the art of ruddell


cliff and his cars


some people like to show pictures taken with celebrities, or presidents . .( like me and Clint on the right ) and some like to show pictures taken with their stable of cars ( I wish ) . . well this is neither; its a bunch of random vehicles, real and conceptual, that have crossed my path and caught my interest . . .




I don't remember this picture being taken but I remember the Hillman van, with its creamy paint finish and its Coventry Three Spires horn button! I also remember the long gone days like this where you could drive on the beach!


not my most flattering picture . . but just look at that Hillman van - awesome!! My father worked for Clokey & Co. Ltd.


I do remember this day, another picnic . . I remember spending some time sitting in this Morris Minor in the garage before we set out, assessing the design of the dashboard!


this isn't the actual car but I clearly remember the first American car I ever saw, a yellow 57 Chevy, in our street in Dunmurry(!?) I was struck by the slender screen pillars and its glorious turquoise tinted screen . . .


my father's company van from Coventry Glass - a reasonable vehicle, except for the vacuum wipers . . .


my father's Bullnose Morris Cowley . . I never met this car, but constructing my drawing with lots of discussions about the detail components, I felt that I got to know it pretty well!

whilst still using a provisional license in 1969 my uncle had me driving his Austin Cambridge A60, towing a trailer of pigs . . .

Austin A30 which I bought for £30 in 1975 . . Browns Lane parking pass on the windscreen

Ed Abbott on the Devon Rally in his Austin A40 in 1975. I used to get a lift home from Tile Hill College with Ed in this hairy Austin!!

going to work in the winter - mid 70s: Kinwalsey Lane is not really on the way to Browns Lane, but hey - Minis like the snow . . .

Flying low in the Scottish Highlands in the Citroen GS. With a drag coefficient of 0.29 and Jaguar like ride quality it was noteable car.

I was obviously impressed with it . . enough to do an old school marker rendering of the car . . . on red canson - what was I thinking!?

1978 International Trophy at Silverstone - Mario Andretti about to unleash the Lotus 79 on an unsuspecting pit lane . . .

the Lotus 79 approaching Maggots . . . no JPS livery in UK races

Thursday morning July 12th 1979, the two Williams FW07s sit virtually un-noticed in the pitlane before first practice. A few hours later they would be the talking point of the circuit and would win their first Grand Prix two days later!

MOLE, the driverless car, with zero emissions, that drove itself once programmed, that I presented to Chuck Jordan at Detroit's GM Tech Centre in July 1980

I didn't get the job . . however Stefan Habsburg wrote "Mr Jordan said your general thoughts concerning energy, microelectronics and ecology are certainly consistent with the way the world is moving . . "

MOLE drove into your house and re-charged itself overnight from roof mounted solar panels . . . 22 years before Steven Spielberg's film Minority Report shows cars doing exactly that!!

the TWR XJS ( original Motul livery ) passing my Alfasud in the pits at Donnington during a test day in 1982

Tom Walkinshaw slides the car through the chicane during the test

working on the XJ40 full size clay model with Martin Brough and Ken Boulton, the model had two different halves.

proposed variation on the XJ40 full size clay model - raising the wing and boot line as well as a slightly taller glass area. But despite Jaguar's proclivity to add 4 inches to the length of its models, adding height was absolutely anathema to Bob Knight!

scraping a ¼ scale clay model, soon to become a new Jaguar design; one thing I don't miss about the clay was its smell, and the way it stuck to your shoes!

the finished quarter scale fibreglass model of the ground up XJ40 2 door coupé that we worked on in 1986. Taped up as a 4 door this looks similar to the ground up XJ90 of a few years later, a project canned by Ford.

just checking the archives . . I had forgotten that the left hand side of the clay model was also taped up as a 4-door!! Love Mick Cann's moody lighting!

on the trail of The Prisoner in North Wales in one of Jaguar Experimental's highly tuned Series 3s; this one was fitted with racing cams and D-Type valves.

