There are a fair amount of books available to those who appreciate car design. While some are more elementary in their approach and others more elitist in their presentations, the Ever Since I Was a Young Boy series from WAFT Publishing — a husband and wife duo with a flair for storytelling and visual captures — has always been one of our favorites.
As expected, Ever Since I Was a Young Boy I’ve Been Designing Sports Cars follows on from Masters of Modern Car Design, which tells the stories of nine high profile design decision-makers and their individual journeys. From Walter de’Silva through to Ed Welburn, Peter Schreyer, J Mays and Laurens van den Acker, the book provides an insight into the lives of these men, the roads they’ve taken to achieve their dreams and how they work.
But while the size, page count and subject matter are similar, the new book concentrates specifically on modern-day sports cars — as its title infers.
The large (30x30cm) book delves into the design stories the Alfa Romeo 4C, Audi R8, Aston Martin Vanquish, Bentley Continental GT, Bugatti Veyron, BMW i8, Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari LaFerrari, Lamborghini Huracán, Jaguar F-Type, Maserati GranTurismo, McLaren P1, Mercedes SLS, Porsche 911 & 918, Nissan GT-R and SRT Viper. These stories are presented in a luxurious, modern format, accompanied by beautiful sketches and images that have never been shown before.
What is most unique about Ever Since I Was a Young Boy I’ve Been Designing Sports Cars is that their creators, in a fully verbatim and honest transcription, tell the design stories of these 16 contemporary sports cars. This candid format allows the passion of the designers featured to shine through in a way not often communicated, certainly not by mainstream media or even the companies’ own press departments.
Each of the cars is covered in the exquisite detail you would expect from their creators. From their inspiration and the briefs they were given to their interaction with other team members, they speak of the approaches and detail the decisions that went into realizing their creations. These men have poured their hearts and souls into these programs, often working long hours to ensure that the projects are completed to the best of their ability.
Not all of the programs went smoothly. The designers tell of their struggles and hardships in the wake of the industry’s many constraints. It is a testament to their ability that they’ve been able to develop vehicles that not only resonate with buyers on an emotional level but also provide solutions that adhere to cost and ever-stricter regulations. Having spoken to many of these designers ourselves, their voices can be heard through the pages. It is a pure, unadulterated account of the design’s development.
The resulting product offers a unique insight into the design processes behind the closed doors of today’s design departments, a look into the raison d’etre behind the creation of these vehicles that is far more intimate than marketing jargon and performance data. It allows the real stories to be told and the passion of the creators to pervade. At the end of the day, that’s really what car design is all about.