Every MG owner and probably every vintage car owner is familiar with F. Gordon Crosby's iconic drawing of a man working on a 1933 MG-J2 in a typical English garage of the period where not a single power tool can be seen. Through the use of advanced 3D computer animation tools, I have created a photo realistic view of what Gordon Crosby was looking at while making his drawing. (Please excuse the clear copyright symbols imposed upon this website example. They do not exist, of course, on the prints!)
While color film of the day (Kodachrome was introduced in 1935) could not possibly have captured such a high resolution and detailed photograph as this, it took only a bit of imagination to conjure up this as a possible explanation:
The accompanying photo, which I have named "Our MG Garage, 1935," has recently come into my possession by very mysterious means. Though its origin is unclear, a few facts are known. It was in 1935 that Cecil Kimber, founder of the MG Car Company and an avid amateur photographer, returned from a trip to the Continent with a newly purchased Leica camera. I have it on good authority that one day his 10 year old daughter, Jean, borrowed the camera on a lark. It is believed that she came across MG factory illustrator and good family friend, F. Gordon Crosby, making a drawing. Curious, Jean peered around his shoulder and quickly snapped a photo on one of the first rolls of Kodachrome color film. While it cannot be proved for certain, some say that this must be that long lost photo.
David L. Shelburne, NEMGTR #9855
This view, on the left, shows a slice of the picture at a higher resolution. Notice the products on the shelves and their pre-1935 packaging and logos. Also apparent is the fact that this MG owner keeps his car highly polished.
Crosby's b&w drawing first appeared in The Autocar magazine in 1939. Today, this detailed color image gives us a fascinating glimpse into the early days of the MG hobby. A detail of objects on a shelf (below) shows many useful items of the period.
In actuality, the "photo" was created almost entirely in the computer using special effects software for movies (3D Studio Max). Every detail in Gordon Crosby's drawing is represented as accurately as possible. Each item you see in the picture was modeled in 3D and then covered with realistic materials like reflective auto paint, wood grain surfaces and lots of packaging designs and logos. More than 650 individual three dimensional objects were created to make this scene. Only the mechanic and the "artist's hand" are real!
© 2014-2020 Shelburne Films -- Reedsville, Ohio 45772 -- All images copyrighted & all rights reserved