What I like about designer William Towns is that he understood that cars are expensive to purchase and maintain and that, like the greats, he tried to use design and engineering to overcome problems that impacted owners, not just his cars.
His career began at the Rootes Group in 1954, then saw him move to Rover nine years later, designing the body of the Rover-BRM gas-turbine car that raced at Le Mans.
The next step on the ladder, after some freelance work that included the Minissima city car, was a spot with Aston Martin, where he contributed to the DBS—but Towns really made his mark with the (Aston Martin) Lagonda. The square one. The cool square one.
As artists age, they change. A career that typically begins with realistic art often becomes more and more reductive, often reaching, by the end, the purest, simplest, and most distilled expression possible. Even though Towns completed a few designs after his Hustler range, his slab-sided kit cars seem to represent his vision for what cars could become.
A Hustler could be had in 72 variations (with more than 500 kits made in total) and while I may, say, talk about one of the others, the Highlander 6 — with eight kits sold — is the only one with a V12 engine…
Its 5-lug wheels, larger diameter tires, increased ride height and a wider body are dead giveaways the Hustler is a Highlander. Here's the rest of the Hustler range: