Simanaitis Says

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ENGLISH PAINTER Terence Cuneo had a way with locomotives, cars, and even aircraft. Quite apart from this, he was also the official artist for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. His art has appeared here at SimanaitisSays as well.

Recently I was leafing through Automobile Quarterly, Volume 3 Number 2 Summer 1964, and, wouldn’t you know, “Racing with Sunbeam” displays six of his paintings devoted to this British marque. I share several of these and two other Cuneos today.

Terence Tenison Cuneo, CVO OBE RGI FGRA, 1907–1996, English painter extraordinaire. This statue of him by Philip Jackson once resided at London’s Waterloo Station; it’s now at Brompton Barracks. Photo by James Gray/Canthusus at English Wikipedia.

Many of Cuneo’s paintings done after 1954 include a little mouse, sometimes cartoonish. Look closely at the statue in his honor, and you’ll see one depicted near his left shoe. Other Cuneo mice might have been frightened away by noise of rail, road, or air. Or maybe not….

Brooklands, 1913. Sunbeam’s Louis Coatalen built a series of racing specials carrying the name Toodles, pet name for his wife Olive. Toodles V was fitted with a V-12 aero engine, a fashionable engine choice at the time when ultimate speed was the goal.

Brooklands 1913, Sunbeam Toodles V. This and the following paintings by Terence Cuneo.

At England’s Brooklands race circuit in October 1913, Jean Chassagne teamed with Dario Resta (who was to win the Indy 500 in 1916) and K. Lee Guinness (of the Stout dynasty) to set records in Toodles V.

A Sunbeam ad celebrating this achievement. Image from

I especially enjoy this Cuneo painting because of its train. Add-on Brooklands scenery for my Microsoft Flight Simulator has a similar train adjacent to the circuit.

Add-on Brooklands scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator by John McKeon. The aeroplane is my 1911 GMax Valkyrie.

San Sebastian Grand Prix, 1924. Henry Seagrave drove his Sunbeam to victory in the 1924 San Sebastian Grand Prix. Cuneo’s painting shows the rugged terrain of the 11.0-mile Lasarte circuit in northern Spain’s Basque country.

San Sebastian Grand Prix 1924, Seagrave’s Sunbeam contests with Bartolomeo Costantini’s Bugatti and the rest of the pack. A possible mouse sighting?

The painting appears to depict a scene early in the race, because ultimately Segrave beat Costainini’s Bugatti by 1 minute 25 seconds.

Barnato’s Bentley and the Blue Train, 1930. As described here at SimanaitisSays, Woolf Barnato beat the fabled Blue Train from Cannes to Calais in March 1930.

Barnato’s Bentley and the Blue Train, March 1930. A Cuneo mouse makes an appearance.

This historic contest gave Cuneo another opportunity to display his love for locomotives. On the other hand, the Gurney-Nutting Blue Train Special depicted here wasn’t the actual winner. The Blue Train Special was built months later in celebration of Barnato’s winning trip in which he drove a rather more sedate looking H.J. Mulliner-bodied sibling.

Brooklands, 1930. Irish auto and speedboat racer Kaye Ernest Donsky had the nom de course Kaye Don. Driving the aero-engine V-12 Sunbeam Tigress, Don set a Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record at 137.58 mph in June 1930.

Brooklands, 1930, a pair of Sunbeams duel on the the Outer Circuit banking.

This painting is another of my Cuneo favorites. I set up a shot not far from this vantage point during my Brooklands Double Twelve adventure.

Bristol Brabazon, 1950. The Bristol Brabazon appeared here at SimanaitisSays, complete with my GMax rendering of the first jumbo airliner.

Bristol Brabazon, 1950.

I suspect any Cuneo mice inhabiting the airstrip greenery would have scampered for cover upon hearing the Brabazon’s eight piston engines spinning pairs of counter-rotating 16-ft. propellers.

My GMax Brabazon.

Nor did I sight any mice when buzzing London’s St. Paul’s. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2019


  1. Christian
    November 25, 2019

    I think I recall the Blue Train Bentley painting from R&T long ago.

  2. jimholroyddiecast
    June 30, 2020

    Those paintings of Sunbeams are fabulous.

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