He is the acclaimed talent behind such renowned pieces as the iconic Icicle Table, with its elegant limestone top and hand-gilded individual steel icicles. Now sculptor and designer Adam Williams has taken inspiration from a very different source for his latest auto inspired chair collection – classic cars.

“I’ve got a 1966 Mustang,” Williams explains in his Shepton Mallet workshop. “I was looking at the grille on that. And I just thought actually that almost looks like a chair. So I straight away thought: oh, that’s quite cool. [It’s not often] you come across something that hasn’t really been done before…” And this the auto inspired chairs collection was born.

Adam had always wanted to use iconic cars from the 60s and 70s in his work. This was motivated in part by his father George, who was racing manager for Castrol Oil and friends with the likes of Donald Campbell, Stirling Moss and Cobra racing car designer Carroll Shelby.

“I can’t describe it but the 60s and early 70s cars have just got something about them,” says Williams. “That era of cars and racing is just something that really appeals to me. The look of the cars, the sort of carefree attitude. I like that sort of wildness that went with that era of racing.”

The overriding desire for Adam in creating the auto inspired chairs was to capture the spirit of an era where elegance in design was foremost and arguably never bettered. So, collaborating with fellow artist and designer Marcus Jefferies, he took the aerodynamic bodywork and sculptural air vents of these classic cars as his starting point.

Remaining as true as possible to the source, the materials used depend on the car itself. Once the design process is finished, the auto-inspired chairs can be painted in the racing colours of the car or of the client’s choice.

Designs commissioned and completed to date include the Cobra Daytona, Ford GT40 and a 1950’s Bentley Continental. Adam is currently designing chairs for a Porsche 917, a Ferrari GTO and a Lamborghini Miura.

“There is always something unusual on a car. With your first glance at [a car] you look straight at something – whether it be the vents, or the wheel arches. The vents on the GTO were the most identifiable mark and the element I used for the shape and sides of the chair,” Williams explains. 

“The back of the chair is based on the rear of the GTO. It is probably at the same angle, too.”

All auto-inspired chairs are made to order with a lead time of 12 to 14 weeks.

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Future chair design projects will include…