As one of Ed Abbott's experimental cars, he had "doctored" it a bit . . it produced well over 200bhp, and was used mainly to test the new 5 speed manual gearbox. Later (sad face) it was installed with a 3.6 Italian VM diesel engine . . .

A similar Series 3, DVC 785V, which was used for publicity purposes and for the Series 3 press launch.

Ed Abbott in the car, at high speed on the M.I.R.A. banking

exploring Arizona and the Grand Canyon in some sort of Lincoln

snooping round Derek Bell's Porsche 956 at Silverstone in the days when you could blag your way into the pits . . .

our annual pilgrimage to the Royal College of Art degree show in Kensington, this time in a LHD Series 2

testing a Lotus Esprit turbo and a Ferrari Mondial at the Gaydon test track

testing a secret new sports car . . . built from cardboard, plywood and foamcore . . .

My introduction to the world of Vintage Bentleys - the massive Bentley Speed 6 . . . 6½ Litre 6 cylinders, overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder, 2 spark plugs per cylinder and 3 SU carburettors: advanced engne technology for the 20s!!

a young looking Richard Cresswell, with PF6205, which he comprehensively restored between 1984 and 1988 . . .

we were both still working at Jaguar Cars and I created this drawing of the car, hinting at it's Brooklands past

Vintage Bentley components I would become familiar with over subsequent years - huge headlamps, Hartford Shock Absorbers, centrally mounted Dynamo, leaf springs and a seriously substantial chassis frame . .

getting ready for a demonstration run around the Warwickshire lanes (at ridiculous speeds!!) in this beautifully restored Speed Six. The car was tested at Millbrook against a modern Bentley R Turbo in 1988 by Autocar & Motor magazine.

Bob Blake's Ferrari Daytona outside the Studio door. If it was a dry sunny morning we would expect the throaty roar of the V12 arriving outside! Bob bought the car from Jaguar as a written off wreck and rebuilt and straightened it by hand . . . as you do

interestingly enough the car appeared in a Performance Car Magazine road test in October 1986 although little detail was given about its origins! We knew better . . . .

Stuart Spencer with the promotional Opel Manta from Andrews. Note several camouflaged XJ40s in the Jaguar experimental car park - this is 1985, a year before the launch of the car.

Le Mans 1988, the winning Jaguar XJR9 heads up towards the Dunlop bridge. The event was like a works day out - we kept bumping into people from the Factory!

on the subject of TWR I spent many a morning eating my bacon and eggs sitting next to Michael Schumacher's F1 car in the Leafield canteen . . I can't find any pictures of Leafield in the TWR period . . this was done in Photoshop, but it was always a memorable breakfast!!

picking up the Bennetts, returning from South America, in one of Keith Cambage's demo Daimler Limos . . .

April 1992 and the CDI Pontiac Trans Sport SE . . . my first visit to Grand Rapids. With its 3 litre V-6 I was able to amble round the lake to Chicago with the minimum of fuss during the week-end!

just the job for the weekly shopping - a really tidy Mini pick up

a South African Leyland Mini, assembled at Blackheath in the Cape, is my transport for exploring the garden route and the wine growing valleys around Capetown

photoshoot for a magazine whilst at CDI, showing virtual sports car designing on the screen.

early morning light falls on little known ruddell sports car, on location in France, with admirer

Jim Clark's Lotus 25, chassis number R4, winner of seven Grands Prix in 1963, four on the same set of tyres, photographed at Classic Team Lotus in Norfolk.

capturing the iconic colours of Team Lotus with my watercolour of the car that will always be associated with double world champion Jim Clark, Lotus 25/R4


the Matra MS80, still ripping round the track 50 years since Jackie Stewart won his first World Championship . . amazing. Although MS80's other four wins featured front and rear aerofoils

for my limited edition print I have drawn MS80/2 minus it's aero aids as it ran at Monza on 7th Sept 1969 - the last time an F1 car sans aero won a grand prix!!

return to old school magic marker techniques!! This is my homage to the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph, which is a design I have always liked.

