Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

22nd-annual Detroit car show

Tue, 09 Jun 2009

Forget the economy. The focus of the 22nd-annual EyesOn Design show over Father’s Day weekend will be what first attracts many to car lust: alluring design.

The show is expected to have 236 cars and about 25 motorcycles, including vintage racers, 1950s and ’60s convertibles and of course, muscle cars. Set in the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in a Detroit suburb that touches a picturesque lake, the show benefits the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.

Two-wheelers also will grab the spotlight this year, and Willie G. Davidson, senior vice president and chief styling officer of Harley-Davidson--and grandson of one of the company founders--will be honored with the lifetime achievement award. He joins a storied list of past winners that includes Harley Earl, Sergio Pininfarina and Bob Lutz.

This year’s theme is advertising, and each display will have a 24-inch by 36-inch copy of an original ad used to move the metal. Most of the cars and bikes to be displayed are rolling icons, and some of the time-period advertisements were similarly memorable, blending colors and the desire to sell exciting products.

Though the ads are expected to be attention-getters--a bit of an excursion to a different era when the Mad Men world of advertising was closer to reality--the EyesOn Design event is all about the cars and the motorcycles. This year’s field will have 16 categories, including rods and customs, classics and British sports cars and saloons. Those are relatively standard car-show fare, but this event also will have more unique categories sure to appeal to core enthusiasts, such as the evolution of Corvette design and the Hudson centennial. A late edition to the list is a category to celebrate Pontiac, which is set to meet its demise by the end of 2010.

And in nod to the reason for the show--beyond cars--a category is judged by a group of young visually-impaired people who rate the entries by comparing the curves of the fenders and angles of the designs. Wearing white cotton gloves, they go over a dozen or so cars, and the results often jibe with popular sentiment from the crowd.

Spread out over these divisions will be vintage cars such as a 1934 Chrysler Airflow, a 1930 Pierce-Arrow and a 1935 Auburn Boattail, and Detroit muscle including a 1969 Charger R/T, a 1969 Trans-Am and a 1967 Shelby GT500. Fast-forward to the present, and the 2010 Camaro and the Toyota Prius concept (now in production) will be there, while the future is foreshadowed by the Dodge Circuit and the Chrysler 200C concept.

Racing fans will clamor for the segment that includes a 1927 Miller, a 1915 Duesenberg board-track racer and a 1925 Model T. Meanwhile, bikers are sure to enjoy four two-wheelers from the personal collection of Davidson, the design honoree. He’s celebrating his award this year by leading two motorcycle rides through the Detroit area in conjunction with the festivities.

More than just a car show, the EyesOn Design weekend includes a Friday-night bash for designers and the younger crowd, a black-tie event Saturday and a brunch on Sunday.

For ticket information, go to or call (313) 824-4710.

By Greg Migliore