Sam unveiled a series of four Gee Bee Air Racers at SUN ‘n FUN 2013. This red and white Gee Bee was the first of the series. Every detail is meticulously shown. It’s amazing how the airplane looks so 3-dimensional on a flat surface. It’s a pretty day and this Gee Bee Air Racer is ready to take flight.
How fast was the Gee Bee racer?
Piloted by Jimmy Doolittle, the Gee Bee R-1 set a world land plane speed record of 296 mph and won the Thompson Trophy before 60,000 enthusiastic race fans at the 1932 National Air Races in Cleveland.
History of the Gee Bee Air Racer
Five farm brothers from New Hampshire, led by the oldest, Zantford “Granny” Granville—established a thriving aircraft repair business. The business quickly morphed into a company that built little sport planes out of a former Springfield, Mass., dance hall.
When the Great Depression came along, government money to promote aviation dried up in the early 1930s. To help spur innovation and advertise their products, oil companies and aircraft suppliers offered rich cash prizes at air races across the nation. For their struggling company to survive the bad times, the Granvilles needed to build airplanes capable of winning that cash.
Zantford Granville teamed up with Howell “Pete” Miller, a young aeronautical engineer, to design and build the legendary R-1 and R-2 Super Sportster racers for the 1932 race season. Similar in appearance, the Gee Bee Model R airplanes were built for just one purpose: to go fast. Well engineered and hand-built, the racers were designed with the smallest airframe possible—to minimize aerodynamic drag—around the most powerful engine then available.
More Gee Bee Air Racer Artwork
The 16” x 20” prints are available in a Limited Edition of 100 Signed & Numbered prints and 10 Artist Proofs.
NOTE: The original acrylic painting is also for sale for $4,500. Call Lyons Studio (863 644 5010) to request a photo of the framed original.