Competition Motors – Hollywood: Part 1

I am fascinated by historic brands, specifically of the automotive variety. Having recently celebrate Max Hoffman in my new book The Small Silver Speedster, I thought it only appropriate to explore the west coast answer to Hoffman Motors, John von Neumann’s: Competition Motors.

Competition Motors is a brand long dead – but in its prime it was THE place to go in California (and all of the west) for all things Porsche and Volkswagen. It was founded by John von Neumann, one of the winningest racing drivers of the early sports car era – racing from 1949 to 1959. It was a place where the famous purchased their cars, and the sporting had their cars prepared for the track. And it grew to a vast network between 1953 and 1963.

Much like Hoffman Motor Car Company though, Competition Motors has shockingly little presence on the internet. Very few photos of the dealership – and almost none of promotional material, letterhead, etc. That is probably why up until now, no-one has created any merchandise celebrating this iconic brand.

So here I am doing the work of recreating the brand first –
and only then being able to design with it.

Here is a photo of Competition Motors. One of only a couple easily found, and the ONLY representation of the script lettering that I can find.


From this, I have cut up the photo, skewing it to approximate a straight on view of the sign – using the circle from the VW sign as a guide to achieving accuracy in correction.


Here’s the result. Competition Motors typography for the first time in maybe 7 decades?

File Nov 15, 9 27 03 AM


We’re off to the races!
I’ll be back with more on this project VERY soon.

Read the next chapter here >>

Shop shirts here >>



  1. Jim LaFortune

    The first picture with checkered flag, Competion Motors & The Spyder would make a great composite picture. I’d suggest just the Spyder & Competion Motors on poster board which could be framed.
    I have the “Speedster Madness” poster (16” X 21”) currently on my wall. Yours would be a great addition.

  2. Bruce

    I bought my first car from John von Neumann…a Porsche in 1960…$2,700 for European delivery. Competition motors and race shop become Bob Smith VW and Porsche. Also, now history! Keep up the good work on remembering John von Neumann and Competition Motors…it’s worth the effort and we’re all grateful.

  3. Bill Ledgewood

    How about a “Carpe Viam” on a T-shirt with the logo of you choice. Maybe a small Porsche emblem over the right side of the shirt and Carpe Viam in the same font as you normally have it in the center? Something like that???

  4. Jenny

    Is it possible to buy just one 2018 calendar please?

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