Speed Racer or a vintage biker oil painting. I look at this biker zooming along on his motorcycle and it made me think of the once popular animated TV series from the 1960’s, Speed Racer. And just like this painting had it’s own inspiration, the bikers of the Tihany Motocross, so did Speed Racer. Little did I know that the roots of this Japanese anime were so American.
Vintage Biker Oil Painting
Speed Racer was first created and designed by Japanese author, Tatsuo Yoshida, as a comic strip series and made the leap to an animated TV series back in 1967. In Japan, the name of the comic strip was Mach GoGoGo and was later released in the United States as Speed Racer. The storyline followed the adventures of an ambitious young man who became a professional racer. But what I found so interesting was Yoshida’s inspiration for the character and his car. He got the story idea after seeing two films that were very popular at that time in Japan, Viva Las Vegas and Goldfinger. The central character, Go Mifune, was inspired by Elvis Presley’s racing car image complete with a large black pompadour and handkerchief around the neck. And his car was inspired by the gadget filled Aston Martin driven by James Bond. It just goes to show that a good idea has to start somewhere. And in this case it was with the King of Rock and Roll. I wonder how Speed Racer would do on the hills of Tihany, Hungary.