Original Kelly Telfer painting signed by Mario Andretti raises $138,000 at charity auction

Original Kelly Telfer painting signed by Mario Andretti raises $138,000 at charity auction

This project was truly a team effort. Special thanks to Don Ghareeb for purchasing this piece. His generosity and support will go a long way… I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Mario Andretti for his incredible racing career and for signing the original painting.

An original Kelly Telfer painting titled “Mario Andretti – A True Champion,” signed by Mario Andretti, raised $138,000 at auction for Jacksonville’s Spina Bifida charity on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the Amelia Concours d’Elegance in Florida.

RM Sotheby’s, the world’s number one classic car auction house and official auction house for the exclusive event, handled the transaction at its 23rd annual sale held at the Ritz-Carlton.

The original 48″ H x 60″ W painting was inspired by photos of Andretti taken by photographer and motorsports legend Bill Warner. Holding the auction at Amelia was particularly significant since Warner was also the creator of the island’s Concours d’Elegance. Equally important was the recipient charity, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, a 501(k) nonprofit chosen because of Warner’s own granddaughter’s struggles with the disease. Also, it’s important to note that Demery Webber, Bill Warner’s daughter, is currently the executive director of the Spina Bifida Charity of Jacksonville.

“This project was really a team effort. Special thanks to Don Ghareeb for purchasing this piece. His generosity and support will go a long way.

“Furthermore, I’d like to thank William Warner for his incredible photos of Mario that I can paint on, for his ‘all-in’ effort and enthusiasm, and his far-reaching contributions to this project and to the motorsports industry.” , he continued. .

“I would also like to thank Sotheby’s Chairman and CEO Rob Myers, Brad Phillips, and the entire RM Sotheby’s team. They did a masterful job selling the painting at auction. And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the one and only Mario Andretti for his incredible racing career and for signing the original painting.

After the piece sold, Telfer also expressed his appreciation in a social media post for Peter Sachs of Custom Mat Co., Jacksonville, Florida, for introducing Bill Warner to Kelly years ago and contributing the ideas that furthered the collaboration, Sean Fannin, who is making a documentary about the history of the painting. As well as James Telfer, who hand-delivered the painting after Andretti signed it on his 82nd birthday, when shipping delays would have made it impossible otherwise. Additionally, the artist thanked John Ficarra and Keenan Sachs for their support and assistance on this and many other projects.

Original artwork by Kelly Telfer, signed; and unsigned prints and posters are available for purchase online at telferdesign.com


Spina Bifida Jacksonville is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1973 to provide support to families living with Spina Bifida. Spina bifida is the most common permanent disabling birth defect in the United States. On average, 8 babies are born every day with spina bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.

Spina Bifida Jacksonville strives to advocate, educate and serve patients and families whose lives have been touched by this disorder.


RM Sotheby’s is the world’s leading collector car auction house. With 40 years of proven track record in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated suite of services, from auctions (live and online) and private sales to estate planning and financial services, coupled with an expert team of automotive specialists and an international footprint, provide a level of service unrivaled in the global collector car market. RM Sotheby’s is currently responsible for the most valuable car ever sold at auction. Visit: rmsothebys.com


A third-generation Californian, Kelly Telfer currently lives and works in Sonora, California in the Sierra foothills. With a lifelong love for cars, motorcycles and racing, he specialized in the art of motorsport for decades.

After creating the art of t-shirts for his own racing team (“Telfer Bros. Racing”, founded by Kelly and his brother Jim), Kelly started and ran a clothing company in the 1980s until the late 1990s. He designed apparel for many top racetracks, racing teams and manufacturers including Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey Historics, Indianapolis 500, F1, NASCAR, Chevrolet, Ford, SCCA Trans-Am, Ayrton Senna , Nigel Mansell, Dale Earnhardt, Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal, Mario Andretti, Lyn St. James, Wayne Rainey, Steve and Michael Lewis, and many more. Telfer has many great memories and stories from that time!

Kelly Telfer is proud and honored to be the 2022 Official Artist for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Rolex Reunion and the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship IMSA race, the 2022 Porsche Parade, the 2022 Porsche Club of America Werks Reunion in Amelia Island, FL and Monterey, CA, the 2022 St Louis NASCAR inaugural race and the 2020 Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team. Telfer’s art is on permanent display at the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed, in Lincoln, Neb., and his art is available at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, and at the LeMay America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Wash.

Telfer’s art has been exhibited at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Monterey Car week and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Plymouth, MI Concours D’Elegance Of America, Beverly Hills, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and many other places in the United States. His art has also been featured in art galleries, magazines and is part of private and corporate art collections around the world.

Telfer currently owns the original 1968 “Bahama Mama” Porsche 911 which he acquired from the Brumos Collection, Jacksonville, FL in 2019. Telfer owned a 1956 Porsche Speedster with SC disc brakes and engine, a real driver’s car . Telfer drove his Speedster to deliver last-minute t-shirt orders to Laguna Seca in the 1980s and 1990s when he designed and created Laguna Seca merchandise. He also owned a beautiful, original blue 911T from 1971, and “a bunch of other cool Porsches” and cars. He is always looking for his next 356 or his first Porsche 911.

Kelly Telfer accepts commissions for original fine art paintings and limited edition giclee prints, event posters and programs, and other creative opportunities. For more information, original artwork, art prints and more: http://www.telferdesign.com

About Catharine C. Bean

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