Irvine, CA — Even after 30 years as an art director for major automotive magazines — 25 of them with RACER — Paul Laguette is always looking to give Vintage Motorsport readers new information and perspectives on each story’s topic.
One such example includes the illustrations that accompany the magazine’s Nov/Dec 2020 article by Jeff Allison, “What If Ferrari Raced in Indycar and the Indy 500?”
After reviewing the available in-period photos from the Ferrari’s practice sessions — many that readers might have seen before — Laguette wanted to go beyond those expected images. He chose to take an in-depth approach by creating side and overhead cutaway illustrative depictions of the car that include its livery, complete with sponsor badges.
“I had some awareness of the Ferrari 637 Indy car before I started the project,” Laguette said. “I’d seen a few images online over the years and always thought it was a beautiful car.”
“After spending time with Jeff Allison’s well-written story, I wanted to give readers additional visual information. That’s important to me personally because a story’s imagery is the first thing that readers see, and it should entice their curiosity to keep reading.”
Laguette consistently uses that directive as he works with written content for both Vintage Motorsport and RACER magazines. Even with a lifelong love of motorsports, Laguette can still find information that surprises him. For example, he wasn’t familiar with the name or work of the car’s designer (Gustav Brunner), and discovered that Brunner had previously designed Formula One and Formula Two cars for RAM Racing.
“Those cars showed Brunner’s design personality and gave me some good insight to his work for Ferrari,” Laguette said.
“I also looked at similar era Ferrari F1 cars as the construction philosophy and materials were very similar,” he added. “Surprisingly, there are a couple models of the car out there too. So I found enough reference material to feel confident I could pull off a good representation of the lone chassis.”
For the actual drawings, Laguette said that he “literally worked from the engine out,” tackling the profile view — the hardest part of the assignment — first.
Vintage Motorsport readers may already be familiar with Laguette’s work since he previously illustrated a Lola Formula 5000 for the magazine. He also created a highly-detailed inside view of Walter C. Baker’s 1902 Torpedo electric car for a RACER story about the vehicle’s groundbreaking but doomed attempt at a land speed record.
Over the course of his career, Laguette’s illustrations have spanned the gamut of racing, and have graced NASCAR programs, as well as official Formula One and IndyCar Yearbooks. Among his favorite projects is creating the 2014 Indy 500 program cover artwork.
In addition to numerous RACER magazine cover illustration posters, you can find — and purchase — other Laguette-created posters and more at the RACER store.