The Automotive Art of Robert Mittenmaier

 

Early American Racecars



The 1907 Thomas Flyer - Early American Race Cars The artist is sketching Old 16 at Boston Corners  in New York - Peter Helck&'s Home - with Peter Helck and his granddaughter standing in the background. Old 16 is the historic 1906 Locomobile that achieved America’s first victory in international competition. Constructed with a sister car at a cost of $40,000, it won the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup Race of 1908.  Acquired by famed artist Peter Helck, Old 16 has never been restored and has always been maintained in running condition. Today, it is on display in the Henry Ford Museum.</p><p>The artist visited Mr. Helck at his home on several occasions to paint Old 16.  The painting is set at the pits of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race with the grandstand looming in the background. Old 16 at Speed in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Races. Famed artist Mr. Peter Helck at work in his Studio. This original painting is available for sale on the Original Paintings page. This landmark record-breaker was built in 1903 to attract the attention of financial backers for Henry Ford's fledgling car company. Remarkable for its day but very crude in design, it set the land speed record of 91 mph on the flat ice of Lake St. Clair with Mr. Ford himself driving. 999 is preserved in the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.</p><p>Working from the original car and with the assistance of the curator and research staff of the Ford Museum, Mr. Mittenmaier has rendered 999 with absolute fidelity. To capture the background, the artist went out in winter time onto frozen Lake St. Clair, the site of the record attempt. The iceboat in the background was derived from a photo taken the day Mr. Ford set his record. He barely avoided hitting it and never drove any of his racecars again. Winton Bullet No. 1. In 1903, Alexander Winton built this racecar to fuel sales of his passenger cars. Very successful in its day, it was the first car to win a sanctioned race at Daytona Beach, and set records on the sands of Ormond Beach, Florida. The artist captured the car from life in Cleveland, Ohio. He then travelled to Ormond Beach to depict the famous garage. Unfortunately, it had burned down one month before his visit. Undeterred, Mittenmaier found the owner of the remains of the facade. Using the original charred pieces of wood, he was able to match the color of the garage and finish the painting. Also depicted in the painting is the legendary 1905 Stanley Rocket. Winton Bullet No. 2 utilizes the famous Ormond Beach Garage as background. This unorthodox 1903 racer was run both at Ormond Beach, Florida and in Ireland. It exists today in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mittenmaier depicts the Bullet at night in front of the Ormond Garage, with a watchdog chained nearby. The Abbott Detroit is the sole survivor of three diminutive racers built in 1906. Their designer was legendary pioneer driver Montague Roberts, as famous as Barney Oldfield in his day. It became the property of Dr. Montague Roberts, the son of the designer, and was painted from visits to his home in New Jersey, depicting his garage as background.

The 1907 Thomas Flyer


The 1907 Thomas Flyer

This painting started it all. It is the artist’s first automotive work. To capture the famous 13.000-mile round-the-world racer, the artist worked for Harrah’s Casino just to gain daily access to the car. The period poster was sourced from Harrah’s Automobile Collection Research Department, the largest in the world at the time. Today, it remains the centerpiece of the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. Of particular interest are all the initials carved into the sides of the Flyer during the famous race.


Old 16

is the historic 1906 Locomobile that achieved America’s first victory in international competition.

Constructed with a sister car at a cost of $40,000, it won the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup Race of 1908. Acquired by famed artist Peter Helck, Old 16 has never been restored and has always been maintained in running condition. Today, it is on display in the Henry Ford Museum.

The artist visited Mr. Helck at his home on several occasions to paint Old 16. The painting is set at the pits of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race with the grandstand looming in the background.


The artist is sketching Old 16 at Boston Corners in New York - Peter Helck’s Home - with Peter Helck and his granddaughter standing in the background.


Old 16 at Speed in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Races.


Famed artist Mr. Peter Helck at work in his Studio, painted by the artist from life.

This original painting is available for sale on the Original Paintings page.


Ford’s 999

This landmark record-breaker was built in 1903 to attract the attention of financial backers for Henry Ford’s fledgling car company. Remarkable for its day but very crude in design, it set the land speed record of 91 mph on the flat ice of Lake St. Clair with Mr. Ford himself driving. 999 is preserved in the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Working from the original car and with the assistance of the curator and research staff of the Ford Museum, Mr. Mittenmaier has rendered 999 with absolute fidelity. To capture the background, the artist went out in winter time onto frozen Lake St. Clair, the site of the record attempt. The iceboat in the background was derived from a photo taken the day Mr. Ford set his record. He barely avoided hitting it and never drove any of his racecars again.


Winton Bullet No 1

In 1903, Alexander Winton built this racecar to fuel sales of his passenger cars. Very successful in its day, it was the first car to win a sanctioned race at Daytona Beach, and set records on the sands of Ormond Beach, Florida. The artist captured the car from life in Cleveland, Ohio. He then travelled to Ormond Beach to depict the famous garage. Unfortunately, it had burned down one month before his visit. Undeterred, Mittenmaier found the owner of the remains of the facade. Using the original charred pieces of wood, he was able to match the color of the garage and finish the painting. Also depicted in the painting is the legendary 1905 Stanley Rocket.


Winton Bullet No. 2

utilizes the famous Ormond Beach Garage as background. This unorthodox 1903 racer was run both at Ormond Beach, Florida and in Ireland. It exists today in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mittenmaier depicts the Bullet at night in front of the Ormond Garage, with a watchdog chained nearby.


The Abbott Detroit

is the sole survivor of three diminutive racers built in 1906. Their designer was legendary pioneer driver Montague Roberts, as famous as Barney Oldfield in his day. It became the property of Dr. Montague Roberts, the son of the designer, and was painted from visits to his home in New Jersey, depicting his garage as background.

Prints and Posters are available of all the images on this site!