2014 EyesOn Design Show Preview - A Fathers Day Tradition


By Steve Purdy
Michigan Bureau

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The EyesOn Design show has been a Father’s Day tradition for 27 years with all but two shows being held on the expansive lawns at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores (close-in Detroit suburb on Lake St. Clair). Eyes continues its tradition of surprising us with unusual and creative classes of cars, trucks, motorcycles and other things vehicular. Unlike most Concours and invitational car shows, Eyes does not focus on rarity, precision of restoration or classic criteria. Rather, the show has always celebrated excellence in design.

The venue, near Jefferson Avenue and Nine-Mile Road, just up-river from Detroit, fits the theme of the show because of Edsel Ford’s interest in, and dedicated to, art and design. He and Eleanor traveled the world with famed architect, Albert Kahn, gathering ideas for their mansion on 87 acres of prime lakefront property. Owned and operated by a charitable foundation the lush grounds are as lovingly maintained as the 20,000 square-foot cottage-style mansion.

EyesOn Design organizers pride themselves on being the first to host unusual classes like: motorcycles, sport utility vehicles, bicycles, military vehicles and campers. After all, they are celebrating design and those genres exhibit exceptional design as do the more conventional vehicles.

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This year look for some cartoonesque movie and TV cars, Indian motorcycles, a class called Working Class Vehicles of 1928, military vehicles, cars made in Flint, personal luxury coupes and many more. You’ll also see the of traditional classics from the 1930s, tuner cars, a circle of Maseratis, a centennial celebration of Dodge vehicles and a class to honor “Color, Chrome and Fins.”

Part of the EyesOn Design week of activities is the prestigious Lifetime Design Achievement Award – this year presented to Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer for Hyundai Motor Group. Schreyer is responsible for the transformation of Hyundai and Kia designs from plain and tawdry to fresh, modern and dramatic.

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Photo by Bob Benko
We spoke with members of the Jedryczka family, exhibitors who attended the pre-event press conference. Their car is part of a 1964 World’s Fair class. The class will show cars from the Detroit big three that would have been part of displays at the Fair. The Jedryczkas’ 1964 Mercury Park Lane convertible was one of the actual cars on the Disney-Ford display that people rode in around a themed track. At that time it had no engine since as it was powered by a under-the-car system of wheels contacting a wood panel and guided by a big metal peg. After the show the car was put back to roadable condition and sold though the Ford employees where the senior Mr. Jedryczka bought it. It has been in the family since.

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Dr. Philip Hessburg and his car pals founded EyesOn Design as a fundraising event for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology. The show opens at 10 AM on Father’s Day. Tickets are $20 with kids (12 and under with an adult) and active duty military are free. There is plenty of parking on Jefferson Avenue across from the show. Details at: http://www.eyesondesign.org/carshow.

If you’re in the Detroit area and would attend one car show in the season, this one would be it. This is also one of those shows that people with little interest in old cars will enjoy as well.

Hope we’ll see you there.

Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved

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