Product design agency case study | Guy Martin Ford Transit
Guy Martin standing in thought about the design of his Proper Ford Transit with hood up
Guy Martin masthead logo

The Guy Martin Proper Van is a special edition of Ford’s large van modified by ‘tranny’ fan and mechanic, speedster, TV personality and all-round legend, Guy Martin.

It’s the result of a collaboration between MS-RT and Simple Design Works to create a custom-made Ford which is designed to look good but work hard using Guy’s precise specifications.

By combining different skills and expertise, we helped take this Ford Transit Limited Edition from concept through to production.

A design and engineering collaboration

We first interpreted the original sketched concept visuals into CAD surface models. This allowed us to identify complications to the underlying vehicle structure and any potential manufacturing difficulties so that we could find both aesthetic and technical solutions. This included relocating the daytime running lights and re-styling the bumper and grill in-house.

We then engineered the methods of mounting the lights, considered water drainage, surface reflections, concealed fixing methods and re-styled the lower vents to integrate a towing eye and cover.

Guy Martin with his redesign Ford Transit with MS-RT
Guy Martin with his Ford Transit looking at the redesigned frontend

Complex surface modelling and problem solving

When you look at any motor vehicle body, you see an orchestra of surfaces that come together to give the vehicle its style and identity. The CAD surfaces we created are machined in the final tooling. You certainly don’t want to have any small defects as they’ll stand out once painted and would be expensive to correct in the tooling.

Producing a shape with no defects using surface models in 3D CAD is a complex and skilful process. Before passing the CAD to production, a draft and curvature analysis was performed. This ensured the aesthetic was a seamless representation of the concept visual, whilst preventing manufacturing difficulties such as the negative draft, overhangs and sink marks.

Photo of redesigned Ford Transit for Guy Martin by Simple Design Works and MS-RT

From engineering analysis to manufacture

Our vigilance (and determination to get it right!) meant that when the first mouldings for the front bumper, vents and grill were received at MS-RT, they not only fitted on the Guy Martin Proper Van properly, they looked the part too. The results speak for themselves.

Ford Transit design concept sketches by Simple Design Works product designers

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