Long Beach: Alan Jones, Williams-Ford

1980, Long Beach: Nelson Piquet, Brabham-Ford

1980, Watkins Glen: Alan Jones, Williams-Ford

1979, Long Beach: Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari

1979, Watkins Glen: Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari

1978, Long Beach: Carlos Reutemann, Ferrari

1978, Watkins Glen: Carlos Reutemann, Ferrari

1977, Long Beach: Mario Andretti, Lotus-Ford

1977, Watkins Glen: James Hunt, McLaren-Ford

1976, Long Beach: Clay Regazzoni, Ferrari

1976, Watkins Glen: James Hunt, McLaren-Ford

1975, Watkins Glen: Niki Lauda, Ferrari

1974, Watkins Glen: Carlos Reutemann, Brabham-Ford

1973, Watkins Glen: Ronnie Peterson, Lotus-Ford

1972, Watkins Glen: Jackie Stewart, Tyrrell-Ford

1971, Watkins Glen: Francois Cevert, Tyrrell-Ford

1970, Watkins Glen: Emerson Fittipaldi, Lotus-Ford

1969, Watkins Glen: Jochen Rindt, Lotus-Ford

1968, Watkins Glen: Jackie Stewart, Matra-Ford

1967, Watkins Glen, Jim Clark, Lotus-Ford

1966, Watkins Glen: Jim Clark, Lotus-BRM

1965, Watkins Glen: Graham Hill, BRM

1964, Watkins Glen: Graham Hill, BRM

1963, Watkins Glen: Graham Hill, BRM

1962, Watkins Glen: Jim Clark, Lotus-Climax

1961, Watkins Glen: Innes Ireland, Lotus-Climax

1960, Riverside: Stirling Moss, Lotus-Climax

1959, Sebring: Bruce McLaren, Cooper-Climax

At l'art et l'automobile, we are Formula 1 fans of a ravenous nature, and wish to celebrate our love of the sport with you, as well as to assist you in your collecting of Formula 1 artwork and memorabilia.

Enjoy looking through the collection and tell us which ones you would like to own. Please Tour the gallery at, and perhaps add a piece to your collection.

Enjoy the Race,

Jacques Vaucher

For more great automotive artwork and 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, October 11, 2018

They're Silver Arrows, Right...?

Jochen Mass in a W25 at Goodwood. Photo by Bahnfrend.

So that story you’ve heard about how silver became Germany’s national racing color? Not really true.

Daniel Strohl of Hemmings on Jun 4th, 2018, edited by James Karthauser

Pop open any book discussing Mercedes-Benz racing history and guaranteed that book will include the story about how, faced with overweight W25 racing cars, the Mercedes-Benz racing team decided to strip all the paint from the aluminum-bodied cars, thus setting the precedent for silver to become the German national racing color. Except, according to a handful of historians fighting corporate PR and decades of tradition, it’s all hokum.

“It’s a great story, and it would be nice if it were remotely true,” said Don Capps, a longtime member of the Society of Automotive Historians who plans to discuss the German racing silver origin myth in an upcoming talk at the International Motor Racing Research Center. “But one of the problems with auto racing history is that once these things become established, it gets really difficult to bother people with the facts.”

So let’s start with the facts. In October 1932, the directors of the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus – the forerunner to the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile – decided that Grand Prix racing had become too fast and too dangerous so, rather than limit the size of competitors’ engines, they decreed a new formula for the 1934 season, essentially unlimited save for the 750 kilogram maximum weight, or about half the weight of most competitive race cars.

Theoretically, according to Louis Sugahara, who wrote and illustrated “Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Race Cars, 1934-1955,” reducing vehicle weight meant reducing engine size in an era before widespread use of durable lightweight alloys for engines; AIACR officials had hoped the weight limit would cap engine sizes at about 2.5 liters. That size instead became a basement for engine displacement among the various competitors.

