Monday 13 December 2021

Another book: Richard Oakes - Master of Design

If there is one kit car designer that deserves a book of his own, it's Richard Oakes. Not even Barry Stimson can match him in sheer numbers of designs. Between the early 1970s and today Oakes designed a great number of specialist- and kit cars, from the Dutton Sierra to the Deltayn Pegasus and from Tramp buggy to Nova sports car. 

And he was responsible for several Mini based cars, too. There were of course the original Midas and its later incarnations to start with as well as the Midas Gold. But also the Indespension Jiffy, the GTM Coupe plus GTM Rossa, GTM Libra and GTM Spyder, the Domino Pimlico and its variations plus the stillborn ANT III city car (which I didn't even know about).

This book is about all of them and the author Douglas Anderson, interviewed Oakes several times and even did so to his late parents. He was also given full permission to Oakes' archives, which shows. The 176-page book is full of sketches and drawings, all reproduced superbly. The texts with these illustrations are somewhat limited sometimes, but they do match the layout particularly well. I'm sure Oakes himself will agree that it looks good. 

The book's last chapter is dedicated to the latest project: the Sprite/Midget based ADO, which is being brought to life by the author himself after another Oakes design. The number of pages this ADO project receives is perhaps relatively many compared to the other vehicles described, but it may say something about the enthusiasm of the author also, whom we can only encourage in this project. Order it directly from him for £30 plus p&p via

Richard Oakes definitely deserved a book. 'Richard Oakes - Master of Design' is that
Picture Jeroen Booij

Oakes was responsible for a great number of Midas and GTM designs
Picture Jeroen Booij

Unlike his other Mini based designs, the Pimlico was still recognizable as a Mini
Picture Jeroen Booij

The Indespension Jiffy was a commercial vehicle and it was Mini based too
Picture Jeroen Booij

The author was given full access to Oakes archives with many sketches and drawings being printed
Picture Jeroen Booij

Douglas Anderson's own project, the Sprite or Midget based ADO, is another Richard Oakes design
Picture Jeroen Booij

1 comment:

  1. Hihi Richard, lovely book and one car in particular I’d love to own but it would never pass french admin, Do you still own thé Panhard tigre i sold you way back Best wishes Rod Stribley