Automobilist isn’t a company that does things in half measures. They make fine art prints, posters, and 3D models of epochal cars, racing drivers, and motoring moments. They even curate a beautiful magazine.
But what’s caught our attention at SpeedHolics isn’t just what the team at Automobilist does, but the way they do it.
Much like the moments recreated and portrayed in their artwork, it’s a case of, “go big, or go home” for the team at Automobilist. This is much more than a paintbrush and artistic flair. It’s also much more than a vast image bank and a top of the range printer.
The Automobilist Way
Automobilist uses 3D modelling to delve into every last detail.
The team at Automobilist executes a lengthy process of up to three months, involving as many as eight creatives, and fifty cast and crew. They employ 3D modelling, CGI imagery, car blueprints, and historical records to eke out every little detail they can. This meticulous approach has garnered great praise and also won Automobilist partnerships with Formula One, WRC, and Automobile Club de l'Ouest. With a collection of portrayals of names like Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Lewis Hamilton and Sir Jackie Stewart, it’s a challenge to settle on just one to showcase here.
But while browsing Autmobilist’s work, the team here at Speedholics became taken with one man who remains close to our hearts and minds -- the legendary Brazilian, Ayrton Senna.
Ayrton Senna Artwork by Automobilist
Formula One fans will remember 1988. The inimitable Ayrton Senna joined McLaren and powered home to his first world championship. This image recreated by Automobilist shows Senna swooping past Nelson Piquet in the 55th lap of the San Marino Grand Prix—not taking Piquet’s position, but lapping him.
Ayrton Senna laps Nelson Piquet, San Marino Grand Prix, 1988
San Marino was only the second round of the 1988 world championship, but the performance of Senna, teammate Alain Prost, and their Honda V6 turbo powered McLaren MP4/4, augured misfortune for the chasing pack. That it was Piquet—a three time world champion himself—that they lapped, speaks volumes to the power and skill they had.
We love this piece, suitably named The Best and The Rest, for a whole bunch of reasons, but to collect and distil that moment, suspending it in infinity, is one. Then there’s the wild attention to detail and the painstaking lengths gone to to achieve the perfect print. To see this process in more detail, check it out here.
The McLaren MP4/4
Top car and top driver -- that’s the symbiosis often required to achieve legendary status. And in the McLaren MP4/4, Ayrton Senna found the perfect match. To this day, that 1988 season remains the most dominant by any car, thanks to Senna and stablemate Prost.
As mentioned above, the McLaren was powered by Honda, after an underwhelming 1987 campaign with the Porsche TAG V6 engine. 1988 would also be the very last year on which turbo engines were allowed, so McLaren went big.
A new low line chassis inspired by McLaren technical director Gordon Murray’s Brabham BT55, combined with that new Honda V6 gave McLaren a performative edge. The new, more reclined seating position is considered to be the basis on which modern F1 cars are built. The McLaren MP4/4 didn’t just change its present, but the future to boot.
For the team at Automobilist to reproduce such a piece of cutting edge technology, performance engineering, and beautiful design so loyally really is something to behold.
And the print, which comes in three sizes and a selection of frames, isn’t the only McLaren MP4/4 offering by the Europe-based company. If something smaller, perhaps a desk, shelf or coffee table centerpiece is desired, they also have a beautiful 1:18 scale model available here. Measuring 25cm in length, it’s big enough to draw the eye and do justice to the level of detail in the build, while the acrylic cover keeps it safe from dust and smudging -- easy to clean and shine.
Now the only thing for us to do is decide which of these McLaren MP4/4 fine art pieces we need. Both?
Full Disclosure: SpeedHolics has not been paid to write about this product or brand. We simply choose to write about things we discover and fall for -- things that appeal to our passions, and hopefully to yours too.