At first, Mercedes-Benz had no intention to join the fray. The automaker officially suspended its racing program in 1930 as the Depression took hold and as its SSK cars were nearing the limits of their potential. Alfred Neubauer, who helmed the racing program, reportedly considered leaving Mercedes-Benz to join his old colleague Ferdinand Porsche at Auto Union, but remained after Mercedes-Benz board chairman Wilhelm Kissel promised the company would soon return to racing.

That return came in 1933 after Jakob Werlin, who served as Mercedes-Benz’s liaison with the Nazi party, convinced the German Ministry of Transport to subsidize the company’s Grand Prix efforts to the tune of half-a-million Reichsmarks per year. Though that money would later be split between Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union, it still provided sufficient incentive for Mercedes-Benz engineers Hans Nibel and Max Wagner to begin work on a modern aerodynamic racing machine, the W25, powered by a 3.36-liter 32-valve supercharged double overhead-camshaft straight-eight located ahead of the driver.

As before, Neubauer led the racing team, and while he couldn’t get Rudolf Caracciola to immediately return to the team due to an injury, he did get Manfred von Brauchitsch, another proven Mercedes driver, to sign with the team again. Despite promising early tests, the W25 wouldn’t be ready to actually start a race until June 1934, when Neubauer and his team showed up at the Eifelrennen at Germany’s Nürburgring.

For purposes of illustrating the myth, here’s what Sugahara had to say about what transpired there:

On the eve of the race, the Mercedes team discovered that the weight of the W25 was one kilogram above the 750 kg regulation. Apparently, weight control had been neglected somewhat during the repeated modification work. On the night before the race, everyone was in a somber mood, as they all knew it would be almost impossible to shed one kilogram. It was then that von Brauchitsch shouted in desperation, “How about filing down the paint?” This inspired Neubauer, and the team worked throughout the night, carefully filing off and polishing the aluminum skin until they had barely succeeded in reducing the weight by one kilogram.
From then on, the factory color of Mercedes became metallic silver, and the race cars were nicknamed “Silver Arrows.” Auto Union, too, decided on the same silver color, eventually making silver the national racing color of Germany. After the war, Porsche painted its race cars silver, too.

(Other passages recounting the story often give sole credit to Neubauer for the idea, which is not surprising for reasons we’ll see shortly.)

A critical reading of that passage should raise all sorts of red flags. If the team had indeed neglected weight control on the cars, it shouldn’t have caused them much consternation to find a kilogram here or there. And if it were up to the racing teams to decide their nation’s racing colors, it’s far from likely that Auto Union, furiously competing against Mercedes-Benz for Nazi Reichsmarks, would just go along with whatever color Mercedes-Benz haphazardly chose.

Alfred Neubauer directs driver Manfred von Brauchitsch 
(piloting a W125 Mercedes-Benz “Silver Arrow”)
during a pause at the 1937 Grand Prix of Germany
at the Nürburgring. Photo courtesy the
IMRRC Werner Winter Collection.
Instead, as Capps pointed out, AIACR assigned racing colors to the various countries in 1908 or thereabouts: France got blue, Belgium yellow, Italy red, the U.K. green, and Germany white. However, due to white and silver sharing the same heraldry tincture, Mercedes-Benz had a long history of using the colors interchangeably on its race cars.

“We have photos back to 1924 of cars raced by the factory painted silver,” Capps said. “And we have photographic evidence directly from the Mercedes-Benz archives that shows the W24 cars were painted silver before the June 1934 race.”

Indeed, as historian Doug Nye pointed out, von Brauchitsch’s silver-painted Mercedes SSKL was described as a “Silver Arrow” in 1932 and a Mercedes-Benz press release from March of 1934 used the same terminology to describe the W25.

The story about sanding off the paint prior to the Eifelrennen, according to Capps, likely originated with Neubauer himself, who published his biography in German in 1958 and again in English in 1960 (as “Speed Was My Life“). “Prior to that, there was no mention of the story anywhere,” Capps said. “Then after 1960 or so, the story pops up all over the place.”

