Car invention takes centre stage

Rich Howlett.
Rich Howlett.

An invention by a Spalding race car design engineer took centre stage at a major summer event.

Rich Howlett, whose 25-year career has seen him help produce cars for many of the big names in motor racing, took his unique and innovative “hardtop” product along to the Imperial War Museum’s annual Spitfires, Merlins and Motors 2013 Summer Extravaganza last month.

Visitors to the event in Duxford were able to take a closer look at the product, which turns an open top sports car into a hardtop coupe.

The GRP hardtop has been designed to complement the existing lines of the Lotus 7, while still offering easy access to the car, which is a firm favourite with sports car fans.

Rich came up with the design after he increasingly found the need for a hardtop for his car.

He spent more than three years designing, developing a prototype and manufacturing the product.

Rich said: “The event attracted thousands of people and we were delighted to use the impressive and iconic American Air Museum as a backdrop to showcase the car.”