Friday 23rd August 2019,

David Ogle DSC, MBE (1922-1962): Sad Career Of a Creative Designer

Bev Roberts 21. January 2015 Magazine, People No Comments

David Ogle, DSC and MBE was born in 1922. In 1939 he joined the Fleet Air-Arm of the Royal Navy as a pilot. Ogle flew Supermarine Seafires (the navy`s version of the Spitfire) with distinction in North Africa and the Mediterranean theatre. He rose to the rank of Lt.Commander and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC).

David Ogle DSC MBE 1922-1962

David Ogle DSC MBE 1922-1962 by oglenoor

Leaving the navy after the war Ogle studied industrial design and began working for Murphy Radio. In 1946 he was awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) for services to industrial design.

In 1948 he moved to Bush Radio where he designed the iconic TR82 transistor radio. Ogle decided to start his own company, Ogle Design Consultancy (ODC), which opened in 1954. The company had several successes due to Ogle`s innovative flair.

Most of all Ogle wanted to design and build cars. In 1959 he launched his first, the 1.5 litre, based on the Riley 1.5 saloon. At £1574 it was expensive and only 8 were made. In 1961 the SX1000 project was launched. Ogle had designed a lightweight glass-fibre body to go onto the Mini. This was more successful, 66 were made.

Ogle designed a beautiful GT saloon body to go onto the Daimler Dart SP250 sports-car but only two examples were built. He offered the design to Jaguar/Daimler but Bill Lyons was not interested.

Notwithstanding that disappointment, 1962 was proving to be a good year when tragedy struck on May 25th. David Ogle was driving to Brands Hatch racing circuit in an SX1000 when an accident occurred. David Ogle died instantly. The company suspended car production and returned to design work. ODC went on to design many memorable products of the 1960s and 70s.

Bush TR82 by Robert Gordon University Aberdeen

Bush TR82 by Robert Gordon University Aberdeen

The Daimler-based design was sold to Reliant Cars and became the Scimitar GT. Later, ODC designed Reliant`s follow-up car, the Scimitar GTE which was a huge success. The portfolio was varied and interesting. ODC designed the `Chopper` children`s bicycle, the Reliant Robin 3-wheeler car and van, the cabin for the Leyland Roadtrain lorry and the `Atlantean` modernisation on the double-decker London bus. ODC and it`s parent company Ogle-Noor are alive and well today.

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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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