Saturday, February 25, 2012

Downhill racers!

When I came across the original old black and white photo which I used for the diorama pictured below, as soon as I saw it I imagined three French cars hurtling downhill at dangerous speeds, with the middle one on the edge of major trouble as it rounded the final bend.

And that's what's happening here. The gold Citroen Traction Avant limousine has swooped
through the corner with aplomb, and the yellow Citroen Traction Avant cabriolet bringing up the
rear is also in no trouble at all, but the blue Peugeot 203 in the middle is right on the edge,
lifting its inside front wheel as all its weight buries its nose into the bend. For the record,
the Traction limousine is an IXO 1:43 model; the Peugeot 203 is by Soldio; and the Traction
Cabriolet is a very pretty little thing made by Atlas.
Can't say why I thought up this strange 'downhill racing' scenario, although I was inspired recently by a great black & white uphill racing photo of a Peugeot 203 in action which, just for fun, I colourised in Photoshop. Here it is:

Great real-world action shot, isn't it, with the front wheel lifting as the driver powers uphill?
This is a shot from the car rally of the early 50s known as the Tour de France, but unfortunately
I don't have any details on who the original photographer or driver was. With just a 1300cc
engine, Peugeot 203s had only modest power, and to climb a hill quickly a driver had to
do things like this just to keep up momentum. Maybe that's how I thought of the downhill
racing scenario: to some degree it negates the power advantage of a hillclimb, but
admittedly it's way more dangerous and maybe the car with the best brakes and most
insane daredevil of a driver wins?
As a sideline to my little hobby of creating dioramas in Photoshop, using my little 1:43 scale model cars, I've taken to colourising old black and white photos from earlier periods, as these authentic old photos lack all the modern street signage and other things which make so many modern colour photos of old towns and villages almost unusable. (For example, the background photo of the town of Antibes used in my previous posting on 'Fun In Antibes' had about 20 satellite dishes on all the rooftops. It took me quite a while to Photoshop them out.) And so here's the black and white original shot used as the background for my downhill racers dio.

I'm not so sure about my choice of colours in colourising this nice old black and white photo,
as I have nothing to go on. I found it while looking for background shots for my Antibes diorama,
so I presume it is of the same area. And so, if you are from the South of France and my choice
of colours amuses you, I hope I have made your day!


  1. Great post! Thanks for the information!

  2. It is really cute! It looks like the real one.

  3. Looks like posting pictures form old races , i have heard so much about downhill racing..

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  4. the first picture looks like it edited by photoshop.. anyway, nice info..

  5. Garage sale! Everything I do is edited in Photoshop! Thanks for the very observant comment.

  6. The photo that is in black and white and then the author has coloured the photos. It is very attractive.

    1. Youre so right.Im lucky I did because now Ive got a whole new view of this.