Tribute to Don Hayter
RBW was saddened to learn that just two days after revealing the RBW EV Roadster to the media, the man who was instrumental in the design of the MGB, Don Hayter, passed away on 9th October 2020 at the age of 94.
Don Hayter played a major part in designing the MGB. Don worked for the MG Car Company as its Chief Body Draughtsman from 1956, after a stint at Aston Martin.
After spending some time developing the MGA Twin Cam, he started work on the MGB. Following two prototypes, the EX205 and EX214, the MGB was given the go-ahead. It was then Don’s job to make the car buildable and to finalise the distinctive windscreen and hood, not to mention the dashboard design. Following the success of the MGB, Don worked on other projects such as the SSV-1 safety car, the shell of the MGC GT racer, and in 1973 he was appointed Chief Engineer.
Engines were part of Don’s life from an early age, having won the Bennett Scholarship to Pembroke College before taking an apprenticeship in aircraft design at the Pressed Steel Company in Cowley, following the outbreak of WW2.
He worked on a number of aircraft including the Avro Lancaster during the wartime years before migrating to car production, having a hand in creating body panels for cars ranging from the Jaguar XK120 to the ZA Magnette.
Don retired in 1982, switching from sports cars to the manufacture of medical equipment. He began putting his expertise to use designing mobility solutions for sufferers of cerebral palsy and motor neurone disease.
In 2001, Don was made an honorary Vice-President of the MG Car Club for his incredible work that culminated in designing the best-selling MG sports car of all time.
In the days after Don’s death, RBW was contacted by his grandson Alex, who said: “What a beautiful car. I love what you’re currently doing with it, it’s amazing to see its legacy is staying strong even today. I just know that he would love what you’re doing with his amazing car. Keep doing what you’re doing guys ”
Peter Swain, RBW MD, added: “We are so sad that Don didn’t get the chance to see our MGB inspired roadster up close and get behind the wheel. We hope to make him proud of what we’re creating and glad that we get to help the legend live on.”