Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vintage Color

There are quite a few people in the Vintage Club who remember with fondness the ATQMRA Coloring Book, the coloring book in which they doodled while dreaming of the day that they would become racers. Created by Bill Force more than 40 years ago, the coloring book was a very popular souvenir item at the Pine Brook Stadium, with the result that it sold out – there was no remaining stock.


Bill Force himself retained a small handful of copies all these years. And at the 2012 combined ATQMRA and Vintage Club awards banquet, he surprised several of these now middle-aged club members by presenting them with unused copies of the coloring book. Inside are the same pen-and-ink illustrations that they remember from their youth, illustrations of their racing heroes and their favorite races cars.

It is unlikely that any of these adults will be breaking out the Crayolas. But we expect that more than one of the newly-discovered copies will be placed in the hands of a child. Shown in the photo is the handiwork of Anna Mondschein, the young daughter of Vintage Club founder Gary Mondschein. Anna, having seen the Vintage TQs in her father’s shop and on the race track, was truly excited to get a copy of the coloring book and to put her personal stamp on the illustrations.

We love in particular how a child such as Anna is not constrained by grown-up expectations. Doug Craig’s championship-winning yellow #55 is rendered in chocolate brown. Jim Yates’ white #27 becomes pink. And the #56 of Ted Seiz, a jet-black car back then, is a vivid yellow in Anna’s eyes.

A coloring book, even when illustrating actual people and machines, is today just as it was then a means to allow a child’s imagination to soar.