Saturday, February 19, 2011

Crown Royal

It was the evening of an Orlando Magic game. I heard that a NASCAR vehicle was going to be on display down on Church street.When I arrived the closest thing I saw to a race car was this stumpy race simulator. Magic fans on the way to the Amway Center could also have their picture taken with a racing trophy on a pedestal. Reaching into my bag, I discovered I had left my sketchbooks at home. Subconsciously I must have wanted to use the tablet PC. Since there was little light it was the best option. A woman named Dana introduced herself. She had organized this event and she also handled events out at the Daytona International Speedway. She also let me know that car number 17 the Crown Royal would be at Church Street around 9 pm.

Just as I was finishing up this sketch a huge sixteen wheeled pulled up in front of me. The driver got out of the cab walked to the back of the truck and extended a shiny chrome ramp. Then using a winch the black race car was backed down to the street level. About six police offers were there and they inspected the cars every curve. It was a sexy machine. The truck driver asked if we all wanted to hear the engine fire up. Of course we did! He turned the ignition leaving in the cars diver side window. The starter clicked and sputtered like an old worn out Chevy. I thought, "Oh, great, the one race car I get to see on the streets of Orlando and it is a dud." Then the engine, suddenly roared to life with such force and volume that it literally pushed me backwards forcing me to catch me balance on one foot. The noise filled the Church Street corridor. After revving the engine a few more times he shot the engine down. The silence was deafening.

I had promised Terry I would be home at a reasonable hour, so I didn't stay to finish a second sketch. I agonized about this, placing about and considering the best sketching angle. When the Magic game was over there would be huge crowds of people around the vehicle. I also knew that I would be out at Daytona the next day. It turned out, that Terry stayed out late so I could have finished the sketch. Oh well, there will be other race cars.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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