Kenny's induction into the International Drag Racing Hall Of Fame in 2014, by 'Big Daddy" Don Garlits.
Kenny Youngblood’s career as a motorsports artist grew out of his love of auto racing, and began in 1967 when he built and drove his own ‘Slingshot’ fuel dragsters.
As the result of doing the hand lettering on his friend Gary Messenger’s dragster, a young Youngblood was hired in 1968 by custom painters Dick Olsen and Don Kirby, for whom he would soon be adding the finishing touches to many of the nation’s top race cars.
By the end of the 1970’s, and with help from Kenny's mentor and marketing genius Bob Kachler, it would be nearly impossible to open a car magazine, go to a car show or racing event without seeing the artist’s work.
Expanding his horizons in the late 70’s, Youngblood began publishing limited edition prints of his race car paintings and marketing them to a worldwide audience. He would be the sole pioneer of what would become the billion dollar racing collectibles industry.
Three of Kenny's most recognizable designs would be the stars and stripes “Snake” logo for drag racer Don Prudhomme, the interlocking Z’s for ZZ Top’s “Eliminator” album cover car and the graphics for Dale Earnhardt’s first NASCAR ride (including the design of Dale’s iconic number “3”).
Today Kenny is still at the easel, creating what he calls “Monuments On Canvas”; paintings depicting the lifestyles and prized possessions of discriminating clients, as well as making personal appearances for corporate clients throughout the U.S., Canada and the UK.
What They're Saying..
“Kenny has been called ‘The father of modern day race car graphics’ and is considered an icon in the field” - Signs Of The Times Magazine
“Youngblood’s work was and still is an inspiration to those who endeavor to make hot cars look as good as they run” -Robert Kachler
“Kenny is one of my heroes!” -Chip Foose
“What can you say about Kenny Youngblood; he is The Arteest!” -Billy F Gibbons
International Drag Racing Hall Of Fame
Hot Rod Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Darrell Starbird Hall Of Fame
Rt 66 Hall Of Fame
New England Drag Racing Hall Of Fame
Kenny's imaginary and outlandish Italian race car driver 'Benito Magneto', was the star of this 1971 editorial on funny car aerodynamics, that appeared in Car Craft Magazine. Ironically, Benito's "Flop-O-Aerodynamico" was way ahead of its time, with many features (like a roof hatch, laid back headers, weather station, side mounted parachutes and canard wings that would eventually find their way onto actual race cars and that remain in use use today).
Youngblood designed graphics were the gold standard in racing from the early seventies until the advent of the computer, and were seen everywhere and on every type of racing vehicle. From cars to boats and motorcycles to air craft, his designs would inspire those who would to follow in his footsteps.
Youngblood served as a crew member on the "Invader" Funny Car, as well as doing it's graphics. Kenny and wife Terri are seen here helping driver "Mighty Mike" Van Sant accept the "Best appearing Car" award, at the NHRA WinterNationals.
A fine example of the Blood's lifelike 'faux' grill and headlight treatments on fiberglass bodied race cars.
The graphics for Dale Earnhardt's 'Wrangler Monte Carlo" including Kenny's design for Dale's iconic number "3", would have to be the artist's most widely recognized design.
Kenny's "Fuel Coupe Magazine" was dedicated to Nostalgia Funny Cars, and featured high tech covers with an 'old school' look, like this one created by Kenny and Digital Artist Thomas "Tommy Knockers" Naccarado, from one of Photo Editor JD Kline's amazing pics.
A striking example of the demand for Youngblood's artistic talents throughout motorsports would be his graphics on Danny Sullivan's Indy winning "Miller American".
Detroit auto makers turned to Kenny in the late seventies for his ability to create innovative designs based on current trends in customizing. The Youngblood designed Ford "Cruisin' Van' being a prime example and one that resulted in runaway sales.
Builder Don Thelan asked Kenny to come up with some graphics for a '34 Ford Coupe he was building. Turned out the car was to be the cover car for ZZ Top's "Elininator" album. The rest is history. Blood's interlocking "Z"s would become the groups logo and pattern for the world's most infamous key chain, while setting the coupe apart as one of history's most recognizable hot rods.