New Motorsport Prints From Joel Clark Has Been Added To The Shop
Joel Clark’s artwork jumps around from decade to decade and series to series, ranging from the all-star lineup of Group B rally cars in the mid-’80s to stylized close-ups of Jackie Stewart behind the wheel of the infamous six-wheeled Tyrrell. Regardless of subject matter, Joel renders the scenes with big strakes of saturated color and just enough detail and shading to escape the flatness that can often result from this style of vibrant minimalism. His process begins with hand-cut and laid pieces of vinyl, and then once the original is completed, the art is transferred to giclée on satin paper replicating the vinyl collage. This week we’re excited to add two more pieces to his collection on sale in our shop: Stirling Moss’ Lotus 18, and the 1970 Le Mans-winning Salzburg Porsche 917K.
The Lotus 18 embodied Colin Chapman’s motorsport ethos: it was lightweight, simple, had a novel chassis design, and it was quick. It was never as fast as its peers in a straight line though, thanks in part to the Coventry Climax inline-four not producing quite the same power as the machines from Maranello, but the 18 would go on to become one of the most successful Lotus grand prix cars, and gave the company a few firsts. For one, it was Chapman’s first mid-engined grand prix car, and it was the one that would produce the first Formula 1 win for Lotus, when Innes Ireland finished on top in a non-championship race in 1960 called the Glover Trophy.
The car in Joel’s print however was not entered by the Lotus factory team. Instead it was a Rob Walker-backed car driven by Moss in the 1960 and 1961 season. Though the 18 did not bring home a world champion status to Moss or Lotus in those years, the remarkably agile 18 laid claim to the top spot on the podium at Monaco in both ’60 and ’61, with Moss behind the wheel for both occasions.
There’s no pairing in the history of racing with as much depth as the relationship between Porsche and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The German manufacturer has been dominating the French endurance race for decades now, and though they’ve pulled back from the top class as of late, they just racked up another three overall wins over the last three runnings. This wasn’t always the case though, as it wasn’t until 1970 that the Porsche crest would cross the line in first place. The car that did it was the now infamous 917K, and its legend was galvanized by another win the following year, and of course a certain aptly-titled Steve McQueen film.
It’s interesting to see how the 917 has become synonymous with Le Mans even though the 956 was a far more dominating presence at the circuit. The film definitely helps, but there’s something special about being the first in a long dynastic line of winners too. It’s also funny how the Gulf-liveried cars are the one that usually pop into mind when someone says “917,” even though the first Le Mans winner is arguably a prettier car. In Joel’s rendition of the Porsche Salzburg 917K, the striking red and white graphics of the car are accentuated by his perspective, which squeezes the entire length of the car (short tail, but not a wholly short car) into the frame. The fact that it’s cut off on the sides recalls the kind of photos that we take at Le Mans; trying to get it all in but never really being able to, nor needing to; it’s a dynamic piece of artwork of one of the most important racing cars.