Announcing the first annual Pink Bison Prize. Learn more here.

Learn More


  • OTE - 50%.jpg
  • d8af63c7-c4a7-49f0-a6d1-f39f429f50a3.jpg
Fan - 5 Expert - 3

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America commission.

Every artist dreams of prestigious commissions in which they can extend themselves and receive kudos and publicity.
Such came as a request in 2017 from the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
asking if I'd like to paint the publicity imagery for the 30th annual event the following year in Daytona.
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America was set up in 1989 to commemorate "any person who has driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, supported, maintained, prepared or promoted motorized vehicles in pursuit of speed, distance or other records." Induction is limited to United States citizens, or non-citizens who have recorded significant motorsports achievements in the U.S.

The main players to be depicted were Barney Oldfield in his 1909 Christie racer dueling with Lincoln Beachey in his Curtiss biplane in 1914. Cannon Ball Baker on his Indian motor cycle and Gar Wood & mechanic Orlin Johnson in the massive Miss America X powerboat. I had first painted this machine for the front cover of Kevin Desmond's “Power Boat Speed” in 1989.

I had already painted several publicity posters in the past so I knew  that  imagery would  be lost if you don't take the precautions from the outset.
The other reason was that I wanted to leave sufficient area on the original painting for the yet unknown amount of autographs I hoped to obtain at the actual event.


Some of the greats I have met.

In my role as a British motor racing marshal in the 1970s and 80s, I had encountered various of the F-1 greats like Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti.

I had one of my first exhibitions at the Zandvoort Hotel Bouwes during the 1975 Grand Prix weekend and where all the F-1 teams stayed. Everything was set up in the cavernous lounge, virtually right next to the fairly insignificant main desk.
I had arrived early on the day of the first moring practice to check out final details, when I noticed the larger-than-life team owner, Ken Tyrrell sitting in a little bay checking over some paperwork. I deferentially approached him asking if he'd seen the paintings in the lounge?

“Are they yours?” He said warmly. “I saw them last evening and thought they were GREAT!”
He shot up and was about to walk into the lounge, when he spotted McLaren team manager, Teddy Mayer and 1972 & 1974 world Champion, Emerson Fittipaldi at the reception desk.
“Emerson!, Emerson!”, Tyrrell boomed, “Come up here and have a look at these paintings!” 
Both guys shuffled up the few steps and looked around at my paintings.
Tyrrell introduced me to them both and when he left the lounge, he laughed loudly and joked over his shoulder, “Don't vaport – if they buy anything, I want 10% commission!”
Emerson's English may not have been as perfect as now, so much to my quiet amusement I realized that he understood far more than he let on.

I would meet Mario Andretti some years later when he drove for Lotus. As a pits/fire marshal, I had been given a pair of Jochen Mass's fireproof overalls which still had all the sponsors badges which caused many F-1 drivers and team managers to do a double take when they saw me patrolling up and down the pit lane – including Mario.
In 1994, Andretti was later presented with one of my commissioned original paintings at the prestigious London Autosport Awards.

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America event.
This was divided over several days including breakfast and various other gatherings at the museum and speedway itself – the latter whose titanic, 2.5 mile long magnificence cast a spell on everyone.
The museum itself houses some of the most historic race cars, record breakers, aircraft, power boats, dragsters, motor bikes and much, much more.

That first Monday morning at breakfast, I was so fortunate to sit next to one of the 2018 nominees, ex-racing team owner, Mr. Pat Patrick and his daughter and son-in-law. I asked him if he would be so kind to sign my painting at the gala, to which he happily agreed.
Mr. Patrick had been in poor health for some years but when he arrived at the gala the following evening, he certainly hadn't forgotten his promise.

One of the first signatures that evening dinner at the museum came from ex-racer and commentator, David Hobbs. I joked with him how it was possible that sturdy 6-footers like us both were able to fit into the race cars of old. He answered affably that he'd always been 6' tall but when his doctor measured him last time, he had 'shrunk' to 5'11”.

The museum became packed and there were various past nominees I didn't see in the throng, but as the word went round, many of them came over and happily planted their signature.


The Gala.
The hotel's large and picturesque reception area served as the main gathering and photo opportunity before the gala. It was here where I would have the best chance to get some of the main attendees' autographs.

Sensing my reluctance in approaching these living legends and therefore generously volunteering to introduce me to the various past-and-present celebrities, was the formidable Tom D'Eath – a 2000 inductee himself.
Tom was a 1970s race car driver, moved into powerboats and has won national championships in nearly every class of hydroplane racing from which he retired in 1991.
Tom simply said, “Come on, there's not much that scares ME !” - and waltzed unfazed to every single one of them, introduced me and suggested that they might want to autograph my original.
This way I got the signatures from Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jeff Gordon, Freddie Spencer and Rusty Wallace and more.
Thank you Tom D'Eath.

There's always a memory which stands out most after any encounter. When we returned by coach to the hotel from the Speedway the Monday before, I was sitting across the aisle from 3-times Daytona winner, NASCAR driver Bobby Allison who had kindly posed for a photograph with the First Lady of motor sport, Linda Vaughn and myself. I turned to him and asked what these 31 degree bankings were like at high speeds?
Bobby thought for a second, smiled and said, “Well, they weren't too bad at 180mph, but it got a bit difficult at 210”.

"The Brave Few" image  was used on the invites, online, publicity posters, program – and even on the wine served at the gala but it most importantly served as one of the many milestones in the history of American automotive achievements and all the courageous men and women who made it happen.

This original painting is a magnificent accumulation of signatures from 22 individuals whose achievements are firmly rooted in American history. Arie Luyendyk, a 2014 nominee, kindly signed the painting at my 2019 Barrett-Jackson annual exhibition.

I am proud to say that this painting has also been a cog in those wheels of achievement. Many of these nominees live in the USA and the addition of more signatures is well within reach of the new owner..

The forthcoming MSHFA event will be held at the Detroit in September 27-29 at the M1 Concourse Event Center in Michigan, where again a great many racing celebrities will be present.


Size: 24” x 36” x 2”

Price; $25,000.


I am happy to say that 50% of the sale will go to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America who made this all possible.

All 22 Signers:

Mario Andretti – (1990)
Bobby Allison – (1992)
Peter Revson – (1996) – Signed by his sister, Jennifer Revson.
Tom D'Eath – (2000)
Emerson Fittipaldi – (2001)
Freddie Spencer – (2001)
Bill Simpson – (2003) - - - {1940-2019}
Johnnie Parsons – (2004) – Signed by his daughter, Patricia.
Jay Springsteen – (2005)
Hurley Haywood – (2005)
Hershel McGriff – (2006)
Elliott Forbes-Robinson – (2006)
David Hobbs – (2009)
Donnie Allison – (2011)
Arie Luyendyk – (2014)
Rusty Wallace – (2015)
Jeff Gordon – (2018)
Fred Merkel – (2018)
Pat Patrick – (2018) - - - {1929 - 2021}
Bob Tullius – (2018) -
John Buttera – (2018) - Signed by his daughter, Leigh Buttera.
Linda Vaughn – (2019)



!piece @user #hashtag
Arthur Benjamins
Figurative, Historical and Political
Painting - Unframed
Acrylic, Canvas
24.00 inches wide
36.00 inches tall
2.00 inches deep
7.50 lbs
Peoria, AZ, US