Indianapolis 500. The Way It Was In The Beginning.

David Uhl’s image “Glorious Failure” graced the cover of the Indy 500 in 2008. And this year David has been selected again as Program Cover Artist again for this year’s 100th anniversary. The new piece featured here, titled “In the Beginning”, depicts the first running at Indy in 1911. David Uhl has devoted much of his career to creating masterpieces reflecting his passion for the romance of eras past and because of his understanding of light and color he provides beautifully executed paintings of intriguing subjects which were originally recorded in black and white.

In David’s words “After viewing hundreds of archival photographs, a singular image did not present itself as suitable for the occasion. Instead I chose to combine several elements to recreate this dramatic moment from the inaugural race. I especially was attracted to the elegance of the Victorian-clad spectators contrasted against the fierce, dusty drama unfolding on the track.  It was not only an honor to be selected for this, but it was a really fun piece to dream up.  I was elated  to be invited to the museum to view the old glass plate negatives from the earliest of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s archives.  Many great stories were told me by Mr. Donald Davidson, the historian at the museum, so I put some to paint.  This particular image is a never before seen version of  the inaugural race in 1911.”

The original oil painting measures 36″ x 48″.  To celebrate this historic event, David has agreed to offer an edition of signed, numbered canvas giclee prints.  Each Fine Art print will come beautifully framed with a Certificate of Authenticity and Commemorative plaque.  He is also packaging a limited number of “Glorious Failure” prints with “In the Beginning” for those who want both pieces. Print specifics of “In the Beginning”: Small canvas – image size 18 x 24, edition of 170 plus 20 Artist Proofs and 10 Hors d’ Commerce – framed price $625. Medium canvas – image size 24 x 36, edition of 170 plus 20 Artist Proofs and 10 Hors d’ Commerce – framed price $1,250. Large canvas – image size 32 x 48, edition of 85 plus 10 Artist Proofs and 5 Hors d’ Commerce – framed price $3,500. (If you order now, David will extend a 10% discount on any of the above three sizes)

Donald Davidson, IMS historian, explains “It is an iconic moment as eventual winner Ray Harroun carves his way through lapped traffic in turn one of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on his way to winning the very first 500-Mile Race on May 30, 1911. Because of complaints from other teams that the engineering department of the local Nordyke & Marmon passenger car firm had produced a special single-seat car which did not allow for the commonly used riding mechanic (serving, among other things, as a second “pair of eyes”), driver/engineer Harroun rigged up above the cowling of the #32 Marmon “Wasp” what is believed to be the very first rear-view mirror ever used on an automobile. Out-distancing 39 other contestants, mostly driving stripped-down versions of current passenger cars, Harroun won in a time of six hours and 42 minutes to average 74.602 mph, witnessed by a huge crowd estimated in the region of 80,000, many of whom had come by rail from New York, Chicago, Cleveland and St. Louis. The winning team earned $14,250 from a total purse in excess of $30,000, which was a huge amount for the time.”

11 Responses to “Indianapolis 500. The Way It Was In The Beginning.”

  1. 1 John E Adams Apr 12th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Another winner Mr Uhl! This one is way over the top!!

  2. 2 fuji Apr 12th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Awsome you can see the Castor oil in the air.

  3. 3 Mark Apr 13th, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Not sure if they ran on the “bricks” or not but we should all remember that there was a motorcycle race at Indianapolis in 1909 and it was won by Irwin “Cannonball” Baker. That was what the record books usually call the “first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway”.


  4. 4 jeff decker Apr 13th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    The Marmon Wasp, in it’s yellow & black livery is iconic.
    Stan Wanlass did a great sculpture years ago & now David reminds again of those heroic days of early racing. My hats off brother.

  5. 5 Mark Apr 13th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    The painting is gorgeous, wonderful lighting. Uhl has the knack! And the Marmon has been one of my favorites since I was about 5 years old. There’s one at the Indy museum. Huge. Stunning. They have some killer stuff there. Nice work, David.

  6. 6 Stuart Wood Apr 13th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    The track was in fact paved with bricks after the innaugural races of 1909, giving rise to the name “The Brickyard”. The track has since been paved over with asphalt with the exception of three feet at the start finish line. In response to Mark the Marmon wasp at the museum is Ray Harouns 1911 winner, truly a massive car, hard to imagine driving 75 mph for seven hours.

  7. 7 JC Apr 13th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    32 out in front. 🙂

    I know, I’m partial.

  8. 8 rags Apr 13th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    awesome pic.looks authintic

  9. 9 nicker Apr 13th, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Time to start a petition:

    Get Indy 500 back to front-engine roadsters.
    Real Champ-cars run on asphalt and dirt.

    Leave all that rear engined stuff to the hoity-toity, pinky-in-the-air, tea-drinking F-1 crowd.


  10. 10 uhl Apr 13th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I want to thank everyone for their comments, it was really my pleasure to open this window for people to peer through. I truly love these antique events and if properly executed , make profound fuel for conversation and historic revelation. I know the events at the brickyard and of the motorcycle races tere as well as the balloon races which preceded them. I actually did a painting called”Before the Bricks, which was a century before the Moto GP was staged at Indy in 09, for anyone interested in these renditions please visit my site. And thanks again for all of your support, you too Cyril for posting.

  11. 11 Walt Lumpkin Apr 17th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Question? Is that Mike Lichter’s grandfather down front taking pictures?

Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze