Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Raymond Groves

Originally posted 21 December 2006, I've just added an interesting note from Don Grant, whose dad published much of Groves' work, and thought it worth bringing to your attention again.

Another artist I've found little about. Raymond Groves was a cartoonist who drew sporting cartoons, some of which were collected in volumes entitled Pit Stop (London, Autosport, 1953), Starting from Scratch (London, Autosport, 1954) and Loud Pedal (London, Autosport, 1956). He also produced watercolour paintings of motor racing subjects which are very popular when they come up for auction: one catalogue sale of a 1951 painting of Peter Collins driving a Cooper-Norton at Gamston, Nottinghamshire, described the work as "Of exceptional dynamic quality, few pictures capture the drive and determination of Peter Collins as well as this equally singular profile of one of these fericious little pioneering rear engined cars... Raymond Groves was prolific during the 1940s and 1950s. His work covered the design of posters and many commissioned works of racing cars in action."

Groves contributed a single colour plate to Swift Annual 1 (1954).

Update - 4 January 2007

I've managed to find an obituary for Groves which reveals that he was born c.1913, the second son of Walter Groves, the founding editor of The Motor. he was educated at St. Paul's School, West Kensington, and studied art at the Regent Street Polytechnic. For a time he was articled to Bryan de Grineau, who specialised in motor racing artwork -- some of his spectacular illustrations appeared in Modern Wonder magazine in the 1930s. Groves served in the Royal Artillery in the UK and Egypt between 1939-45.

According to his obituary, "He was a gentle and retiring man whose interest in motor sport sprang from boyhood visits to Brooklands in the years following the First World War. His tall figure was well known in the paddocks at Goodwood and Silverstone. where he would make lightning sketches of the cars he delighted to depict at speed. Although motor racing was his main interest, he was a versatile artist and his other work included portraits, landscapes, murals and Christmas cards."

Raymond Vincent Groves died suddenly at his home in Barnes on Boxing Day 1958, aged 45. He was survived by his wife.

Illustrated Books
Where the Cars Roar by Alfred Edgar. London, G. G. Harrap & Co., 1937.
The Wandering Speedman by Alfred Edgar. London, G. G. Harrap & Co., 1939.

Update - 24 June 2008

Don Grant has been in touch to say, "I was leafing through your web-site, looking for info on Pat Nevin, and came across a reference to that wonderfully understated cartoonist Raymond Groves. My dad was Gregor Grant, who founded and edited Autosport for 17 years in the 1950s and 1960s. He employed Mr Groves on a regular basis in the magazine, until his untimely death, and also produced those wonderful little books. I found a sketch for a Christmas card, presumably for Autosport in the mid-Fifties, which I attach. He never really had the same recognition as Russell Brockbank, but I certainly think he was equally funny and a really good draughtsman. I also attach a cover he did for the first edition of High Performance Cars, with dad and Peter Reece in a TR2, which you may not have seen before."

Since the previous update, I've managed to confirm that Groves' birth was registered in Richmond, Surrey, in 1913.

(* Illustration at top © Look and Learn Magazine Ltd. My thanks to Don Grant for the additional illustrations.)


  1. don grant, do you have any details of the mg magnette that your father used to rally in the 1950s?


  2. Hi Kyle - thanks for your enquiry about GG's MG. If you'd care to send your email address via Steve Holland, he very kindly said he'd forward it to me and I could forward some pics. Best wishes. Don

  3. Don Grant,

    Did your father live in Bearsden?
    I think I lived next door to him.
    I'm 57 now , forgive me as it was a long time ago.

  4. Hello, I search the person who has the copyright on "theo page" Can someone help me?



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