The EyesOn Design auto show returns with legendary racing cars and designers

A Southeast Michigan Father’s Day weekend tradition returns in full force with the classic car show EyesOn Design featuring an exceptional collection of historic race cars and other programming June 17-19 at the Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

The June 19th show will feature nearly 200 vehicles on the grounds of the mansion, capping a weekend that includes:

  • A dinner in honor of legendary car designer Peter Brock.
  • Design giants talk Corvette design and the influence of designer and teacher Strother McMinn in the historic GM Design Dome at the company’s Warren Tech Center.
  • A rare public event celebrating Corvette design at GM’s Heritage Center, home of the official collection of GM’s greatest production 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 the weekend’s events are available at EyesOn theme Website: www.eyesondesign.org/#upcoming.

Leading car designers from around the world curate the event, which annually honors a leading figure in car design and attracts a wide range of classic and historic vehicles. COVID-19 dampened celebrations, but EOD continued with smaller, modified shows throughout 2020 and 2021.

Lifetime Design Achievement Award winner Peter Brock designed the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe and Stingray Racer.

More than 200 vehicles are expected at the beautiful Ford House this Father’s Day. The theme is “Designed for Speed” and all the cars embody different aspects of race car design over the decades.

Meet the kings of Corvette design

At dinner on Friday night June 17th, Peter Brock will receive the EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement Award at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. Brock’s historic designs include the Corvette Stingray race car and the Shelby Daytona coupe. At 19 in 1953, Brock was the youngest designer GM ever hired when the automaker picked him up from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Brock will be in attendance throughout the weekend, joining other greats in Corvette design history including John Cafaro, Randy Wittine, John Cafaro, Tom Peters and Kirk Bennion for Saturday’s discussion entitled “Stingray Racer to C-8 from a Design Perspective”.

Jim Hall worked closely with GM design and engineering to create the revolutionary Chaparral 2.

Brock will also attend The Influence of Strother McMinn symposium on June 18 alongside designers Stu Reed, Steve Pasteiner and Dennis Kazmerowski. McMinn, who helped found Toyota design studio Calty in California, was a longtime contributor to Road & Track and Automobile 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 direction of GM chief design officer Harley Earl at GM’s Tech Center, virtually every major GM production and concept vehicle since 1956 has been evaluated and given final approval there.

Making history on the race track and in the design studio

Some of the excellent cars are so rare that they are literally priceless and will therefore probably never come onto the market again.

A museum responded to EyesOn Design’s request for a vehicle by saying its vehicle would never leave its exhibition hall again. For this reason, among the cars on display for Father’s Day there will be some replicas, tributes and replicas. These vehicles are uniquely identified on their number plates.

There will also be many rare vehicles at the Ford House, which has become the permanent home of EyesOn Design, in part because its grounds and house pay homage to Edsel Ford’s love of design that led him to become Ford Motor’s first design chief Co. Bob Gregory.

Among the featured vehicles:

1924 Miller 122 supercharged

Cars built by Harry Miller dominated the Indianapolis 500 in the 1920's and 30's.

Cars built by Harry Miller won the Indianapolis 500 nine times in the 1920s and 30s. Miller was known for using lightweight engines and front-wheel drive.

The 122 at EyesOn Design was made from the remains of the Bennett Hill/Miller Factory Car No. 3 rebuilt from the 1923-25 ​​season. Extensive research has made this car as close as possible to its original configuration. Bennett Hill drove for Miller for several years. In 1924 he won a 250 mile race in Culver City, California in the 122 Supercharged at an average speed of 126.9 mph, the highest average speed of any race in 1924.

1955 Lancia D50

The Lancia D50 won the F1 championship in 1956 – for Ferrari.

Almost forgotten in America today, the Italian brand Lancia built a number of great racing cars from the 1950s through the 1980s. The D50 was Lancia’s first and only Vittorio Jano designed Formula 1 car with unique side fuel tanks.

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 for Ferrari in the 1956 drivers’ championship.

The 1954 Lancia D50A(r) No. 0007 by EyesOn Design is an authentic reconstruction of the original car, which was dismantled by Lancia employees at the end of its career. It has its original engine, transaxle and other key components.

Chaparral 2

Jim Hall set the racing world on fire with his progressive racing car designs. His chaparrals combined Chevrolet power 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 road racing from 1963 to 1965, versions of the car amassed 22 victories in 39 races against international competition.

The Chaparral 2 introduced the automatic transmission. The front emulated 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 switched to an aluminum monocoque also inspired by the Grand Sport ll(b).

1976 Lancia Stratos HF

The Lancia Stratos HF won the World Rally Car Championship.

The Lancia Stratos HF was designed by Bertone’s Chief Designer and EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement Award winner Marcello Gandini for the Group IV World Rally competition. Lancia sold the requisite 500 of the V6 mid-engined cars in 1974 and the Stratos HF won the 1974-76 World Rally Championship manufacturers’ title.

Chassis 829AR0 001619 began life as a Stradale and completed production at Bertone on 23 July 1974 before returning to Lancia where it was assembled in September 1976. Original owner Robert Mervic and #1619 made its competitive debut in the 1980 Rally del Carso e dei Colli Orientali, supported by Scuderia Gradisca. Sitting alongside Mervic was Igno Cargnel, with the pair assigned Race No. 5, finishing second in class and fourth overall. This 1976 Lancia Stratos HF Group IV is currently owned by Charles Nearburg, recipient of EyesOn Design Preserving the Vision 2022.

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