Penske Chaparral Re-issue

The Story Behind the Print

The Gordan Johncock Penske Chaparral 2K was the very first piece I actually earned money for as an illustrator.

The year was 1996 I was approached by a friend and business associate, acquainted with both Penske and Johncock who commissioned an illustration of the Chaparral 2K. It was the very first illustration I was ever actually paid for and what I didn’t know about licensing, commissions, and the whole business end of art could have filled several volumes. Part of the deal was there were to be only four prints and a 25-year exclusivity period but I was allowed to retain the original. At the time, I was even less obscure than I am now (if that’s possible) and the commission money looked real good to me so I agreed. In truth, I probably would have agreed to just about anything to actually get paid for my art.

I’ve sporadically stayed in touch with the original purchaser over the ensuing 2-plus decades—exchanging an occasional e-mail, marking each others birthdays and that sort of thing. Fast forward to a few months ago and, while catching up on the past year with him, I asked of he would ever consider relinquishing the licensing exclusivity and allow me to re-print the piece. I had nothing to lose by asking but was still surprised when he agreed. True to his word, I received a written release just a few days later.

While considerably different than the art that most people know me for today, I’ve always loved the piece. In part because it was the first artwork I was ever paid for but mostly because it’s just a cool illustration.

Penske Chaparral 2K Print—from $165

Johncock Chaparral 2K