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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Thirst for Speed – Sir Henry Segrave

Sir Henry Segrave was a quiet, intelligent man with a lust for speed.

It started in 1915 while he was home recovering from battle wounds that his father picked-up a 20hp two-seater Singer.

After the Great War, he drove a 1914 Opel in the first post-war Brooklands race, and got completely hooked.

An acquaintance of his was connected to the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq automotive company, so he soon joined their team as a works driver.

Sir Henry Segrave racing a 1923 Sunbeam to win the French Grand Prix
Mobil "The Story of Grand Prix motor racing" card, art by Roy Nockolds

He was quite successful through the early to mid 1920’s with them, scoring some Grand Prix wins.

At this point, Sunbeam starting developing special cars aimed at achieving new land speed records. In 1926, he brought a V-12 Sunbeam to a new record of 152.33 mph.

Sir Henry Segrave reaching 203.79 mph
16"x 20" acrylic on canvas by Paul Chenard

For 1927, Segrave went for the ambitious goal of being the first to punch through the 200 mph barrier. In March of that year, driving the red twin-engine “1000HP” Sunbeam, he reached a world-record 203.79 mph on Daytona Beach Florida.

In March of 1929, he returned to Daytona Beach with the 930HP “Golden Arrow” and raised the record again to 231.44 mph.

For 1930, Segrave switched to power boats in an attempt to be the fastest man on water. Piloting Miss England II, he was trying to exceed a speed of 110mph when his boat tumbled and this courageous pioneer was killed at the age of 34.

Sir Henry Segrave in the 1000HP Sunbeam
Etched copper printing block, 7cm X 2.75cm (shown in reverse)
, circa ?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Matra goes Racing

In the 1960’s, the French high-tech company Matra decided to start building racing cars as a way to promote their capabilities in a very public way.

They started designing and building Formula 3 and Formula 2 cars which relied on Matra’s knowledge of aeronautics and aircraft building methods.

These new racers quickly met with success, which encouraged Matra in 1968 to after the top level of racing, Formula 1.

With Scottish driver Sir Jackie Stewart at the wheel, they took 3 races in the season.

Pen&ink and markers on blue archival paper
© Paul Chenard

For 1969, they introduced a new car, and Stewart took the Championship.

With this first mission accomplished, they expanded into sports car racing, with the goal of winning at the 24 heures du Mans and the World Championship for Makes.

Latex house paint on oak plywood
© Paul Chenard

They won at Le Mans in 1972, 1973, and 1974, and took the Championship for 1973 and 1974. Driving home those 3 wins was French driver Henri Pescarolo, partnered with Graham Hill (Great Britain) the first year in a Matra MS670, and Gérard Larousse (France) for the next two, diving the Matra MS670B, then the MS670C.

Pen&ink and markers on watercolour paper
© Paul Chenard

After 1974, they stopped building racecars, and instead focused on racecar engine development and design.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Centered Driver - Part II

On January 28th, renowned automotive racer, journalist, writer, editor and photographer Denise McCluggage presented her workshop The Centered Driver, based on her best-selling book The Centered Skier.
Peter Bourassa introducing Denise McCluggage
Denise McCluggage giving her workshop

The workshop, organized by Peter Bourassa, took place at European Motorsports in Lawrence, Massachusetts, hosted by owner Michael Ricciardi.

The Centered Driver
It was a not-to-be-missed opportunity to get serious driving insights from someone who knows!

In the days before the event, I created a large 2-part mural that was the backdrop to Denise's presentation.

Peter, me, Denise and Michael
It was a huge honour to be part of it, and I've made many new wonderful friends.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Centered Driver

On January 28th, renowned automotive racer, journalist, writer and photographer Denise McCluggage is presenting her workshop The Centered Driver, based on her best-selling book The Centered Skier.

The workshop, organized by Peter Bourassa, will take place at European Motorsports in Lawrence, Massachusetts, hosted by owner Michael Ricciardi.

This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to get serious driving insights from someone who knows!

Registration information can be found here.
See you there!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

René Dreyfus - Bugatti Star

Frenchman René Dreyfus was born in Nice in 1905.

When he was 22, he convinced his mother that he needed a Bugatti to get to the clients of his paper company faster. He actually used it for racing.

