The 1924 Model T Runabout visible at Art Cornelius’ garage at 312 Beech St. draws a second look from passersby.
It may look real and is the correct size; however, it is actually painted on the garage door.
The artist, Bob Allen, lives across the street, where he can claim “the best view” of his work.
Painting the car on his neighbor’s garage has a two-fold purpose, Allen said. “I just like doing things like this, because it creates an interest. If it causes somebody to smile, I feel like I’ve done something for somebody.”
Explaining his second goal, Allen said, “I wanted to share the car picture, so maybe somebody else might want to do something like that.
"I painted it to look like it was sitting in it (the garage),” Allen said, “so the prospective would be proper. The garage sits next to the street.”
Because the picture’s location is on a short street off Walnut on Hannibal’s South Side, it may not have been noticed by many people since Allen painted it during the past summer.
But those who do see it often make comments, Allen reported. “It makes them smile.”
Allen painted the car without charge for Cornelius, explaining it was “just a neighborly thing - he wanted something, and we got together and came up with that idea.”
The 1924 Model T was chosen because that was around the year the house and garage were built, Allen added.
He painted it from a photo of this Model T, and the actual art work required very little time, Allen said. “I painted the car first and then figured out what the background would look like.
“It didn’t take long to paint the car, but the details probably took a day. The details make it look real, and that is what takes the most time.”
As he painted the car with acrylic house paint, he invited two neighborhood children, Janessa Travao and Evelyn Newton, to help. Now these middle-schoolers can claim their involvement in this unique work of art.
Enjoys painting murals,
Bob Allen is well-known by Hannibalians as a sign painter and also for his indoor and outdoor murals.
He is currently working on signs for Main Street, where he does historic research prior to picking up his paintbrushes.
“I try to concentrate on Main Street and try to keep it in the right period,” he said.
His work is found at the Main Street Station, Kerley’s, the Powder Room and Ole Planters restaurant, among other North Main businesses.
Page 2 of 2 - “I do a lot of work for the Mark Twain Museum,” Allen said. “I enjoy doing it.
“I like to do large work,” Allen said, such as the mural at Grand Rio. ... His work is also seen elsewhere, such as the Boone Crossing in the St. Louis area.
Allen has been painting since his teens, when he “started out doing race cars for friends. I put the numbers and pictures on race cars for friends. And I have pin-striped all my father's trucks.” His dad, the late Clyde Allen, hauled hay when the family lived in Vandalia.
Allen has been a Hannibal resident for many years, doing all his own painting. Allen noted he did work for Kenison Advertising for four years, painting billboards.
One thing he enjoys now is doing “a portable type of mural. I paint doors. You set it up against the wall, and it looks like it is painted on the wall.” He also paints sidewalks to resemble brick sidewalks.
Some of his signs have been become antiques, he said, and now, “they sell in antique stores for more than I got paid for them.”