Jan 22, 2015


Pull on that Nomex fire suit and wedge yourself into a cockpit smaller than a coffin, with even less wiggle room, and get real friendly with that big, hot, snarling BMW M12 Turbocharged 640 horse engine sitting right behind your shoulder blades. This is Pole Position II, and there's no room for error at speeds over 160, with your body traveling feet first, inches above that unforgiving pavement!!

                                                        CLICK to enlarge any image;)! 


This 8.5"x11" flyer was one of the first
applications for Marc's art
The Nomex suit, helmets and gloves
required close research

This art was all about Need, and Speed. The need to put the viewer directly into the seat of a 1983 Formula One racer and strap on the tough cross stressed nylon harness, and snap in the 5 point titanium chest quick release lock to deal with the dangers drafting other drivers at speeds in excess of 160 MPH!

The slightest misjudgment at speed can launch cars airborne in Gran
Prix racing. Despite spectacular accidents, there are few fatalities,
but it is no sportfor the faint hearted.

The Enhancement kit

In 1983, Atari assigned me the task to create an illustration for their Pole Position II franchise, in order to promote a new 4 race track Enhancement addition to it's award winning Arcade Game, as well as for multiple uses as Poster, point of purchase, and magazine advertising art. They asked me to give the end user a more exciting image than those already on the game packages for Pole Position and Pole Position II for the Atari 7800 system, which while effective, did not give the viewer in an immersive feel for Grand Prix style racing. I suggested an over the shoulder view of a live race moment, and they were very excited. I wanted veracity in the details.
A 1983 Formula One cockpit

I was struck when researching the cockpits of these race
cars (no Google in '83) how simple the dash boards
needed to be. The paint was often worn down to bare
metal, and the structure was light weight honeycomb
aluminum. The Kill Switch was a common denominator,
within easy reach for quick bailout when necessary!!

Pole Position II 4 racetrack
Enhancement Kit Sales sheet

The Atari Coin Connection piece below right, clearly outlines
the Enhancement Kit addition to both the upright and the cockpit versions of the Arcade upgrade. In enlargement you can read the parameters of the actual upgrades that arcade parlor owners could bring to their games. They included 3 new tracks, as well as an upgrade to the original FUJI Racetrack. There was the TEST Track, The SUZUKA Track and the SEASIDE Track. The advanced graphics included upgraded background scenery, Fiery explosions, and upgrades in details on the cars.

The art as it was presented to Atari.

I went with the detailed cockpit and pushed the idea of speed with the surrounding road surface and edges. After delivery, Atari asked me to paint Mt. Fuji in the distance. I thought it was a nice touch!

 Some Other Applications:                                                   

A large format full color printed poster representing
both Pole Position, and Pole Position II for Atari.

The Poster at the right featured almost all of the image I painted, and, in my opinion, was designed cleanly and beautifully, with a rich title type treatment. It's a look that still holds up nicely, even today.

Now, go grab that old helmet and get behind the wheel of that old Atari 7800!!


…and Keep your eye on that yellow MacClaren
sneaking up on your Right!!


Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful piece, it really captures the speed.

quyen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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