It’s not necessarily a favorites list, but it’s about as close as it’s going to get for Dean Loucks, the legendary artist behind many of the coolest performance boat paintjobs of all time. As the founder of The Art Of Design in Elkhart, Ind., eyes his 30th year in the business, it didn’t take much convincing to get Loucks to agree to a feature story reflecting on 30 boats that highlight some of his best work.
The American Muscle II Cigarette is one of several models from the iconic company that was painted by The Art Of Design.
What it did take was time—time narrowing down the list to 30 boats, a nice round figure to represent his time in the industry, and time reminiscing about each one. While Loucks’ career has included painting many other things, including shirts, helicopters, fine art, motorcycles, RVs and even KitchenAid mixers, let’s be real, this is about boats and the main man behind Monopoly, Perfect Storm, Pure Platinum and other works of art on the water.
The list didn’t start at 30 boats, it’s just that it was almost impossible to make it less once it started building. When recognizable boats such as the Lick This Skater, the Gone Again Hustler 377 Talon, the BioKleen Cigarette and dozens of other pleasure and raceboats from Donzi, Fountain, Nor-Tech, Outerlimits and elsewhere didn’t make the cut, it was clear that selecting TAOD’s best and brightest—and most unique—boats was not easy.