Best remembered for his futuristically styled Aston Martin Lagonda of the late 1970s, the late William Towns turned to a succession of smaller but no less idiosyncratic vehicles after he left Newport Pagnell. Sold under the 'Hustler' name, the series was to have been manufactured by Jensen Special Products, but when the latter pulled out was produced and marketed by Towns' own Interstyl company. A kit-car designed to accept Mini engines and running gear, the Hustler looked like an enlarged and more angular version of the Moke and was first seen in 1978. The original Hustler 4 set the pattern for those that followed, consisting of a steel platform monocoque clad in glassfibre lower body panels with a hatchback-style cabin and vinyl-covered plywood roof. One of the Hustler's many unusual features was its sliding 'windoors', while in another amusing demonstration of Towns' quirkiness, the prototype featured stackable plastic canteen chairs as seats! Around 300 Hustler kits would be sold over the next ten years as the concept expanded to include an astonishing variety of vehicle types including sports, pick-up, six-wheeled, amphibious and 'wooden' versions. Hustlers were subsequently developed to accommodate BMC 1100/1300 and Metro running gear, and there was even a Jaguar V12-powered model the Hustler Highlander eight of which were built in the late 1980s.
The fact that Hustlers were sold in kit form for assembly by individual customers means that no two are exactly alike. That offered here is an example of the Mini-powered six-wheeled 'Space Shuttle' and is registered as a Hustler, not a kit car. It is one of only three manufactured. The vendor informs us that after having researched this rare 'Space Shuttle' it is believed that the car was made and registered by Hustler. The vehicles with V5 documents stating 'Hustler' as opposed to 'Kit Car' were likely to have been made and registered by the company for promotional duties. This ultra-rare car was fully restored in 2015 and is presented in commensurately excellent condition, having not been driven since completion. It is offered with restoration invoices, current MoT certificate and a V5 registration document.