I was involved in working on the master surface model of the Silver Seraph to create a limousine option for the car:- by adding a massive 20 inches to it's length and 4 inches to it's height

the body lines through the doors may look horizontal but are in fact curved in all three axis, so the task was to re-blend them to a 20" in-fill without it looking flat . . no pressure then . .

visualisation of what the finished limousine would have looked like outside the Crewe reception area. Alas it was not to be:- Production was dis-continued after only 4 years when Volkswagen passed the rights to build Rolls Royce cars over to BMW in 2002

It looks like the CAD database survived though . . . to create a Bentley Arnage Limousine as this looks very close to my model!!

some other Rolls Royce work . . this time on a 1921 Silver Ghost: rendering showing redesigned wings and a new colour scheme . .

finished vehicle looking good with my "Jaguar-esque" wing designs!! This car took part in the Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary, joining more than 100 cars in a celebratory drive around London on February 6th 2011

Racing Bentley from the 30s, or is it? Created on CAD and handbuilt in aluminium.

the late Peter Butler powers past lesser mortals at Snetterton . .

little known agricultural version of the Vintage Bentley, good for keeping the farm free of pests . .

with the XJ13 at the Browns Lane JDHT museum, only a few hundred yards from where the car was built in the 60s . .

the first time I sat in an E-Type was an empty bodyshell upstairs in 60 shop, to have my lunch, when I was a Jaguar Apprentice . . I was reminded of this when Richard Cresswell commenenced restoring his 1961 E-Type chassis no. 885068 in 2010

VBE's version of engine to body assembly: lower the car (on ramp) very slowly over the engine which is sitting on the workshop floor below . .

engine in . . Chris Beaumont ticks off another job on the list! Next . . .

after some serious track action at the Silverstone Classic in 2011 . .

Richard demonstrating the car in the Flecknoe lanes in October 2013 for the article in Jaguar World Magazine

commemorating aspects of my work from 1968 to the present day - lunch in the E-Type bodyshell(!), working on the Jaguar XK assembly line, traditional draughtsmanship to draw the engine, marker rendering from my styling period and gouache painting from my current watercolour period!!

cliff and his cars . . . or cliff and the cars he has drawn!! Selling my artwork at one of Bicester Heritage's Sunday Scramble events

taking part in the 2019 Festival of Creativity and Wellbeing at Coventry's Herbert . . catching up with Jaguar photographer Mick Cann

during the event I painted the 1960 mini, which is in Coventry's Transport Museum. Looking at this car all the details come back to me of the original mini: the sliding windows, the Morris bonnet badge, the minimalist Issigonis lines. Wonderful!

spent some time driving round Bates Farm pretending to be characters out of a John Le Carre novel, with this cold war military truck . .

1929 Vanden Plas 4½ litre Bentley with its Gurney-Nutting-Ruddell styled front and rear wings!

my watercolour homage to the wondrous monoblock 4½ litre 1928 Bentley engine with which Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin won the Le Mans 24 hours in 1928

Looking round the new Jaguar F-Type in the visitor centre at Castle Bromwich.

Assessing the F-Type interior - Peter Wilson and Russ Varney in the background!

the Jaguar F-Type Coupe departing after we'd given it the once over. Now that is a nice looking car . .

computer visualisation of our Vintage Bentley Roadster, based on the 1931 Blower Bentley that Gurney Nutting created for Le Mans winner Woolf Bernato

conceived in the Bentley Boys era, designed on CAD and handbuilt by VBE, the project nears completion in the VBE bodyshop . .

it is appropriate that my last car project before retiring ends with a day in the photographic studio with Jaguar photographer Jim Callaghan, replicating the many days we spent photographing ruddell models in the 80s!! Shoot was done at Junction Eleven Studios.

OCTANE magazine's Mark Dixon putiing Petronella, the finished car, through it's paces for the March 2018 road test!!