Saturday, January 25, 2020

Little Iso Dreams

"Little Iso Dreams",24"x 30", oil on canvas
Its SOO cute! Its so small! It looks like a toy. You just want to have it and put to on your keychain.
My wife and I were in Reno in 2019 at the Hot August Nights car show. Its a massive show. One of the biggest on the west coast. It takes place in several parking lots and event spaces all over Reno and it goes on for almost 2 weeks. The cars that show up are amazing in the variety and the level of customizations. And then there is this little Issetta 300. It doesn't even fill out the parking space. It was the only micro car that we saw at the show so it really stood out. Everyone came by to look and comment on it. It was kind of the freak of the show. That was the inspiration for this painting. I wanted to feature this little car as small but proud. The perspective is low to give it a heroic look. You can see people looking at it in the reflections but on the nose its head is in the clouds. It's thinking of when it was a hero of Italy and Europe.

A little history on the Issetta and the micro cars of Europe in the 50s. In 57 the Suez canal was closed by Egypt cutting Europe off from its gas supply. In response some very clever engineers came up with new ideas for getting people around that was super fuel efficient and cheep to buy because Europeans didn't have much money. The micro car was designed with a small engine usually less than500cc. Issetta was designed with a 247cc engine. Thats smaller than most lawnmower engines! Iso was a manufacturer of refrigerators. It was their design that was sold to BMW. "Issetta" is Italian for little Iso. 160,000 were made from 1955-62. It was the best seller of its day. So here is Little Iso sitting in a sea of big American cars  dreaming of when it was all the rage. It and the other micro cars answered the call and filled a need for people to get around efficiently and cheaply. 

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