Professional automotive fine artist Nicolas Hunziker comes by his work honestly: He derives his eye for detail from his grandfather and great-grandfather who were both classically trained painters. His father, a professional flautist, now devotes much of his time to his paintings and his collages. This makes Nicolas Hunziker the 4th generation to pick up the family trade.
It also doesn’t hurt that his granduncle was the motor racing Prince Bira of Siam, so Hunziker is no stranger to the history, adrenaline and petrol fumes of the sport. He trained at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design and he believes in keeping his work simple. He incorporates many elements of Art Deco advertising posters into his paintings and he calls his style “Period Correct.”
Hunziker can create any piece on commission, and no piece is too small or big, a fact attested to by the 50 ft. murals he has created for various patrons. His focus lies in vintage motor sport and his original acrylic on canvas paintings have been reprinted on everything from Porsche espresso cups, greeting cards, T-shirts, shoes and limited-edition signed prints to mouse pads and phone covers. Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen featured Hunziker’s James Hunt painting on his racing helmet during the Monaco Grand Prix.
Hunziker’s artwork has been blessed by Porsche AG which makes his creations officially licensed and the Porsche Museum purchased one of his original paintings to be displayed in their museum in Stuttgart. Porsche Cars North America also commissioned Hunziker to create a 22 ft. wide painting which now graces their headquarters’ entrance lobby at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta. Hunziker’s paintings and prints have also been given the official stamp of approval from the ACO/24h Le Mans. Gulf Oil L.P. have awarded Hunziker with an official licensing agreement and commissioned a series of blue and orange paintings that embodied the Gulf Racing spirit in all its colorful glory.
Coinciding with the release of Ron Howard’s RUSH movie about F1 World Champion James Hunt, the Hunt family approached Hunziker to create and design the official James Hunt Collection. When McLaren celebrated their 50th Anniversary, they commissioned Hunziker to create eleven original acrylic on canvas paintings. Each painting featured one of the most iconic and important racing cars from McLaren’s illustrious history and served as the basis of the Hunziker by McLaren merchandise collection.
At the behest of his wife, Heather Norwood, Hunziker and Norwood formed Hunziker Design to produce an apparel collection with the goal to create wearable art and to provide motor racing enthusiasts with an exciting new way to express themselves.
Porsche Design turned to Hunziker to create and design the Steve McQueen Collection by Porsche Driver’s Selection. This collection highlighted a number of original Hunziker paintings starring Steve McQueen.
Since in 2015, America’s Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) has featured an original Hunziker painting on the cover of its Speedtour Quaterly magazine (formerly Vintage Racing Quarterly magazine) – an association that continues to this day.
In 2016, Hunziker Design became an official apparel supplier to Laguna Seca Raceway and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. HSR (Historic Sportscar Racing) also looked to Hunziker for artwork and event apparel for their marque races such as the Classic 24H Daytona and the Classic 12H Sebring.
Since its formation, Hunziker Design has created officially licensed merchandise for the likes of Steve McQueen, MOMO, McQueen Racing, McLaren, Porsche Club of America, Wheeler Dealer Mike Brewer, Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, Gulf Racing and numerous other clients.
Another Hunziker project is a collaboration with French watch company BRM Chronographes. Together they created the Hunziker BRM Art Watch: The World’s first automotive fine art choronograph. A series of commissioned one-off, hand-painted dials that are encompassed in custom BRM cases.
In 2018, BRM tapped Hunziker to design the official Brumos Racing Chronograph which highlighted the iconic red and blue livery of America’s Porsche racing team. The launch edition of the Brumos Racing Chronograph featured hand-painted art watch boxes by Hunziker.
Since 2019, Hunziker’s focus has been back on his original paintings. With his ever growing commission schedule, his original paintings and print reproductions have sold to every continent except Africa and Antarctica.
Nicolas Hunziker is a licensed racer in his own right and he is following in his granduncle’s footsteps in the Whitemouse Garage 1969 Lotus 51 single-seater race car, an enterprise which Nic describes as: “An attempt at honoring Bira’s legacy in the fastest way possible.”
Text courtesy of Stefan Lombard for Sports Car Market Magazine. Photos by Heather Norwood.
Nicolas Hunziker – Partial Client List:
- Porsche AG, Germany
- Porsche Design, Austria
- Porsche Museum, Germany
- Porsche Cars North America, USA
- Kimi Räikkönen, Finland
- James Hunt Racing (UK) Ltd, UK
- 24h Le Mans / ACO, France
- Gulf Oil L.P., USA
- McLaren, UK
- McLaren Automotive, UK
- Sir Stirling Moss, UK
- BRM Americas, USA
- Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, USA
- Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, USA
- Fiat Abarth / Chrysler, USA
- Ford Motor Company, USA
- Carroll Shelby International, USA
- Steve McQueen / The Terry McQueen and Chad McQueen Testamentary Trust, Greenlight, USA
- McQueen Racing, USA
- Porsche Club of America, USA
- Porsche Panorama Magazine, USA
- Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, USA
- Elevenparts AG, Switzerland
- The Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show, USA
- Stoddard Parts, USA
- 911Love – Delius Klasing, Germany
- Vic Elford, USA
- Brian Redman, USA
- Alegra Motorsports, USA
- Vintage Motorsport Magazine, USA
- Vintage Racecar Magazine, USA
- Early 911S Registry, USA
- R Gruppe, USA
- One Lap of America / Brock Yates, USA
- GTS Classics, USA
- Gerber Motorsports, USA
- Riverside International Automotive Museum, USA
- Saratoga Automobile Museum, USA
- various private collectors, Worldwide
Complete Client List is available on request