A Life In Car Design gives a unique insight into design and project work for a number of leading companies in the motor industry, including Jaguar, Lotus, TVR and General Motors.
The book recounts the author’s experiences from within the industry, tracing the changes in the design process over a period of nearly 50 years, and follows his career at home and around the world.
It shows how the change from imperial to metric measurements and the growing use of computers revolutionised the quality and accuracy of modern vehicles. It also covers the issues and challenges of meeting project targets, and some of the issues that can deflect those efforts.
It features previously untold stories, and is thoughtfully illustrated with historical engineering drawings and 200 photographs.
As well as informing automobile enthusiasts, it is also hoped that this 176-page book will inspire upcoming generations to consider a career in the creative field.
The author, Oliver Winterbottom, spent his whole career designing cars, and, for a short period, boats. He started his working life as an engineering apprentice at Jaguar Cars, then five years there as a staff designer. In 1971, he joined Lotus Cars as the Design Manager. He was responsible for the styling, body engineering and aerodynamics of their vehicles until 1975 when he transferred to Colin Chapman’s luxury boat company.
A short period of self-employment saw the start of the TVR Tasmin range of sports cars. Then he had a stint with TVR until the launch of the Tasmin Convertible and 2+2. In 1980, he returned to Lotus to lead the joint sports car project with Lotus and Toyota. After the completion of a prototype running vehicle, he left for Detroit, USA, as a project manager for General Motors on two low-volume vehicles.
Returning to the UK, he rejoined Lotus where he held a number of senior management positions in engineering and vehicle safety work. Retired since 2009, Oliver now lives in a modest self-designed house in Norfolk, UK.
BULLET POINTS ABOUT THE BOOK
• Oliver Winterbottom’s experience working for talented industry leaders Sir William Lyons, Jaguar; Colin Chapman, Lotus, and Martin Lilley, TVR.
• The author’s work with Giorgetto Guigiaro at ItalDesign, Turin, observing the design processes.
• The design challenges of luxury seagoing boat design with radical new design ideas.
• A story of international travel including Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, Brazil, Japan, Korea and China.
• An account of working with Chinese companies to develop a new cultural understanding.
• Producing new designs to severe time and cost restraints.
• How the author developed suitable project processes for low-volume cars at GM USA.
• An account of the privilege of working with Toyota Japan, and learning their approach to the motor industry.
• The author’s experience of extensive development projects for car safety and airbags.