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The Edwin T. Meyer Awards Ceremony 2018

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Special Feature from Jon Rosner

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The Edwin T. Meyer Automotive Design Competition Scholarship is a fun event. It is held annually at the Academy of Arts University’s extraordinary Car Museum on Van Ness Avenue in downtown San Francisco. We were surrounded by several dozen shimmering classics. Behind us sat a 1948 Tucker, across a 1937 Alfa Romeo, down the way a 1937 Bugatti and just above a 1956 Lincoln, hallowed ground.

Tom Matano, Director of the Automotive Design Program spoke first and had the crowd smiling with wry tales as part of his introduction of Dick Ruzzin, former Director of Design, Chevrolet Division of General Motors. Dick spoke for about 20 minutes regaling us with off the cuff tales about Harley Earl. Dick really wanted to go into design, but Dick had been told that he would have to quit his present job in order to be allowed to even apply for a position at GM Styling. His very pregnant wife told him to do it even though colleagues had told him that his work was not good enough. Plus the Head of personnel at GM had informed him that they only take one in two hundred applicants. Suffice is to say that he got the job. Great story.

Dick explained to the audience about the design elements on the panels of the five finalists Kevin Chen, Joshua Reese, Arin Singh and Michael Garrick. Dick really seemed to enjoy their interpretations of the iconic Chevrolet Nomad.

2018 Eddie Meyer Scholarship Design Competition

    Design Brief:

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    “2030 Chevy Nomad” inspired by the spirit of late Mr. Edwin T. Meyer

    If Mr. Edwin T. Meyer was alive in 2030, what would he come up with? How would his, “relentless pursuit for the performance/efficiency”, be manifested in the Chevy Nomad in the year 2030.

    Is it powered by ICE or air? Could it be a hybrid, all electric or hydrogen? Will it still the have 2 door sports wagon body style like the original?

    Study the history of the Nomad and exude the essence of the concept and apply it for the year 2030 environment.

Several overheard conversation seemed to be leaning towards one design as there was agreement that one could easily see that short wheel-base Nomad gliding down the road and would recognize that it was a decedent of the original Chevrolet Corvette based Nomad. It just looked right. Dick made similar comments and awarded Kevin Chen the $10,000.00 scholarship while offering high praise for the work of the other students who would each go home with $1,000.00 Scholarship. And he encouraged the five finalists to stick with it as he did, that they all had bright futures ahead of them.

Dick Ruzzin is a retired automobile designer from General Motors Design Staff. During his career he worked on more than 140 car design projects as a creative designer, studio head and as Director of Design for G.M. Europe in Germany and as Director of Design forChevrolet in the United States. He also did work in England, Italy, Australia, Brazil, Sweden and Japan and acted as a design educational consultant after retirement in China and Taiwan as well as for GM Design Center.

His favorite projects in which he had full design responsibility for are the 1990 Chevrolet APV, and the 1991 Caprice as well as the 1992 Cadillac Eldorado, Seville, Deville and Fleetwood. In Europe the 1993 Opel MAXX concept car and all of the Opel production cars are special personal achievements. The 1979 X Car Advanced Design work was also memorable for its impact on the future of General Motors.

He is a car and design enthusiast and has made a special effort to develop his design communication skills. He has written for International Design Magazine and Alitalia as well as writing a design and art book, BELLA MANGUSTA, The Art and Design of the De Tomaso Mangusta, in 2016.

He created the Eyes On Design concept, a car design concourse in 1988 while in Cadillac Studio and the Design Awards at the North American International Auto Show as well as other design oriented activivities.

He owns a DeTomaso Mangusta, the only one built at the factory with a Chevrolet Corvette engine and a Corvette powered 1979 Bitter CD. He had a major role in the design of the Bitter CD while working in Germany in 1971.

Born in Detroit in 1936 he lives in Grosse Pointe Park, MI and has two Siamese cars, Mia Mia and Maurice.

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For more about Edwin T. Meyer read this downloadable two-part magazine story by Ken Gross

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