Depicting the inner workngs of cars is what gives this artist his motivation
Peter Hutton has been drawing cars since the 105E Anglia was new – he drew the launch ads. But it hasn’t been cars all the way. After going to art school aged 13 (!) he became a graphic designer, and the Ford work soon broadened to other makes. “At that time car ads were all hand-drawn,” he says, “but as photographs became the norm other areas took over.”
After a Honda item impressed the people promoting a new town called Milton Keynes, Peter turned to architectural illustration; it was only on retirement that he switched back to machinery. “At a race meeting there’s always a swarm of people round an open bonnet, so I thought there was a market for showing cars with bodywork off and I started this range of cards. Not technical drawings, just freehand. I love the detail, and being around race cars especially at Goodwood. I’ve said to my boys, when I peg out, take my dust up there!
“Nowadays I take detailed photos of all the nuts and pipes and construct the drawing from that,” he continues. “Once I’ve worked out the detail I trace it with a pen, a brown line for the engine and coloured ink for the body. The downside is the ink fades, so if I’m doing a commission for someone I warn them to keep the original in shade and also do a print in archival inks, which last.”
Peter offers both prints and greetings cars and unusually doesn’t work large-scale. “For the cards I work on a 6in square; the prints will be 18in or so,” he says. At 80-plus he’s still creating: “The work goes all over the world”, he says.
With chatty notes on his delicate drawings, which often fade away beyond the engine, Peter’s is an original take in this field.