In the fall of 1977, legendary drag racer James “Jungle Jim” Liberman asked motorsport artist Kenny Youngblood to do a rendering for a sponsorship proposal Jim was pitching to Aim Toothpaste.
The final artwork depicts Jim’s Monza Funny Car with an acetate overlay showing the proposed sponsor. The clear overlays were employed so the rendering of the car could be re-used if the sponsorship bombed.
This of course was way ‘B.C.’ (before computers) and everything was done by hand. The car was drawn with pens and markers, and mounted on an airbrushed background.
Just as he was finishing it up however, Youngblood got the tragic news that Jim had died in a head on collision.
The rendering became one of the artist’s most cherished possessions and would eventually be on display in the gallery he and his wife opened in Orange, California, in 1992. That is, until it was stolen!
Believing he would never see it again, Kenny was amazed and most pleasantly surprised when, in 2019, he received an email from a couple who said they had found a drawing of Jungle Jim in the attic of a house they had recently purchased; a house some 1,500 miles from California!
Battered and bruised from its journey, the colorful little piece of drag racing history would eventually make its way back home after being lost for 27 years.
For more info, visit http://www.kennyyoungblood.com