A Southeast Michigan Father’s Day weekend tradition returns with a vengeance with the EyesOn Design classic car show featuring an extraordinary collection of historic race cars and other programs June 17-19 at the Ford House of Grosse Pointe Shores.
The June 19 show will feature nearly 200 vehicles on the grounds of the mansion, capping off a weekend that includes:
- A dinner in honor of legendary car designer Peter Brock.
- Design giants talk about Corvette design and the influence of designer and teacher Strother McMinn in the historic GM Design Dome at the company’s Tech Center in Warren.
- A rare public event celebrating Corvette design at GM’s Heritage Center, home to the official collection of GM’s greatest production cars and concept cars.
EyesOn Design was founded in 1986 to raise funds for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, a research arm of the Henry Ford Health System. Schedule and ticket information for weekend events are available at Eye design on website: www.eyesondesign.org/#upcoming.
Leading automotive designers from around the world oversee the event, which annually honors a leading figure in automotive design and attracts a wide range of classic and historic vehicles. COVID-19 put a damper on the festivities, but EOD continued with smaller, modified shows in 2020 and 2021.
More than 200 vehicles are expected at the beautiful Maison Ford on this Father’s Day. The theme is “Designed for Speed” and all the cars embody different aspects of racing car design through the decades.
Meet the Kings of Corvette Design
Dinner on Friday, June 17 will see Peter Brock receive the EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement Award at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. Brock’s historic designs include the Corvette Stingray racer and the Shelby Daytona coupe. At age 19 in 1953, Brock was the youngest designer ever hired by GM when the automaker snatched him from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Brock will be present throughout the weekend, joining other big names in Corvette design history, including John Cafaro, Randy Wittine, John Cafaro, Tom Peters, Kirk Bennion, for Saturday’s discussion titled “Stingray Racer to C-8 from a Design Perspective”.
Brock will also be participating in the June 18 symposium, “Strother McMinn’s Influence,” alongside designers Stu Reed, Steve Pasteiner and Dennis Kazmerowski. McMinn, who helped found Toyota’s Calty design studio in California, was a long-time contributor to Road & Track and Automotive magazines and taught a legion of students including Chris Bangle, Wayne Cherry and J Mays at the Art Center.
The GM Design Dome is rarely open to the public. Built by architect Eero Saarinen under the guidance of GM Chief Design Officer Harley Earl at GM’s Tech Center, virtually every major GM production vehicle and concept since 1956 has been evaluated and received final approval there. .
Making history on the runway and in the design studio
Some of the honored cars are so rare that they are literally priceless and therefore unlikely to be marketed again.
A museum responded to EyesOn Design’s request for a vehicle saying that their vehicle will never leave their showroom again. For this reason, there will be replicas, tributes and recreations among the cars on display for Father’s Day. These vehicles will be clearly identified on their license plates.
There will also be many rare vehicles at the Ford House, which has become EyesOn Design’s permanent home, in part because its grounds and home are a tribute to Edsel Ford’s love of design, which led him to hire Ford Motor Co.’s first chief design officer, Bob Gregory.
Among the vehicles presented:
1924 Miller 122 supercharged
Cars built by Harry Miller won the Indianapolis 500 nine times in the 1920s and 1930s. Miller was renowned for using lightweight engines and front-wheel drive.
EyesOn Design’s 122 was rebuilt from the remains of Bennett Hill/Miller Factory Car No. 3 from the 1923-25 season. Extensive research has made this car as close to its original configuration as possible. Bennett Hill drove for Miller for several years. In 1924, in the 122 Supercharged, he won a 250-mile race at Culver City, California at an average speed of 126.9 mph, the highest average speed of any race in 1924.
Lancia D50 from 1955
Almost forgotten in America today, the Italian marque Lancia built a series of great racing cars from the 1950s through the 1980s. The D50 was Lancia’s first and only Formula 1 car designed by Vittorio Jano with fuel tanks. unique side fuel.
It beat the legendary Mercedes-Benz W196 and won the F1 championship, but not for Lancia, which had retired from racing after the death of its driver, Alberto Ascari. Enzo Ferrari bought the cars and Juan Manuel Fangio drove one to the Drivers’ Championship for Ferrari in 1956.
EyesOn Design’s 1954 Lancia D50A(r) #0007 is an authentic recreation by Lancia staff of the original car dismantled by Ferrari at the end of its career. It has its original engine, transaxle and other key components.
Jim Hall set the racing world on fire with his progressive race car designs. His Chaparrals combined Chevrolet horsepower with inventive aerodynamics, mechanical foresight and new lightweight construction technologies.
He built a strong collaboration with Chevrolet and GM Design. The Chaparral 2 was the first car designed by Jim Hall and Hal Sharp. During the road racing seasons of 1963 to 1965, versions of the car racked up 22 wins in 39 races against international competition.
The Chaparral 2 introduced automatic transmission. The front end mimicked the Chevrolet Monza GT, designed by Larry Shinoda, while the body design was inspired by GM engineer Frank Winchell’s research project, the Grand Sport ll(b). The Chaparral 2 used a new fiberglass semi-monocoque (single shell) body construction, while the later 2E changed to an aluminum monocoque also inspired by the Grand Sport ll(b).
1976 Lancia Stratos HF
The Lancia Stratos HF was designed for Group IV world rally competition by Marcello Gandini, chief designer at Bertone and recipient of the EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement Award. Lancia sold the required 500 mid-mounted V6 cars made in 1974, and the Stratos HF won the World Rally Championship constructor’s title in 1974-76.
Chassis 829AR0 001619 began life as a Stradale, completing production at Bertone on July 23, 1974, before returning to Lancia where it completed assembly in September 1976. Original owner Robert Mervic and no. 1619 made their competitive debut at the 1980 Rallye del Carso e dei Colli Orientali, backed by Scuderia Gradisca. Sitting alongside Mervic was Igno Cargnel, the pair being awarded the No. 5 race and finishing second in class and fourth overall. This 1976 Lancia Stratos HF Group IV is currently owned by 2022 EyesOn Design Preserving the Vision winner Charles Nearburg.