The lat­est gear to bolt on, read, wear and watch.

Classics Monthly - - Contents -

Name any prom­i­nent Bri­tish clas­sic car mar­que and there will al­ready be a whole li­brary of books on the sub­ject, but if you’re look­ing for new nuggets of in­for­ma­tion it’s the sto­ries from the peo­ple who worked on the cars back in the day which serve up some­thing new.

One such ti­tle is the au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of de­signer Oliver Win­ter­bot­tom, re­cently pub­lished by Ve­loce which charts his ca­reer in the in­dus­try, a work­ing life which be­gan as an ap­pren­tice at Jaguar but saw him put­ting in sev­eral stints at Lo­tus as well as TVR and Gen­eral Mo­tors. I’ve had some de­mand­ing bosses in my time, but Win­ter­bot­tom has worked with both Wil­liam Lyons and Colin Chap­man which rather puts things in per­spec­tive.

Win­ter­bot­tom’s ac­counts of life at Lo­tus of­fer a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into prod­uct de­veop­ment at the in­no­va­tive but fre­quently cash-starved com­pany as well as the still­born projects like the M90 and it’s in­ter­est­ing to get a fresh per­spec­tive on Colin Chap­man too as well as life at Lo­tus under GM own­er­ship. His time at TVR is equally en­gag­ing, in­clud­ing an ac­count of the Tas­min pro­to­type’s bon­net be­com­ing de­tached and fly­ing across an en­tire mo­tor­way be­fore be­ing re­trieved the fol­low­ing day. Dur­ing his Lo­tus years, Win­ter­bot­tom was even tasked by Chap­man with work­ing on his ad­vanced boat de­signs, while later on he was to be­come in­volved in the sci­ence of pas­sive safety and airbags, be­com­ing some­thing of a spe­cial­ist in the area. An en­gag­ing read for any­one in­ter­ested in car de­sign and the spe­cial­ist Bri­tish sports car in­dus­try in par­tic­u­lar. A life in car de­sign by Oliver WIn­ter­bot­tom is pub­lished by Ve­loce under ISBN 978-1-787110-35-9. More de­tails from­

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