One of Britain’s best-known designers, Bill Towns, died in early June. His most famous designs were for Aston Martin: the elegant DBS, the razor-edge Lagonda and the controversial Bulldog show-car, which he claimed had been butchered by the engineers. He left Newport Pagnell in 1968 to found his own design consultancy, but continued his Aston input from a studio at his Gloucestershire farm.
Here he tackled a wide range of projects, including the thankless task of trying to improve the Reliant SS I , and marketing his own timber-chassied Hustler kit-car. His penchant for bold flat-planed shapes was sometimes extreme (the Bulldog and the Guyson E-type, for example), and the Lagonda was the last Towns design to see production; yet the enthusiasm of this friendly and approachable man kept the new ideas flowing. He was 56.
Our sympathies go to his family and friends.
A motorcycling accident in the Lake District has claimed the life of one of Britain’s foremost classic car enthusiasts, Paul Howcroft.
A successful businessman and keen competitor, Howcroft was twice European Historic Rally Champion, first in an Austin-Healey and, in 1988, with a Lotus Elan 26R. In addition to being a skilled pilot, however, he was also handy with a map. In 1991, he partnered Jeremy Coulter to the European Championship title in the latter’s Mini Cooper S.
Paul remained an active competitor to the end. Just before his untimely death, he had returned from the States, where he had been busy in a Porsche 356.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends and countless associates within the sport.
• An appreciation of Nascar racer Davey Allison will appear in next month’s issue.