Tag Archives: Car Classic

Holy grand slam, Batman! Batmobiles times four on display at Car Classic

1966 Batman TV Series Batmobile designed by George Barris

1966 Batman TV Series Batmobile designed by George Barris

Four authentic, full-scale Batmobiles will roll onto the field at Art Center’s Street to Screen: Car Classic 2014 event this Sunday. Exploring the impact transportation and entertainment design has had on Hollywood and the entertainment industry—on camera, on the road and behind the scenes—this year’s Bat-tastic concours confab will host a critical mass of the caped crusader’s legendary vehicles.

Art Center’s ties to the Dark Knight extend well beyond transportation. Entertainment Design Chair Tim Flattery designed the Batmobile Val Kilmer used in the 1994 film Batman Forever. Alumnus Harald Belker (BS Transportation Design 90) created the 1997 Batmobile George Clooney drove in Batman and Robin and Illustration Chair Ann Field worked on character design for Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy in that same movie. Alumnus Zack Snyder (BFA Film 89) has added the great detective to his latest Superman epic, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, scheduled to be released in 2016. And who owns Batman/DC Comics? None other than Warner Bros., led by Trustee Greg Silverman, who reigns as its President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production.

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Art Center in the News: October – November


Jay Leno (right) interviews Tom Peters (left) and Peter Brock (center) at Car Classic

Art Center students, faculty, trustees, alumni and staff have been busy racking up awards, giving interviews and making news. Here is a selection of some recent coverage, including highlights from Car Classic and the recent announcement of a $15 million gift from Peter and Merle Mullin, the largest donation in the 83-year history of Art Center.

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‘Insights’ highlights: 108 high-intensity doses of creative inspiration in 130 characters or less

Alum Lynne Aldrich leads a tour of her sculpture exhibit in the Williamson Gallery

Alum Lynne Aldrich leads a tour of her sculpture exhibit in the Williamson Gallery

While Car Classic dominated last weekend’s headlines, with its lineup of head-turning, high-revving art-imitates-life works of automotive aesthetics and ingenuity. Sunday’s auto design showcase wasn’t even the only audacious display of Art Center’s creative assets on view last weekend. On Saturday, the College hosted a curated selection of seminars and workshops known as Art Center Insights. The invitation-only event offers donors and trustees an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be Art Center student for an afternoon (minus the mountain of pressure to complete competing creative projects). 

After a lunch in the student dining room with President Lorne M. Buchman, participants chose from the following Session 1 presentations: 3D Printing: A Revolution in 3D, Environmental Design: The Safe Aqua Project and Interaction Design: Evolving User Experience. Then came the second and final round of workshops: Transportation Design/Sustainability: Nature, The Mobility Innovator, Photography: Portraiture Unplugged and Fine Art: Lynn Aldrich: Un/Common Objects.

Because Insights reaches only a small slice of the population who might benefit from it; we embedded reporters in each of the workshops and live-tweeted the entire event. Taken together, these concise dispatches offer a cohesive (if not comprehensive) narrative of what it was like to experience Insights and the inspiring ideas and tools exchanged over the course of all six workshops.

Some people dream of being king for a day. But Insights makes a good case for the rewards that go along with being a student, for a day or a lifetime. Hopefully the chronicle below will conjure some of that mind-expanding thrill vicariously.

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The brains behind the muscle (cars): Stingray designers to be honored at Car Classic

Behold the Tom Peters-designed Stingray

Behold the Tom Peters-designed Stingray

Ranked #1 on Automobile Magazine’s “100 Coolest Cars” list, the 1963-1967 Sting Ray designed by Art Center alumnus Peter Brock set the standard for all sports and muscle cars to follow. That achievement in design, performance and pure chrome and steel sex appeal has been near impossible to meet, which Chevrolet all but conceded to when they retired the Sting Ray name in 1976.

