The Marmon Wasp


Armando Villarreal  Auto Paint on Medal  2016

Happy Race Day!  This marks the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.  Today we thank all the drivers of the last 100 races.  We don’t think about it, but most, if not all, automobile safety features started out in race cars.

Ray Harroun, winner of the very first Indy 500, drew controversy for using a rear-view mirror.  Everything from seat belts, safety glass, and improvements in materials can trace their history through racing.  In a way, race car drivers are the unsung heroes of automobile safety.

The Marmon Wasp wasn’t just driven by Ray Harroun, it was created by him.  He was actually only a part time driver.  His “real” career lay in engineering at Marmon Motor Car Company, which produced passenger cars.  He created the car using stock Marmon engine parts.

Armando Villarreal is an American artist who specializes in sports painting.  He actually uses specialized powdered metal and paint for a more structural look in most of his paintings.  This painting is actually a piece of aluminum painted with automotive paint, which is fitting.  Find prints of his artwork at Victory Fine Art.

I love the contrast of color in this painting.  The bright yellow of the Wasp pops out so vividly against the muted grey background.  Also, the striking portrait of Ray Harroun is a sharp contrast of detail compared to the airbrushed edges.  I really just love this painting.

I also just want to give a quick shout out to my favorite driver of all time, Emerson Fittipaldi, as well as some of my heroes, Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, and Sarah Fisher.

Godspeed, racers!






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