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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nor did I sight any mice when buzzing London’s St. Paul’s. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2019
I think I recall the Blue Train Bentley painting from R&T long ago.
Those paintings of Sunbeams are fabulous.