Motoring Art Website

The art of uk motoring artists

Hostler John

1945 -

Probably best known as a cutaway and technical illustrator for The Autocar magazine, his work also used by Classic Car magazine in the 1970's and a print of an Aston Martin DB3S was given away with one issue in 1974. In his own words his life story is as follows:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I was born in Norwich in 1945, my father was a motor engineer, running a successful engine re-conditioning business after the war. He was also a motorsport enthusiast, so I was almost bound to be a "petrolhead"! I could always draw, and my favourite subjects were race cars and aircraft. My father always read Autocar, which along with "The Eagle" fuelled my interest in cutaway drawings. In 1962 Autocar advertised for a trainee "editorial artist". I applied, got an interview and was chosen from over one hundred applicants to be one of the two trainees required. I had only GCE art and technical drawing as qualifications. Starting that summer, I learned my trade from my gifted colleagues; Vic Berris, Dick Ellis, Frank Munger, John Marsden etc. My first published cutaway car was the 1966 Mk4 Ford Zodiac. I left IPC in 1977 to return to Norfolk, mainly to start a family in the country, but also because the writing was on the wall for the IPC studio, as the "bean counters" were beginning to question its validity. I have never had a CV, my portfolio being enough to show the required skills. I found a job with a local technical publications company (EDI), whose main client was Marconi in Chelmsford. When the Marconi contract was ending in 1980, I left Norfolk once more, on a years contract at British Aerospace in Warton (Lancs.). I could have stayed a further year, or longer, but the Lancashire climate was not to our liking, so I returned to Norfolk to try to survive as a freelance. In 1982 I joined the offshore submersible company OSEL on a years contract, which led to a full-time job. When the oil industry went into decline in 1987 I went freelance/contract again, joining Lotus cars on contract in 1989, again in 1993 and 1995, before joining the staff in 1996. I worked for Lotus until my retirement in 2010.

Further reference


1958 aged 13 holding one of his early cutaway drawings.

Lotus Gas Turbine 30th May 1968

1903 De Deitrich 24hp Tourer. (image courtesy of Bonhams)

Benz 3-wheel first production car 1888. (image courtesy of Bonhams)

Lotus F1 race car from 1993