About David Townsend

Me and my pal

I grew up around cars, picking up wrenches and helping my dad work on his Triumph TR3 before I was able (legally or otherwise) to drive. Over the ensuing decades since I started bending wrenches as a teenager, I’ve owned a parade of mostly sports and performance cars. The bulk of them have been British, but there’s been a sprinkling of German, French and even some America iron thrown in there as well. Like any self-respecting car guy, there isn’t one of those past loves that I wouldn’t enjoy owning again. Okay, maybe not the VW 412 that burned to ground in my driveway…but that’s another story.

I also see those past cars as a microcosm of a time when “product development” meant grabbing a part, bolting it on and seeing if it worked. When a “simulator” was my butt strapped into the seat of my latest ride. And when how fast I could go was limited less by my budget than by my nerve. Those were, to me, times of visceral simplicity. Illustrating the cars of my youth is a way to recall that simpler era as well as the cars that imprinted on me.

I haven’t seen any work like this since that of Shin Yoshikawa. These illustrations are reminiscent of an auto designer’s plans—only in this case, you can see through the skin of the car. ~ Russ Rocknak, the Chase

Drawing these cars is also a way for me to recount, in a visual way, the stories of those who dreamed up these fabulous machines and often staked their fortunes and reputations on bringing those visions to life. So, there you have it, why I draw: part nostalgia, part storytelling, part selfish indulgence—and all fun!