PERSPECTIVE | Detroit Autorama 2012 and why hot rods are important to car design

Its been a while since my last post, but I’ve been thinking about this alot. On the eve of the Geneva auto show, I felt compelled to write regarding another show which just concluded a week prior here in “the D”. Less prestigious in international circles, certainly, but no less relevant, perhaps even more so, to the purity of our profession.

Yes I’m talking about Autorama. [..]


New York 2012: American full size sedan is back

Even as a car enthusiast I love New York. Cars in New York are difficult to own, park, and drive and thus are looked at either as super rich toys or commodities in terms of public transportation.

The return of the Viper certainly has the super rich toys covered. But until the very recent euthanization of the beloved Ford Crown Victoria, New York citizens have routinely and incessantly relied on American six passenger sedans for wheeled above ground transportation. Any image of New York without throngs of yellow Crown Vic’s seems well, just wrong.

So it’s ironically appropriate that New York 2012 should introduce significant redesigns ( and redefinitions ) of the American full size sedan. Once viewed as dinosaurs as old as the fuel they were consuming, they may no longer be volume leaders or commodities in American driveways, but they’re alive and well. And the competitive set just heated up. [..]

PHILOSOPHY | GM alum Bill Porter says Biorhythms influence modern car design

Bill Porter is probably best known to my generation of designers ( not old but certainly not young ) as a charismatic encyclopedic instructor from CCS. While at GM, he was in charge of Buick and Pontiac studios, and is credited with the design of the 1968 GTO and its influential shift in GM design from chrome add-on to integrated body color plastic bumpers ( or fascias in modern terminology. )

On April 13, he lectured at the annual meeting of the Society of Automotive Historians with speech entitled “The New Biomorphs: An Emergent Trend on the Automotive Design Scene”. Mr. Porter’s thesis is while speedforms were the greatest influence on car design in the past ( I remember being lectured on them at CCS ), recent form language development centers on forms adopted from nature, like marine animals, leaves, flowers, flames and faces.

TRIBUTE | Carroll Shelby 1923-2012

I just received the sad news that Carroll Shelby has passed away at the age of 89.
I was very fortunate to meet and work with Mr. Shelby during the development of the 2010 Shelby GT500 and SR-71 EAA Auction Mustang at Ford. He was always very kind and complimentary to the work were doing as curators of the great legendary icons he built. Not a designer himself, he was always able to recognize when it was good. The list of cars his name is associated with is nothing short of miraculous. We’ll update this post with a full tribute soon, but for now we’ll just pay our respects to man who certainly changed the automotive world.

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