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Liveries inspired by hippies and battleships, re-imagined by Mark Lacey

Remember the ‘graph-paper’-liveried BMW 3.0 CSL? These highly accurate depictions are the handiwork of London-based airbrush illustrator, retoucher and all-out car enthusiast, Mark Lacey…

Art car or car art?

As the two Martini-liveried examples show, the artist is undoubtedly a Porsche 917 fan. He is also rather fond of BMW’s 3.0CSL. A second project is set to join the Frank Stella Art Car shown: the Alexander Calder Art Car, something that “has been at the forefront of my mind since I was a lad”. The result of painstaking attention to detail, each separate illustration starts by gathering as much research as possible from his library of motoring books and the web. Lacey told Classic Driver, “You must be careful when looking at modern reproductions of period models as they are often not as accurate as you may initially give them credit for, so interpretation of period images which suffer the usual quality issues is a useful skill to possess.”

Painted in the pits

His research has clearly paid off, teaching him a great deal about how the original artworks came to be. Of the 917 ‘Hippie car’ he said, “What really impresses me with this Anatole Lapine livery is that it was actually painted in the pits during the week prior to the famous 24-hour race, using aerosol cans. Hence it appeared in earlier practice sessions with just the blue and white layers.”

Relying heavily on interpretation

Starting out as hand-drawn sketches to decide on a viewpoint, a more detailed sketch is then transferred to a dated vector graphic programme called ‘Freehand’, where it is redrawn and the iconic livery applied. Sponsor logos are hand-drawn separately before being arranged on the car body illustration. Lacey adds, “Once again, tracking down accurate period renders of these is quite challenging and relies heavily on interpretation.” So what else is in the pipeline for the dedicated TVR owner? “I am currently working on a new series of artworks depicting the more adventurous coachbuilt cars of the 1930s. Positioned alongside period buildings and accompanied by a suitably attired young lady, the first of these is the Talbot-Lago T150C SS by the famed coachbuilder Figoni & Falaschi.”

Photos: (Images have been cropped)

The works of Mark Lacey are available in print in various formats via his web store.

You can also find a wide range of collectables for sale in the Classic Driver Market.