Lifetime Supporting Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Deerfield, WI
In addition a little more background on the desingers and their studio. This is all blatant plagiarism by the way.
Background on the designers:
Doug Gaffka was named director of the Living Legends Studio in July 2000 and given the task to oversee the creation of a new spate of production and concept cars. Gaffka is a 25-year veteran designer with Ford who has influenced a wide array of Ford cars from the Mustang to the Taurus. Gaffka’s most visible recent work is in his contributions as chief designer on the 2002 Thunderbird. He worked on Thunderbird from the inception of the project, before it officially existed as a Ford program. As director, he oversaw the process through the final design that brought the 2002 Thunderbird back to the road.
Doyle Letson is chief designer for the Ford Thunderbird and Mustang. Ongoing improvements in the Thunderbird, aimed at keeping the classic dream car design fresh, are under Letson’s direction. Already, the depth and breadth of the Thunderbird’s appeal have been shown in two follow-up design exercises from Letson and the Living Legends Studio -– the Thunderbird Sports Roadster and the Thunderbird Custom.
Letson also is charged with the design of the Ford Mustang. He oversaw the creation of the design elements of the runaway hit 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT.
The Living Legends Studio and staff operate out of two buildings on Ford’s Product Development campus in Dearborn, Mich.
Entrance into the main studio requires one to go through as many as three security checkpoints. There are windows on the walls to allow natural light to enter, but they’re 20 feet above the floor. For direct sunlight, a door to the studio opens into a courtyard encircled by a wraparound brick wall that stretches 20 feet into the sky.
The main studio shares space with other Ford car programs but giant, movable walls separate it from the rest. The walls are awash in colorful images depicting Living Legends, performance, driving passion, sketches, blueprints and other renderings.
The Mustang bays, for example, are surrounded with performance car paraphernalia: images from films such as “Bullitt” with Steve McQueen, sketches of Mustang muscle car ideas, computer renderings of new designs in every color on the spectrum. At center-stage in the bays are clay models, mimicking the full-size blueprints on the walls.
Thunderbird bays hold the Thunderbird Custom and Sports Roadster. The walls are covered with dozens of 24-inch metal "bubbles” painted in various colors intended for consideration on future models. There is a car painted a vivid turquoise, just like the 1955 original. This car has been painted different colors and driven out to the courtyard for review at least a dozen times. It will be repainted again in a few days.
Across campus is Living Legends Studio II, home to the GT40 design project. Each morning, Camilo Pardo and his team have to pass through as many as four security checkpoints. This studio is similar to the others, but has racing photos of the 1960s combined with technical drawings and original Le Mans race photos. There are swatches of leather, plastic, vinyl, aluminum, stainless steel and painted metal discs.
There are photos of actors James Garner and Steve McQueen; photos of drivers Jacky Ickx and Dan Gurney. One moveable wall features a life-size photo of an original GT40. Racing stripes are everywhere.
Pardo’s office, which opens directly into the studio, is filled with detailed die-cast models of GT40 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.