Neither Capps nor Nye are the first to call the story out. In fact, Daimler-Chrysler convened a symposium in 2007 to discuss that era and to open up the company’s archives to historians. However, despite the evidence to the contrary, Capps said the company – which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Silver Arrows in 2009 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – still includes the Neubauer myth on placards at its museum, and the company continues to repeat the myth in current press and promotional literature.

Correcting the historical record is “easier said than done,” Capps said. “Mercedes-Benz has made it very clear that they enjoy the myth and don’t bother them with the facts.”

Which is not to say Capps concedes. Instead, his talk at the IMRRC, which he describes as a followup to the 2007 symposium, will delve into the evidence that debunks the myth and show how automotive historians go about researching such topics.

At l'art et l'automobile, we have followed every kind of auto racing for decades, and a shining silver star crowning most of the Auto Racing Circuits has to be the racing teams of Mercedes-Benz.  Their power, technology, teamwork and that iconic silver paint shine so brightly on the racing world, that many teams and manufacturers are forced to do everything they can just to pull themselves from that shadow.  In honor of the Manufacturer's prowess, we have gathered all of our Mercedes Artwork and Memorabilia into one collection, and present them here to you.

Enjoy looking through the collection and tell us which pieces you would like to own. Please Tour the gallery at, and perhaps add a piece to your collection.


Jacques Vaucher

For more great automotive artwork and 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, or share a photo on Instagram.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Razzia’s Niche

Louis Vuitton China Run 1998 large original poster by Razzia

A Talented Artist Finds his Niche

by Jacques Vaucher

In an age when most poster art is computer generated, Razzia is one of the world’s only modern day “poster artist”. During the Golden age of posters, late 1800’s and early 1900’s, before television and certainly computers, advertisers employed the best artists they could find to make interesting and unique renderings of the product they wished to sell or advertise. This was done in order to impact the market and stand out from their competitors with a strong image. In most cases the artist would produce a painting which when approved would be lithographed in a larger size with the appropriate text. Razzia still conceives his posters from an original painting, a technique not common in this day and age. Razzia lives and works outside Paris and has done numerous posters for Louis Vuitton worldwide including the Bagatelle Concours of Elegance and the America’s Cup Challenge. Producing poster images for them established Razzia as an automotive artist to much of his delight as he is an automobile and Formula 1 enthusiast who owns and has owned a few Porsches, Mini Cooper and Triumphs. Since 1985, Razzia has created close to 30 different automobile images for the Louis Vuitton sponsored rallies and Concours d’ Elegance they have organized around the world.

Other clients for which he has worked include Stetson hats, Lancia Automobiles, L’Oreal, International Prêt à Porter Feminin (France), Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s in the U.S., Harrods in the U.K., the Nice Jazz Festival, the City of Deauville, several brand name Champagnes and several restaurants in Paris and New York. Among collectors around the world are Elton John, Jackie Collins and Michael Caine. His work has been shown in every major city around the world and is highly collected.

Louis Vuitton Classic 2004 Waddesdon Manor Concours d'Elegance U.K. large poster by Razzia
Louis Vuitton Classic 2004 Waddesdon Manor Concours d'Elegance U.K. poster by Razzia

Possibly the best description of Razzia’s work, as well as his contribution to posters and the art world is this excerpt from the forward of the book: Razzia; 25 Years of Poster Art

Razzia’s Posters embody perfect communication with modern cool in an elegant, crisp style. In his somewhat surreal, stylized brevity we find a technique that is uniquely his own, although ripples of past master can be observed throughout. Cappiello, Erte and Broders are incorporated into Razzia’s works as stylistic touches without resorting to mimicry.

I see razzia’s work as divided into two groups. The first is best described as illustrative, with outstanding examples being the Café de Flore and the Bistro du Nord posters, the stetson design and his many Louis Vuitton images. All are persuasive and decorative visions.

The second group - in my opinion the most compelling - is comprised of posters that attract viewers with their graphic simplicity and unflinching clarity: images such as the Cigar advertisement, the Pasta poster (without a doubt Razzia’s signature piece), Prêt à Porter, the Deauville swimmer, the Bugatti Atlantic and the Lancia (which I fondly remember also having been hand-painted on the side of a ten-story building off the Périphérique road that encircles Paris). I believe that it is in these bold, concise, focused images that we see the strength and graphic through-line of Razzia’s promotional narrative.

