Anatole Lapine, the Porsche designer behind iconic Porsche models such as the 924, 944 and most notably, the 928 passed away at his home in Germany last week; less than one month before his 82nd birthday.
On top of his contributions with the above mentioned Porsche models, Lapine helped put Porsche on the automotive map with his designs for over two decades.
Lapine first started out in the automotive industry as an apprentice at Daimler-Benz, just after the Second World War. He was later enticed by General Motors to come to the United States in 1952 to work for them in the advanced body engineering department. General Motors then transferred him back to Germany to work at Opel’s research centre in 1965. Just four years later Lapine was “stolen away” by Porsche.
While at General Motors, Lapine helped on projects such as the 1960 CERV I, the 1962 Corvair Monza GT, the 1963 Corvair Monza SS and the 1963-64 CERV II. But it was one of General Motors’ models that Lapine helped to design that was considered most recognisable during his time with the company. Lapine teamed up with Larry Shinoda to design the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray.
During his time at General Motors, Lapine got much of his experience as a designer under the direction of GM’s design chief, Bill Mitchell in his super secret design studio known as Studio X. Lapine strived at Studio X which launched his iconic status in the United States as an automotive designer.
Lapine also had a short stint as a race car driver, racing in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Driving a 1959 XP-87 Sting Ray, Lapine ran a 500 mile race in the SCCA sanctioned Wisconsin Grand Prix in Elkhart Lake.
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