He was hired as a driver by a local Bugatti dealer, and in 1929 won the Grand Prix de Dieppe in a Type 35B. His real fame came when he beat the factory team driver Chiron in the 1930 Grand Prix de Monaco.

He was briefly with the Maserati team and later joined the Bugatti factory team. With them, he won the 1934 Grand Prix de Belgique, driving a Type 59.

For 1935, he drove for Scuderia Ferrari, alongside drivers like Nuvolari and Chiron. Dreyfus had one more major win before the war, racing a Delahaye to victory at the 1938 Grand Prix de Pau.

He went to the U.S. to race in the 1940 Indianapolis 500, finishing a creditable 10th place. It became impossible to return because of World War Two, so he stayed.

He enlisted in the United States Army during the war, and at the end of it became an American citizen. He opened the famous “Le Chanteclair” restaurant in New York City in 1953, which became a gathering place for the rich and famous, and for the racers coming to the city.

Dreyfus died in New York City in 1993.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Racing History Toy Posters

For the past few decades, I’ve been collecting vintage racing automobilia of all kinds.

The collection includes signed racing posters, racing decals, race programs, cigarette cards, racing patches, racing team press kits, racing art, but by far the largest part of my collection are my toys.

I love my toys, and I thought of a way to show them off.

I’m creating a series of posters that group my toy collection in various categories. The first in the series feature Grand Prix Cars of the 1950’s (posters no.1 and no.2), Land Speed Record cars, Grand Prix Colours, and my Tyrrell P34 toys.

The large posters are 12”x 18” and sell for $20 each plus shipping. The Tyrrell poster is 18”x 6” and sells for $15 each plus shipping, and the Grand Prix Colours is 18”x 4” and sells for $12 each plus shipping. If you order all 5 posters, the Grand Prix Colours poster is free.

I’ll be following these up with Grand Prix Cars of the 1930’s, Grand Prix Cars of the 1960’s, Grand Prix Cars of the 1970’s, Sports/GT Cars of the 1950’s, Sports/GT Cars of the 1960’s, Ferrari race Cars, Mercedes Race Cars, Bugatti Race Cars, Bentley Race Cars, and a few other interesting themes.

Considering what the going rate is for these toys, this is certainly a cost-effective alternative!

If you are interested in acquiring one or more, please email me at
BTW, wholesale inquiries are welcome.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Peter Revson 1939-1974

Peter Revson started racing in the early 1960’s.

He was heir to the considerable Revlon cosmetics empire, but chose not to be part of it.

Instead, he chose a life of motor sports, starting in club events and moving into Formula Junior, traveling around Europe in a converted bread-van to race the events.

In the late sixties, he raced for the AMC Javelin team in the Trans-Am series, with some success.

In 1969, he raced to a 5th place in the Indianapolis 500, the top rookie finish. In 1970, he co-drove with Steve McQueen to finish 2nd in the 12 Hours of Sebring in McQueen's Porsche 908/02. He also raced Penske Racing AMC Javelins, and raced the L&M Lola in Can-Am racing.

In 1971, he raced for McLaren in the Can-Am series, becoming the first American to win the Can-Am Championship, driving a McLaren M8F. He came in 2nd place at the Indy 500, also racing in a McLaren.

Pen&ink and paint markers on archival light orange stock
© Paul Chenard 2013

McLaren brought him into the Formula 1 team for 1972-73, and in 1973 he won two races, the British Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix, driving a Yardley McLaren M23.

For 1974, Revson moved to the Shadow Team, but sadly, this popular driver was killed while testing the UOP Shadow-Ford DN3 before the South African Grand Prix in Kyalami.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Danville Tour d’Élégance 2013

Each year in mid-September, the Danville Tour d’Élégance is held in Danville, California, west of San Francisco Bay.

The event is part of the main Danville Concours d’Élégance, an important Parkinson’s fundraiser, which this year celebrated it’s 9th anniversary.

For the past 3 years, I’ve worked with Deb Pollack (, who is in charge of public relations, to give the Danville Tour d’Élégance it’s look and feel in the form of the original art, and the design of posters and vehicle stickers.

Each year, we’ve celebrated the accomplishments of key people in American motor sports who have been struck by Parkinson’s.

My portrait of Richard "Dickie" Green
Pen&ink and markers on green archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2013

This year, we celebrated Richard “Dickie” Green, the well known and respected British Aston Martin motor sports mechanic and engineer, who started with Aston Martin in 1952 then moved to the USA with his spouse Doreen in 1956.

I’m very honoured to be part of to be part of such an important and growing event. In the near future, I hope to be able to attend this very worthwhile and respected fundraiser.

Doreen Green and Alma Hill

Derek Hill

Special thanks to photographers Mark Davidson, Dennis Gray and Rachel Shuler for their wonderful photography.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

François Cevert - 40 Years Ago ...

Sadly, today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of French driver François Cevert. He was killed at Watkins Glen, New York State while practising for the last Grand Prix race of the season.

He was very well-liked and admired; he was a great driver, and loyal teammate.

And we remember him still ...

Friday, 30 August 2013

Beer Label Posters for Goodwood Revival

In the past 3 years, Belgian racing history artist Nicolas Cancelier and I have been going to the Goodwood Revival, sharing vendor space to present and sell our art.

As a little custom promotion, we have a very limited number of bottles of premium “La Moneuse” Belgian beer on hand to give out to VIPs and premium clients.

Each year, I create 6 new beer labels, 3 with my art and 3 with Nico’s art, to grace the bottles.

Since it’s now become a tradition with us, we are offering posters of each year’s selection of labels. These are printed in full colour A3 format on lovely white gloss stock.

We are printing limited quantities, so please contact us if you are interested in ordering them. They retail for $15 USD/£10 GBP/€10 EUR plus shipping/fees

Paul Chenard –
Nicolas Cancelier –

You can also come find us at at the Goodwood Revival Market stand #76.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Aston Martin DBR1 – 1959 24 heures du Mans

This is my new laser-cut illustration, showing the Carroll Shelby/Roy Salvadori Aston Martin DBR1 which won the 1959 24 heures du Mans.
My illustration is laser-cut from stainless steel, the powder-coated green; I then hand-paint the additional colours using pin-strippers paint.

The hood opens to reveal my laser-cut brushed stainless steel illustration of the famous inline 6-cylinder DBR1 engine.

The side brackets are also laser-cut illustrations, and the back-plate is powder-coated in black crinkle finish.

The piece is very limited and comes in a custom-built box.

Here are the specs:
- 22” x 13” x 3” (55.8cm x 33cm x 7.6cm)
- 11 lbs 9 oz (5.25 kg)
$2700 CDN/£1500 GBP/1800 EUR/$2500 USD plus shipping/fees

© Paul Chenard 2013

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ford GT40 @ 50

50 years ago this year, one of the most iconic GT/sports racing cars appeared on the scene.

In the early 1960’s, Henry Ford II launched the “Total Performance” program, hoping that the race-winning image would push Ford automotive sales worldwide.

Though the campaign covered all matter of motor sports, Ford was particularly focused on the 24 Heures du Mans, which is considered one of the world’s most prestigious races.

Ford attempted to purchase Ferrari, who had won 6 times in a row (1960-1965), hoping that together, they could win Le Mans. Ferrari back out of negotiations, having used Ford’s bid as leverage for a deal with Fiat.

This enraged Ford, and he vowed to put all of his company’s resources into beating GT/sports Ferrari on tracks worldwide, with a primary focus on Le Mans.

Pen&ink and markers on light blue archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2013

The resulting British-designed/built race car was designated the GT40, GT standing for Grand Touring, and 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches.

After a few years of ironing the bugs out, Ford’s GT40’s took the first 3 spots in the 1966 running of Le Mans, racing Mark II’s.

In the 1967, Ford returned with the American-developed and built GT40 Mark IV’s, and took the first spot, famously driven by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt.

By 1968, Ford decided that they had reached their goal, and shut the GT40 program down. John Wyer’s Gulf Racing team (J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd.) took some of the GT40 Mark II’s and brought them to Le Mans in a high level of fit and finish.

They took the 1968 (drivers Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi), and 1969 (Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver) 24 Heures du Mans, both in the exact same car!

By 1970, the GT40 was just another obsolete race car, and Porsche took the Le Mans rei(g)ns. Today the GT4o is a highly respected collectable.