Stan Mott – Illustrator, Designer, Artist, Friend, and Car Enthusiast Extraordinaire

Stan Mott and "Cyclops"

Hi gang…

Something a bit different than fiberglass….

Sometimes I feel I started my research 50 years too late and never had a chance to meet some of the luminaries from back in the day.  Other times I feel it has been right on time, and I’m lucky enough to get to meet and perhaps become friends with some of the neatest people in the car arena – and learn from them and enjoy their body of work in every way.  Stan Mott is one of those people.

My good friend Tony Miller pointed me to Stan’s work quite some time ago.  Tony’s a car guy, designer, and someone who took his talents in the direction of car design for toys in a very big way.  When I met Tony several years ago, he showed me his car magazine collection – dating back to the 1950’s.  And most every issue he had purchased back then – in person – including his Petersen Motorama Programs at the Pan Pacific Auditorium.  Needless to say, I’ve learned quite a bit from Tony.  So when I was talking with him about a designer / illustrator / someone who could capture motion, color, shapes, sounds, taste – everything about cars and transportation – on paper….Tony said it was time to checkout the work of Stan Mott.

I would not be disappointed.

Cyclops vs Ferarri

The first set of drawings I saw were Stan’s interpretation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans – but using Locomotives instead of automobiles.  The 5 panels I’ve seen (and are shown below) are titled “Les 24 Heures de Choo-Choo”.  Who could imagine such a neat approach to this honored event – in a completely different way?  I found out “who” quickly.  Checkout the signs along pit row that mimic famous sponsors in every way.  It’s wonderful to appreciate.

Stan Mott and his good friend Robert Cumberford also launched the epic story and car legend called the “Cyclops”.  This came out first in the March 1957 issue of Road & Track, and started a many year humorous run about a car – that never was.

As I research and write / share stories about the history of fiberglass cars and their design and development…. it’s important not to forget the backdrop and creativity that was happening in other areas of the car world back then too.  Stan’s work represents some of the most creative, fun, zany, and fascinating work at the time.  I can’t imagine what he might have done had he gotten hold of some fiberglass and resin.  What a sight that would have been!

Locomotives in the Pits at "Les 24 Heures de Choo-Choo" (24 Hours of Le Mans)

With Stan’s approval, I have shared the artwork below for those of you to enjoy.  Stan also directed me to an excellent website that showcases much of his work created and maintained by S. Berliner III.  Here’s a link to that website:

http://sbiii.com/cyclops/cyclops.html#sitendex

There are wonderful illustrations on S. Berliner’s III’s site above (thanks Berliner!).  Be sure to checkout all of the pages of images and stories.  There are 4-5 pages and you can use the “Next Page” button at the bottom of each page to advance to the next page of images.

Additional stories are found about Stan around the internet, but a good concise story with pictures is shown on the “Dark Roasted Blend” website:

http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2009/12/eccentric-brilliance-of-stan-mott.html

One additional item that Kit Foster passed along to me some time ago was the one of the cars I found bore a striking similarity to some of the lines of the Cyclops.  Namely, the 1975 Urbacar that I call “Wedgie”.   Interesting comparison, but I think Stan wins on the design front.

1975 Urbacar "Wedgie". An Homage to Cyclops?

Thanks again to Stan Mott for sharing his story, pictures, and talent with us today – and for all years previous.  Be sure to checkout the review of Stan’s work and life published in Top Gear Magazine in December 2001 as well as the June 1979 Road and Track short bio – both are posted below for your review and enjoyment.

Great to have you with us Stan!

Geoff

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Comments

Stan Mott – Illustrator, Designer, Artist, Friend, and Car Enthusiast Extraordinaire — 1 Comment

  1. Interesting write up on the amazing Stan Mott.
    Above you show 5 water color paintings from “Les 24 Heures de Choo Choo”. The first image, of a black locomotive against a pinkish orange sky, is titled “The Mulsanne Straight Down”, and needs to be rotated 90 degrees clockwise so as to be viewed as intended and printed on a full page in Road & Track (Nov. 1981). Those 6 pages of full color epic dream, starring Morris Minor, Hot Machinery, The Gals and Everybody Else, is a graphic story masterpiece, the pinnacle of humor in an automobile magazine, matched only by Mott’s own 16 paintings that makes up the tale of horror, alien fast food, Hollywood and transcendence known as “Cyclops Night Out” (R&T June 1978).
    Viva Mott!

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