GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. — The 2015 EyesOn Design Automotive Exhibition rolled into the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House grounds on Father’s Day, June 21, 2015. Oh, what a wonderful day it was. This event is the automotive design’s influence on Popular culture.
EyesOn Design is more than a car show. It’s an international celebration of the finest vehicle designs of the past, present and future. Judges from all-around the world gathered here to savor this year’s collection of automobiles and also pay tribute to the mission of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.
Former Renault design chief Patrick le Quement was honored with the Lifetime Design Achievement Award at this year’s car show. “House Style” was the theme for 2015. It featured cars from the Studebaker design era of 1947-1966 to GM’s Harley Earl era (1947-1958).
“I really like the summer show, the Father’s Day show I call it,” said Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of the SRT brand and this year’s EyesOn Design honorary chairman. “It’s a little more casual than the typical Concours. It’s more about the styling of the car, not so much the condition of the car. So you get a great variety. A lot of designers make the trip. Some come from Europe to the show. But the best part is the fathers, sons and daughters that celebrate Father’s Day on this weekend.”
North Carolina car collector Sam Sandifer, brought 20 scale model cars from his collection. But they are not the kind you built as a kid or bought already assembled to sit on your shelf. The 24-inch plaster cars were never meant to be seen by the public. The rarest ones can sell for more than $5,000 today.
Among the models Sandifer brought to the EyesOn Design are a trio of 1947 Cadillacs, several Hudsons, a 1951 Ford, a Ford Mustang concept and a Corvette concept called the Aerovette. He also brought a model of a 1939 Lincoln Continental, which is appropriate since the full-sized car was eventually built for Edsel Ford and is here on the grounds of his lakeside home in Grosse Pointe Shores.
Some of the most interesting cars I’ve seen this year are the 1930 Huppmobile with a rumble seat, the 1959 Mercury Parklane, the 1956 Plymouth Belvedere, the 1963 1/2 Mercury Marauder, the 1963 Chrysler Turbine and the 1965 Griffith. The Jazz Age Coupes was another category that I enjoyed.
However, my favorite is the 1970 Chevrolet Baldwin Motion Maco Shark which is influenced by the Sting Ray. Joel Rosen created the first Motion Maco Shark Corvette in 1971. It is powered by a 350 small block engine and it has air conditioning. It features unique one-off bubble taillights and custom diamond-tufted interior. The cost is $17,039.75. It was one of the most expensive Maco Sharks built by Motion.
Next up: EyesOn Design will once again honor the best production and concept vehicles making their worldwide auto show debut in Detroit next January.
For more information about the EyesOn Design car show, visit http://www.eyesondesign.org/carshow/.