Tag Archives: Design Center

Inspired Design – Art Center Weekend Part 2 (or How Jay Leno comes to the Party)

Jay Leno sure knows how to make an entrance (and exit).  At this past weekend’s Art Center Design event for Automotive Design, Jay turned heads has he parked his GM Ecojet concept car on campus.  The car has a 650-horsepower (400 lb.-ft. of torque) powered by a Honeywell LT-101 turbine engine that runs on bio-diesel fuel. The engine sits in a modified Corvette Z06 hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components. The vehicle’s shell is an advanced construction of carbon fiber over Kevlar.

While I didn’t see it come in, I was next to the Ecojet departed the event after Jay emceed the life-time achievement award to Ron Hill, one of the creative guru at GM back in day.  After climbing over the significant door sill, he secured the three point seat harness (with a little help).  Next, Jay spooled the motor up for a minute with a large puff of smoke over the back, as the jet screamed to life. It doesn’t win any prizes for being noise-efficient, but it was certainly an attention-getter; probably what Jay (and GM) had in mind.  It was great fun to be there to see this one off vehicle.

Inspired Design – Art Center Weekend Part 1






Many of the leading collectors turn up for this congregation at the Pasadena Art Center to celebrate automotive designs at the fabled campus. It isn’t the quantity that counts at this event, but the quality.  On display has to be one of the most diverse collection of all types of cars from many eras.  From GM and Acura were design concepts, from Peter Mullins was a 1923 Avions Voisin Type C6 replica, a pristine Sting Ray Corvette, Ferrari Enzo to Bobby Unser’s Eagle Indy racer.  Spotted in the crowd were Peter Brock remembering his day’s at GM design, Aaron Weiss with his Marmon and finned Cadillacs,  as well as Sam Mann  and of course, Bruce Meyers with his lightweight 1963 Jaguar racing E type.

It is always interesting to walk through some of the class space as well to see what creative direction things are being taken by the next generation.  Students appear to come from around the world to work at this impressive environment in a variety of disciplines.

With the heavy clouds and possibility of rain, the event still carried on to a resounding success.