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.
With this Portfolio, I’ve tried to present the widest possible swath of my current collection. I’ve also tried to convey some sense of what motivates me to draw what, to many, might seem like some very obscure cars. Or why draw cars at all, for that matter? That’s a darn good question, and unpacking the answer is not a simple thing to do. But here’s my best shot.
I 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. It’s also a visual way to recount 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!
Portfolio—The Art of David Townsend
- 13″ x 10″
- 88 pages
- 58 full-color illustrations including Jaguar, Triumph, Corvette, Porsche, Austin-Healey and more
- 13 great stories
- Forward by Rick Neville