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October 21, 2019
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A Life in Car Design - Jaguar, Lotus, TVR

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Click here to watch an interview with Oliver Winterbottom

A Life in Car Design - Jaguar, Lotus, TVR

By Oliver Winterbottom
About the Author

Hardback • 25x20.7cm • 176 pages • 200 pictures

ISBN: 978-1-787110-35-9

£ 37.50 Postage + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

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• A personal and in-depth look at car design from inside the industry
• 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 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 built 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


This book gives a unique insight into design and project work for a number of companies in the motor industry. It is aimed at both automobile enthusiasts and to encourage upcoming generations to consider a career in the creative field.
Written in historical order, it traces the changes in the car design process over nearly 50 years.


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 photographs.
As well as informing automobile enthusiasts it is also hoped that this book will inspire upcoming generations to consider a career in the creative field.

Independent Reviews

It’s the stories of these forgotten prototypes, and many other unloved ‘children’ such as all car designers lament, that are particularly fascinating.

A charmingly honest record by a deeply dedicated man. It’s packed with marvellous anecdotes and there’s also some super archive material from his own collection, including sketches, press photos and more.
Classic & Sports Car

[Winterbottom] recounts his experiences with many previously untold stories in a typically outspoken and forthright yet humorous manner and there’s also plenty of historical engineering drawings and photographs. This compelling and absorbing book gives a unique insight into being a top designer and innovator in the automotive business and is thoroughly recommended reading.
Club Lotus News

Another fascinating boo.

In short, a fascinating job!
Oldtimer / Dreamcar magazine

Humorous anecdotes alone make this book a must have.
Retro Speed

If you are a fan of (Jaguar) Lotus, TVR, GM and lots more, this book is for you.
The Jaguar Magazine

Additional Information

Period covered: 1961-2009

Models covered: Jaguar XJ6 1968
Jaguar E Type V12 rebodied 1968
Jaguar XJS proposal 1968
Jaguar small car proposal 1969
Lotus Europa Twin Cam 1971
Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special 1972
Lotus Elite 1974
Lotus Eclat 1975
Moonraker Marine F350 1976
JCL Marine Mamba 1976
JCL Marine Mistral 1976
TVR Tasmin Coupe 1980
TVR Tasmin Convertible 1980
TVR Tasmin 2 + 2 1980
Lotus M90 / X100 prototype 1984
Cadillac DeVille Touring Car 1985
Oldsmobile 98 Touring Car 1985
Lotus Esprit X180 1986
Lotus Esprit S4 1994
Vauxhall / Opel Calibra safety work 1992
Vauxhall Vectra safety work 1992
Vauxhall Astra safety work 1992
Vauxhall Corsa safety work 1992
Bugatti EB110 safety work 1996
Lotus Esprit V8 1996
Lotus Elise 1996

Models not covered: Vauxhall Lotus Carlton 1990 - 1992


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