shane86 None
Sept. 22, 2009 5:24 p.m.

hey guys, swung by at nats, and grabbed a few decals. I loved the paint job on tom's miata! so cool! i was wondering if anyone had a high rez file, or picture of the hood image very square. i'd love to have it as a background pattern for my desktop!

here's a picture of it for those who haven't seen it.

Carson Dork
Sept. 22, 2009 6:40 p.m.

Here's the project page:

Here's a shot of the hood from the link. Probably not ideal for a desktop though.

redzcstandardhatch New Reader
Sept. 22, 2009 6:56 p.m.


JFX001 Dork
Sept. 22, 2009 7:10 p.m.


She looks like Justine Bateman.

Sept. 22, 2009 7:23 p.m.

love it

xci_ed6 Reader
Sept. 22, 2009 7:30 p.m.


kcbhiw Reader
Sept. 22, 2009 9:59 p.m.

It's actually a wrap. A very well executed wrap I might say. That said, I did leave a bit of drool on it while checking it out at nationals.

Sept. 22, 2009 10:21 p.m.
JFX001 wrote: Coolness. She looks like Justine Bateman.

I see by the smiley that you consider that a good thing as well...

Tom Heath Marketing / Club Coordinator
Sept. 22, 2009 10:24 p.m.

Ahhh...just the excuse I need to tell the story behind this art. I think it's pretty awesome too, so forgive me if I ramble a bit.

This "High Octane" girl was originally painted onto a KC-135 Aerial refueling tanker from Castle AFB in California. It was painted by a local artist named Peter Ledger. Unfortunately, when the aircraft with his art was deployed for the first Gulf war, it was stripped of the art and other identification. All that was left of the art were photographs.

Peter was pretty successful in his art and design work. Peter worked on a lot of things you might be familiar with, like the TV show Babylon 5 and the graphic novel "Sisterhood of Steel." He designed the aliens in the movie "Ice Pirates", and a bunch of other cool stuff. Peter was also a gearhead and motorcycle enthusiast. Unfortunately, Peter was killed in a traffic accident in 1994, so I never got to meet him or really become aware of his work until later.

After we decided to go ahead with the themed wrap on the Miata, I knew I wanted some sort of pinup-style art for the car. I was struggling to find just the right piece; something that would tie the car and plane theme together but not be too suggestive or offensive for public display. After beating Google Image Search to death for hours, I finally stumbled across "High Octane". It was perfect!

As I read about the art and the artist, I started to get a little spooked out. My brother John had been stationed at Castle AFB and flew with the squadron that originally had the High Octane art. My brother was killed by Lou Gehrig's Disease a few years ago, so I can't know that he was on that plane, but I don't know that he wasn't, either. I don't think it really matters.

Once I'd found the perfect art, I obtained permission from his widow, Christy Marx, to reproduce it. We were short on time to make it for Nationals, but it turns out that Christy is a world-class human being and exceptionally cool in her own right, and we shared a lot of interests. She graciously allowed me to use the piece and even provided a high resolution file to work from. (Christy is the creator of "Jem" and writer for the GI Joe animated series of the mid 1980s. You should probably thank her for making Zartan so cool.)

After we had the art, Bob Stephens at Bargain Signs did an awesome, awesome job reproducing and transferring the file into Vinyl. We'll cover the technical process in an upcoming issue of the magazine, but it's worth noting that the design and production phase of the project were at least as important as the installation in reaching the final result.

No amount of thank you's would cover the efforts and consideration of Christy and Bob. I hope it honors Peter and John.

Peter Ledger / Christy Marx links...

Christy Marx Homepage
Peter's badass headstone
High Octane homepage

Bargain Signs / Bob Stephens homepage

Tom Heath Marketing / Club Coordinator
Sept. 22, 2009 10:29 p.m.
aussiesmg SuperDork
Sept. 23, 2009 6:42 a.m.

link to a hammer strike

Great picture and inside story there Tom

MiatarPowar HalfDork
Sept. 23, 2009 10:54 a.m.

Very cool.

xFactor New Reader
Sept. 23, 2009 11:58 a.m.

...Ice Pirates, ain't heard that title in a long time!

later, matt

dyintorace Dork
Sept. 23, 2009 1:51 p.m.

Very cool. I love nose art and look forward to the article about vehicle wraps.

On a related note, my grandfather flew in the 9th Air Force in a P-47 and a P-38. After arriving in England for WWII, he had my grandmother's likeness painted on the nose of his plane in exchange for a bottle of whiskey. She wasn't enthused that he used his pet name for her.

Here is his plane.

And here is an animation I found after some web searching.

jcanracer New Reader
Sept. 23, 2009 8:17 p.m.


Xceler8x Dork
Sept. 23, 2009 10:34 p.m.

His nickname for your Gma was Duck Butt?

That's freakin hilarious...

4eyes New Reader
Sept. 24, 2009 2:16 a.m.

You meet the coolest people in this bar

Sept. 24, 2009 2:45 a.m.

Wow, Tom. I work in TV, in a place that shows a lot of animation, and was seriously stoked to see you'd been working with Christy Marx with your wrap.

I had heard of Peter Ledger's work from some of my aviation buddies, but I never knew Ms. Marx had been married to him. Please pass along to her that his work still inspires people!

Sept. 24, 2009 2:46 a.m.
4eyes wrote: You meet the coolest people in this bar

Quoted for the truth quotient contained within.

dyintorace Dork
Sept. 24, 2009 7:53 a.m.
Xceler8x wrote: His nickname for your Gma was Duck Butt? That's freakin hilarious...

Yep...much to her chagrin.

bigwrench Reader
Sept. 27, 2009 1:35 p.m.

Oct. 1, 2009 5:12 a.m.

My shop is the one who did the artwork/install on Tom's Miata (Bargain Signs). Shane, I can send you screensaver of the hood, if you wish.

f86sabjf None
Oct. 1, 2009 7:05 a.m.

love the hood/nose art . Classy and sexy what more do you need

bigwrench Reader
Oct. 1, 2009 7:52 a.m.

I would like a copy of the screen saver too please!!!!!!

Tom Heath Marketing / Club Coordinator
Oct. 1, 2009 9:17 a.m.

I'm super glad that you all like Peter Ledger's original artwork. Please remember to credit him for his work.

Say it once with me..."Thank you Christy Marx for letting us enjoy Peter Ledger's original art!" If you really want to show your appreciation, head over to Christy's site to purchase some original art or a DVD of the GI Joe episodes you remember from your youth.

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