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Driving design: Yacht designers on the cars that float their boat

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Andrew Langton

Reymond Langton Design

What was your first car?

A 1974 Mini, which I souped up with bucket seats. Then I had another 1966 Mini, which I rebuilt.

What were the cars that you always aspired to own back then?

A Porsche 911 and a Lamborghini Countach.

What cars have you got now?

I’ve got a seven-year-old Porsche 993; that was my daily drive for many years. At the minute, though, it’s a Twisted Defender with all the black details and a black roll cage. My Ford GT40, which I’ve had for four years now, is a hand-built replica and they’re quite a handful but so entertaining – so loud you get a headache. A lot of superyacht designers extol the virtues of Porsches.

Why do you think that is?

It’s got a classic teardrop shape. Most cars are a three box design where you have a box at the front, a box at the back and a box in the middle, but the Porsche floats off into nothing at the back. Also the sculpting of the wheel arches means you’ve got a lot of form to it. And then you’ve got an amazing engine.

Do you do any track days?

Yes, we do track days in Europe. The problem I have had on UK tracks is my car is too loud – the GT40 keeps failing the noise test.

Are there any other marques you like?

I suppose it would have to be Aston Martin, just for the way it can produce something like the Zagato DB4GT, which is pure sculpture and is an amazing shape.

What’s your favourite decade for car design?

I’d say the 60s, maybe the old Porsches, Jaguars and Ferraris, especially the 1960 GT SWB. Or perhaps Roger Moore’s Lotus Esprit; it’s a nostalgia thing.

What do you think car designers have learnt from yacht designers, and vice versa?

Cars have been developing faster, with electric drive and hybrids, and yachts are starting to go that way now. But for me as a designer, I don’t look at any other boats because there’s not many out there I like. I look to inspiration from automotive design. Say for [98 metre Abeking & Rasmussen] Aviva, I looked at the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, and I liked its special faceted shapes. Also the Audi R8; some of the graphic elements of it, such as the blades up its side, influenced Mogambo.

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