Anatole Lapine

Born : 23 May 1930
Deceased : April 29 2012

Biography Anatole Lapine

Anatole Lapin was born in Riga (Latvia) as son of a half German half Latvian father and a Polish mother. The first years, Anatole Lapine lived in a relative wealthy family due to the business his father owned. However in 1941 the Russians invaded Latvia. That caused the Lapine family to fled into Poland.  In 1944 however, the life of Anatole Lapine was disturbed once again with the Russian invasion in Poland. This time the family fled to Germany where they started a new life in a village outside Hamburg. After he left school, Anatole Lapine started working as an apprentice at Mercedes Benz in Hamburg, at the age of 20.

Just 1 year later, the family receives visas to the USA thanks to a UN refugee programme. The new home is the ice-cold Nebraska where he earns some money maintaining snow ploughs.  As soon as Anatole Lapine saved enough money, he moves to Detroit : the capitol city of automotive industry. Anatole Lapine joined General Motors, where he worked with famed GM designer Bill Mitchell. The Chevrolet Corvette is an iconic car that Anatole Lapine helped designing. It was at GM that Anatole Lapine got befriended with Zora Arkus Duntov, considered the father of the Chevrolet Corvette.  Zorah Arkus Duntov was familiar with Porsche as he raced the Porsche 550 Spyder in the Le Mans 24Hours. This can be considered the first connection of Anatole Lapine, with the company he would make fame in.

In the early 1960’s Anatole Lapine was replaced to the Opel design studio’s in Germany. In 1969, Porsche hires Anatole  Lapine. First Anatole Lapin works under Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche. When this one leaves Porsche to start his own design company, Anatole Lapine becomes chief designer of Porsche. The styling of the Porsche 911 was one  of his first tasks at Porsche. Later, Anatole Lapine was responsible for three front-engine Porsche models: the Porsche 924 and Porsche 944 sports cars, as well as the luxurious Porsche 928.  Anatole Lapine retires from Porsche in 1988.