Professor of Industrial Design
Many boys sketch cars; few grow up to ride in a supercar of their own design.
Designing the Hulme F1 supercar was a dream come true for Professor Tony Parker.
Tony’s love of great design started at the Wellington School of Design (now part of Massey). He got a diploma in industrial design then went to the Royal College of Art in London, where he did his postgraduate studies alongside many of the design leaders of today including those in the automotive design world.
Tony was teaching back at the School of Design in Wellington when a chance meeting led him to be involved in the Hulme project.
But Tony’s not just a supercar designer. As an industrial designer, he’s the creative brains behind a host of distinctive, innovative, and globally pioneering designs, from furniture to petrol pumps to high-tech agricultural products.
His work with technology company Gallagher has seen him creating a series of innovative new products to make farming easier and more profitable, like a revolutionary process for drafting and weighing sheep, and a range of electric fence energizer products, where the fence ‘talks’ to the farmer, using mobile phone technology to sound the alert when there is an issue or the fence is broken.
Tony strongly believes that great design can be a game-changer, not just for individual consumers or a business, but for a country. “Look at Ferrari, its a relatively small company by automotive standards. But the brand value and credibility it brings to Italy is immense.”
Designing a supercar
Designing the Hulme F1 supercar is the culmination of a life-long ambition for Tony Parker, but it wasn’t easy. “Sometimes inspiration comes easily, but often it requires a lot of hard work and perseverance. With the Hulme, I had explored hundreds of sketches and design alternatives before it all came together in an emotive concept sketch. We were using a…
Designing the Hulme F1 supercar is the culmination of a life-long ambition for Tony Parker, but it wasn’t easy. “Sometimes inspiration comes easily, but often it requires a lot of hard work and perseverance. With the Hulme, I had explored hundreds of sketches and design alternatives before it all came together in an emotive concept sketch. We were using a group of investors and car builders with Formula One experience to assess the design concepts and their response was overwhelming – they loved it.”
When three-times New Zealand Grand Prix winner Kenny Smith took Tony for a spin while testing around Pukekohe racetrack in the car he had designed, it was “like flying on the ground”. “It’s brutally fast, beautiful, compliant and totally surprising as a driving experience.”
Tony’s design is unique for this class of car. The basic concept is inspired by the aesthetics and aero-dynamics of an F1 open wheeled racing car, with the driver and passenger seated comfortably side by side.
The Hulme has been exhibited twice at the Goodwood Festival of Speed UK, one of the most prestigious motoring events in the World; once as a show car, then as a driving prototype. Goodwood is a motoring enthusiast’s nirvana – an intoxicating mix of the fastest road and racing cars in the world – classics and ultra modern, attracting sell-out crowds of 150,000 each year and all the big names in motor racing. Taking the car to Goodwood was an “unforgettable experience” Tony says.
Hulme Supercars Ltd has launched an investment offering aimed to get their car into commercial production. The vision is to create a high value, niche manufacturing business in New Zealand, like the super yacht industry.