Now, 50 years after the original Sting Ray first hit the road, Chevrolet’s parent company, General Motors, is reviving the brand and launching a car worthy of the (now slightly altered) name. Meet the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. You might say it takes a certain sensibility to capture the visceral appeal of that first Sting Ray and reinvent it for the 21st century. So it seems only natural that—just like the original—the 2014 Stingray would be designed by an Art Center alum.

Art Center will celebrate this transportation design legacy at its annual Car Classic on Sunday, October 27, where the College will present alumnus Tom Peters (TRANS ’80) with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many design accomplishments with General Motors, including his work for Chevrolet and Corvette, and his leadership role in breathing new life into the legendary Stingray.

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VIDEO: Car Classic – 90 years of design in 90 seconds.

Art Center recently celebrated 90 years of design — from the 1924 Rolls Royce to the 2012 Fisker Karma — at Car Classic 2012.

The annual event, held Oct. 21, drew a crowd of 1,500 and featured colorful all-American classics, French Citroens, and a progression of cars built for speed, from a Corvette Stingray (designed by alums Pete Brock and Larry Shindoa) to the 2011 McLaren (designed by alum Frank Stephenson).

A section of the event — a ‘61 Cadillac Coupe, ‘88 Fiero, ‘64 Corvair Monza Coupe and a ‘58 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Coupe — was dedicated to designs by Ron Hill, an Art Center alum and former chair of transportation design. Hill also received the Lifetime Achievement award for his 30-year career that spanned Corvettes, Camaros and Cadillacs.

The College also gave out 25 awards in three categories, including audience and designers’ picks. Click here to see who was best in show.

Art Center’s Car Classic showcases nearly a century of design

Art Center College of Design celebrated nearly a century’s worth of vehicle designers and designs — from the 1924 Rolls Royce to the 2011 McLaren — at Car Classic.

The annual event, held Sunday at the Hillside campus, drew a crowd of 1,200 and featured a cameo from “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno who arrived in his jet-powered EcoJet.

Nearly 90 vehicles were parked in a series of style-themed vignettes, including colorful all-American classics, a series of French Citroens from the ‘70s and a progression of cars built for speed, from a 1947 Indy racer to the 2011 Leela Spyder.

A section of the field — a ’61 Cadillac Coupe, ’88 Fiero, ’64 Corvair Monza Coupe and a ’58 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Coupe — was dedicated to designs by Ron Hill, an Art Center alum and former chair of transportation design. Hill also received the Lifetime Achievement award for his 30-year career that spanned Corvettes, Camaros and Cadillacs.

“The theme of inspiration makes our car show unique,” said Stewart Reed, chair of Art Center’s undergraduate and graduate Transportation Design programs. “While other Concours d’Elegance events showcase the world’s most historic and luxurious vehicles, Car Classic draws a parallel between the vehicles on display and the people who created them.”

The event also benefitted Art Center students: General Motors Foundation donated $100,000 for Transportation Design scholarships and programs, and undergrads had a chance to talk shop with industry leaders.

“You get to meet world-class designers as car lovers,” said fifth-term Transportation Design student Marcello Raeli. “I talked to [General Motor design executive] Clay Dean for 40 minutes until I realized it was him.”

Click here for more photos.

Piaggio asks students to envision mobility in 2022

A Vespa LXV-150, one of the many vehicles Piaggio brought on campus for students to study. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Did you happen to notice a swarm of motorcycles earlier this term at Hillside Campus?

The reason for the two-wheeled gathering was Piaggio–the fourth largest producer of scooters, motorcylces and compact commercial vehicles in the world–is sponsoring a Transportation Design project this term titled Envisioning Personal Mobility in 2022. As part of the course they brought a variety of their current vehicles for students to study up close.

In the course, the Italian vehicle maker–whose brands include Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi–has challenged Art Center students to envision how young people, between the ages of 18 and 25, will move around 10 years from now.

Questions Piaggio has posed to the students include: In 2022 will people have the same buying power they have now? Will they be able to afford personal mobility? Will they have jobs that change more frequently?

Piaggio, which plans on opening a design center in Pasadena, hopes that the students creations both inspire its employees and provides them with insight into opportunities of important areas of growth where the company should be engaged a decade from now.

