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RIP Anatole ‘Tony’ Lapine 1930–2012

Wed, 09 May 2012

Anatole ‘Tony’ Lapine, head of Style Porsche from 1969 to 1988, passed away at the age of 81 on 29 April at his home in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Lapine is best known for overseeing the then new generation of cars during his time at Porsche. These included Wolfgang Möbius' iconic 1978 928 and the Harm Lagaay-designed 924/944. However as well as the front-engined cars, Lapine also led the evolution of the 911, through G-series and 964 as well as the 959 supercar, keeping the rear-engined machine relevant during a time when its future looked uncertain.

"Tony Lapine shaped Porsche sports car design over more than two decades. As a designer he didn't follow fashion but was forever setting new trends with his concepts," said Michael Mauer, Porsche's Chief Designer as he led tributes to his predecessor.

Born in Riga, Latvia, Lapine started his career as an apprentice with Daimler-Benz in Hamburg. In 1951 he moved to the US to work for General Motors in Bill Mitchell's Studio X workshop. During his time in Michigan he worked on the 1963 Corvette and CERV I and II Corvette concept cars amongst others.

In 1965 he moved to the Opel Research Center in Germany before starting his 20-year career at Porsche.

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By Owen Ready