LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER - Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com
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As one can easily discern by studying the drawings of Carleton Mitchell's superboat (page 30), Artist Ted Lodigensky is a stickler for thoroughness and detail. "I like fine paintings, I like fine machinery," says Lodigensky. "I will do anything for the result."

To get his drawings of Sans Terre, Lodigensky spent six days on board the boat, taking more than 500 photographs and talking at length with Mitchell, mostly in French. It was exhausting even for a stickler, but Ted still was not satisfied that he had the "feel" of the boat. "To get the dimensions and proportions right," Lodigensky says, "I decided to cut the boat in half like a lobster."

He did not, of course, bisect Sans Terre. What he did do was build a scale balsa-wood model, actually half a model, with which he could establish a relationship between outside and inside. Built in four days, the model is a work of art in itself. "With the model before me in my studio I could figure the right angles," Lodigensky says. "The perspectives are the same as on the real ship."

It took Ted another month and a half to finish his drawings. There were revisions, meetings, even phone calls to the builders. After the drawings were submitted, there still was some touching-up to do. In one instance Senior Editor Roger Hewlett noticed that the ship's radar apparatus, which had been installed without Lodigensky's knowledge, was not reflected in the drawings. "He went back and put the radar on the outside," said Hewlett, "but then we had to show the radar scanner on the inside, too. I called Ted to point this out, but he was a step ahead of me. Just before I called he had finished talking to the man who installed the radar."

Now that the assignment has been completed, Lodigensky says he enjoyed it as much personally as he did professionally. His own escape mechanism is a fishing boat, and rare is the summer day when he does not slip away from his studio to seek striped bass off the Jersey coast. "I'm a boat man, crazy about them," he says, "but I couldn't afford the rear deck of Sans Terre. That boat is equipped with everything you would find in a modern hotel, but what really impressed me was the hull, which was designed for fishing boats. It doesn't have the speed or the slickness of some other boats, but you won't have to worry if you're ever in heavy seas."

Lodigensky, 38, is even more of a car man. Coming to the U.S. from Paris in 1949, he worked on an automobile assembly line in Detroit, where he picked up English. "The words you learn might not be the right ones," he said, "but you learn." Later he worked as an apprentice in an art studio, won a scholarship to Detroit's School of the Society of Arts and Crafts and now is widely known for his detailed renderings of antique cars, which appear frequently in Automobile Quarterly.

And what kind of a car does such a connoisseur own himself? A Duesenberg? A Bugatti? "I own kids so I don't own any antique cars," says Ted Lodigensky, somewhat wistfully. "I drive a Chevrolet."