And with Car Classic ’12 right around the corner, we’re reminded of an interview we did with Art Center alumnus Miguel Galluzi TRANS ’86, Vice President of Design at the Piaggio Group, for Car Classic ’09: By Air, Land & Sea.

The full profile is included after the break.

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Were you at Car Classic ’11? [UPDATE]

Prototype of DeltaWing's LeMans racer for the 2012 24 Hours of LeMans. Photo: Drew Phillips/AOL.

Autoblog’s Drew Phillips, who calls Art Center’s annual Car Classic a “must-attend” event, came to this past weekend’s California Design: Influencing Change festivities and has posted a gallery of pictures from the event, including the above image of DeltaWing’s full-size prototype LeMans entry for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Of course we had our own photographers on the scene, and we’ll be sharing those with you soon. But what about you? Did you take any photos at Car Classic ’11? Post a link to your pictures in the comments section and let us know what you thought of the event.

[UPDATE: We’ve uploaded more than 150 photos from Car Classic ’11 to a new Flickr set. Enjoy, comment and share!]

This story originally posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 10:07 a.m.

Art Center Revs Up For Car Classic ’11

Art Center's annual Car Classic. Photo: © Steven A. Heller/Art Center College of Design

This Sunday Art Center presents Car Classic, the College’s 11th annual celebration of the best in automotive design. The event will feature an incredible array of more than 100 rare automobiles and innovative vehicles on display in Art Center’s panoramic Sculpture Garden.

The theme for this year’s event is “California Design: Influencing Change,” meaning that in addition to enjoying all the classic cars on display—including a 1968 Peter Brock Triumph TR 250 K; a 1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Berlinetta Aero Dynamica; and a 1932 Doane Spencer Hot Rod—visitors to Car Classic will learn about the continuing global influence that Southern California has on transportation design.

Why Southern California? As home to more than 20 advanced automotive design studios, as well as forward-thinking companies that are leading the way in new mobility and alternative energy, the region continues to shape the how, what and where of transportation on a large scale.

Also leading the way is Art Center’s curriculum, which is expanding to further impact the evolution of the automotive industry and the broader field of transportation with a new Graduate Transportation Design program launching in Fall 2012. To coincide with this evolutionary growth, attendees to this year’s Car Classic will be treated to innovative designs for cars, bikes, planes, boats, materials and design tools influenced by Southern California culture.

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Chip Foose, Bruce Meyers and Jay Leno Among Special Guests To Appear at Car Classic ’11

Influential and innovative car designers and aficionados always show up at Art Center’s Car Classic, and this year’s lineup is no exception. Here’s a list of special guests scheduled to appear at Car Classic ’11 on October 23:

  • Bruce Canepa – Porsche racer and owner of Canepa Design
  • Peter Brock PROD ’56 — Founder of Brock Racing Enterprises and designer of the ’63 Corvette “split window” Sting Ray and the Cobra Daytona Coupe
  • Chip Foose TRAN ’90 — President and CEO, Foose Design and member of the Hot Rod Hall of Fame
  • Miguel Galluzzi TRAN ’86 – Designer of the Ducati Monster and Vice President of Design, Piaggo
  • Dave Kunz — Automotive reporter for KABC-TV Los Angeles
  • Jay Leno – Host of NBC’s The Tonight Show and Jay Leno’s Garage
  • Barry Meguiar – President/CEO, Meguiar’s, Inc. and host of Car Crazy, as seen on SPEED Channel and heard on syndicated radio
  • Bruce Meyer – Car collector and former chairman of Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Bruce Meyers – Father of the modern dune buggy
  • Chuck Pelly PROD ’58 – Founder, The Design Academy Inc. and BMW Designworks, USA
  • Freeman Thomas TRAN ’83 – Director of Strategic Design for Ford Motor Company

This year’s Car Classic will explore the continuing global influence that Southern California has on transportation design. Visit the event’s website for additional information and tickets.

See you next weekend!