Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Foose' favorite designer: Camilo Pardo

"Being an artist really complements my car designs. I can't imagine having one without the other. Both require me to deal with proportions, emotions and creativity, which all lead to perfect execution."
- Camilo Pardo, GT Chief Designer.

Camilo Pardo drew and re-drew the GT concept design in his mind for more than 10 years. Even when he was given permission to do an exploratory clay model of a modern GT in 1999, he never really expected to create a fully developed concept car.


The call that began the dream assignment of a lifetime came in March 2001, and Pardo was quick to begin work.

As chief designer in Ford Motor Company's Living Legends Studio, Pardo has led the development and design of the timeless GT concept. The re-birth of this legend first materialized in 1999, but it began long before—with Pardo's obsession with the 1960s-era racing legend.

As an accomplished artist, sculptor, clothing, and furniture designer, Pardo's work has been featured in galleries and shows worldwide. From caf├ęs in Monaco and Italy to the walls of the Detroit Institute of Arts, to the stages of the Paris Motor Show, his art is a true reflection of his love for innovation and design. Two of his GT paintings hang in the executive offices of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. Another painting of a 1961 Lincoln Continental graces the offices of Ford's Premier Automotive Group's London headquarters.

Pardo is a native New Yorker who says he knew at a young age that both art and automotive design were his career path.

To follow the dream, he enrolled at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit where he graduated and was granted the Industrial Design Society of America Merit Award in 1985.

Immediately following his graduation, he joined Ford's design staff in Dearborn, keeping an easy commute to his downtown Detroit art studio and apartment, where he still lives and works on his other artistic endeavors in his spare time.

The attached garage in the studio houses his classic Ferrari 308 GT and topless 1964 Thunderbird, a project car with no convertible top and doors that are welded shut to eliminate all gaps in the sheet metal. To get in, Pardo just hops over the side or climbs out by stepping on the seat.

"If it starts raining, you just hope you don't catch any red lights on the way back to the garage," he says. "If you're going fast enough, the airflow blows the rain right over the car and off the deck. They knew a little about aero back in the '60s too."

Before taking on his role as chief designer in the Living Legends studio, Pardo spent much of his time in Ford's Advance Design studio working on the Ford Thunderbird, Lincoln LS, and Ford electric vehicles. He also has worked in Ford's design studios of Cologne, Germany, and Turin, Italy.

Upon his return to Dearborn, Pardo took on the role of design manager for Special Vehicle Team projects. The SVT studio shares space in what is now the Living Legends Studio.

Pardo has been with the modern GT design every step of the way—as one of the designers on the Ford GT90 concept of 1995, as design manager for the modern GT "exploratory" clay and now as chief designer for the GT.

Pardo's office, which opens directly into the Living Legends Studio, is filled with detailed die-cast models of GT racecars. On his desk is a miniature clay model of a seat design. He has a television and VCR in the room. In addition to powering up his computer each day, he turns on the movie "Grand Prix," watches the opening scenes and listens to the sounds of the race for inspiration—then, it's back to work.

More of his work here! http://www.camilopardo.com


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