Razzia's Famous "Pasta" Poster, available in the collection at
Razzia's Famous "Pasta" Poster, available in the collection at

But make no mistake about it: Razzia is the last of a dying breed. Quite possibly, he represents a glorious Art Deco conclusion to the contemporary possibilities of the poster. To look at his work is to be mesmerized by his graphic inventiveness and yet one cant quite ignore the fact that in his creations we see the work of the last artist who, at present, can legitimately be called a posterist.
Sadly, the poster as a viable marketing tool has been in a steady decline. From magazine and television ads to the advent of internet advertising, it’s not hard to see the writing on the wall. Today’s global firms hire the finest artists and craftsmen to make 30-second commercials; they don’t commission posters to be dispersed with their anachronistic distribution system. And on the odd occasion a poster is actually commissioned by advertisers, instead of hiring a top graphic artist to do the job: they hire a fine-art painter in an effort to produce “arty” promotions. Look no further than the yearly French Open (Roland Garros) posters to understand their irrelevance. But compare these designs with Razzia’s poster for that event in 1984 and you’ll quickly comprehend the opportunities squandered by not utilizing a posterist to create - well, posters.

It’s ironic, however, that the popularity of vintage poster art - the true “people’s art” - is reaching an all-time zenith at the exact same time that new poster production appears to be heading the way of the dinosaur. But it’s important to note that rare and vintage posters have achieved this recognition as collectables and decorative items that have nothing to do with the function for which they were originally conceived: widely-disseminated advertising, absolutely necessary for the promotion of products or events.

With that in mind, this book serves not only as a testimonial to Razzia’s graphic flair, but also to his tenacity and ability to straddle the precarious line between the artistic and the commercial. Not only did he carve out a posterist’s career by getting important commissions from top companies, he also managed to retain the publishing rights to his designs, reprinting them and marketing them in galleries throughout the world. This is proof of Razzia’s savvy comprehension of the contemporary marketplace, both in terms of a realistic business acumen as well as his adherence to a personal vision.

I’ve known Razzia for many years. In 1992, I chose him, from a field of renowned worldwide posterists, to create the inaugural poster for my auction enterprise - Poster Auctions International. I also commissioned him to design the poster for my daughter’s wedding. Obviously I was very happy with the results of the artistic endeavors that he undertook on my behalf and I’m pleased that he decided to include them both in this book.

Whatever the future holds in store for the poster medium, one ting is perfectly clear: Razzia’s most striking contribution to graphic art is a personal clarity of vision, a playful freshness that hold the eye of the viewer as if it’s the first time that they’ve come across a design - even if that’s far from the truth. And that, without question, is a contribution well worth celebrating.

Jack Rennert
The International Poster Center
New York City

Louis Vuitton Vintage Equator Run 1993 Large event poster by Razzia
Louis Vuitton Vintage Equator Run 1993 event poster by Razzia

Razzia with an example of his work.
Razzia with an example of his work.
We are proud to have been working with Razzia for the last 20 years. You can see most of his images on our website at In 2007, with the help of Mickey Ross, Razzia produced a beautiful book; “25 years of Poster art” about his work. It shows his complete production of paintings and posters he has created.

Razzia has found his niche by creating compositions which blend perfectly with vintage advertising posters.

At l'art et l'automobile, we have always held artists and their work in the highest regard, so much so that we call many of these luminaries friends. Razzia (left) is one of those, and to celebrate a partnership that has lasted for more than 25 years, we have gathered a good selection of our best work by Razzia and are ready to present them to you.

Enjoy looking through the collection and tell us which ones you would like to own. Please Tour the gallery at, and perhaps add a piece to your collection.

All our best from the staff at l’art et l’automobile,

Jacques Vaucher

For more great automotive artwork and 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.

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