“Stick-to-itiveness.”

1963-asymmetric2

Geza Loczi graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 1965. Then on to General Motors Design Staff where for the next 15 years Geza worked on many of the most revered cars of the period—Firebird, Trans AM, Grand Am, GTO, Judge, and the 442. (My first studio was Advanced Chevrolet in 1973; Ron Hill was the Chief Designer and Geza was his assistant. Some of Geza’s sketches have been previously posted on Dean’s Garage).

 


 

1959 First Model—Blue Car
“My first model consisted of carving it out of one solid piece of surgar pine wood. What in the world was I thinking? Did you see those fins? The model has been broken and damaged over the years, but the essence of the design is still there.”


 

Geza in 1959

Geza left GM for Volkswagen of America as the Design Manager. A memorable VW design credited to Geza was the Corrado. Then on to Volvo Car Corporation in Sweden and California, where he joined Charles Pelly in his Designworks/USA Studio as a consultant to Jan Willsgaard, head of Volvo Design in Sweden.


 

1960 Second Model—Green Car
“I was happy with the sportiness of my second model but I wanted to try something more adventurous with the painted surface. Just where did that HAMMER FINISH PAINT job come from? Obviously, hammer finishes would not become a trend for future cars.”


 

Geza joined the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center (VMCC) when it was formed in 1986 as Chief Designer. Geza was named Director of Design in 1997, and in 2004 as Chairman of Design for Volvo of Sweden until his official retirement in 2010. But Geza continues his consulting with Volvo of Sweden as Principal of Geza Loczi Design. He’s still at it.


 

1961 Third Model—Red Car
“Aerodynamic and engines in the rear or MID ENGINE DESIGN played a big part in my third model. It allowed me to look at proportion differently utilizing a center driver position, cab forward design (a term not invented at that time) and the engine behind the driver and passenger.”


 

Geza today.

But where did all of this really begin? With Geza’s persistence in the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild. Through the seven entries in the Guild, Geza learned not to give up, and to research solutions to problems. He became a judge of good proportion and not to be satisfied with mediocre results. Planning a year’s worth of work meant breaking the project down into smaller tasks—setting milestones along the way prevented being overwhelmed by such a daunting project. This way Geza could enjoy the process and look forward to working on his models—pretty exciting stuff creating emotional statements that hadn’t existed before.


 

1962 Fourth Model—Gold Car
“For my fourth car I was determined to put as many designs as possible on the same car. Needless to say, even though the proportions of my model were good, the business and complicated design, in my opinion, was overwhelming. Luckily, I got it out of my system and was able to move forward onto my next design.”


 

1963 Fifth Model—Asymmetrical Car
“With a single seat and canopy for the driver, and a tonneau cover for the occasional passenger, it made perfect sense to design an ASYMMETRICAL car for my fifth model. This design combines simplicity with sculptural forms. One of my personal cars has a tonneau cover over the passenger seat, and it does provide a unique driving experience.”


 

1964 Sixth Model—Diamond Tread Pattern
“With a diamond tread pattern, a center driving position, the architecture of the car led to an exciting and dramatic design for my sixth model. With architecture and proportion being about 80 percent of the design, the rest was just frosting on the cake. When not needed, the side wheels would fold up, and the car performed similar to a motor cycle.”


 

1965 Seventh Model—Yellow Car
“Twisting and warping surfaces, with a unique tread pattern and architecture and yet simple in design, led my seventh model to achieve a timelessness in its design. Believe me, during that time frame, unique surfacing, like this car had, was not the trend. LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN was the culmination of all seven models that I had built, and all that I had learned while designing and building them.”


 

Photos and captions courtesy of Geza Lozi. Thanks very much, Geza.

7 Comments
  1. Geza,
    You’ve been pushing the design envelope since your early FBCGuild days, as you continue to do today. Great showing, great work!

    Geza, we’d like to extend an invitation to you to join the Automotive Designers Guild.

    Best regards,
    -John

    John M. Mellberg
    ADGuild Support

  2. Walter Gomez

    Very impressive work. I see that model 1 predates Pininfarina’s Audi Quartz projector lighting by a couple of decades. Model 2’s sculpted surfaces, toned down a bit would probably work on current BMWs!

    Thanks for showing the work, I only wish that I was a bit older, with more modeling skills when I worked on my Fisher Body Craftsman Guild entry in 1967!

  3. Stewart Reed

    Geza!
    Thanks for that! Your work is exceptional, but more importantly, you are a delightful person to know. It’s a privilege to have you teaching at Art Center again. You are helping to insure the next generation of Art Center grads have the same sense for innovation, visual sensitivity and craftsmanship that we all developed in the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild!.
    Warm regards,
    Stewart Reed
    Chair, Transportation Design
    Art Center College of Design
    Pasadena, Ca.

  4. I knew Geza at GM when I first started in 1966. He was an inspiration. Geza’s sketches were and still are amazing. Also, I think he is from South Bend, Indiana and that’s where I went to school which made the connection even stronger. Thanks for publishing his work.

  5. Roy Lonberger

    Thank you Geza and Gary for this history. Inspirational and educational on so many levels. I had the pleasure or working with Geza in Studio-X in 1967. Of course he had the talent. But the thing I most valued was his positive attitude, professional demeanor, and overall good cheer: I enjoyed working together with him.

    And Geza, I still have your red self portrait that you gave to me when I left.

    Roy

  6. Jeff Jones

    It was a pleasure meeting you @ Scottsdale and it was a thrill seeing yours and all the other winners cars I have admired over the years. They didn’t disappoint, they are as magnificent in person as in print. Thank you for this article; I am glad to see you worked as hard or harder than I did (I only made 5 cars!). I always thought you scooted into first place after making a couple cars.

    I am intrigued by your asymmetrical design in ’63. reminiscent of Ron Will’s ’61 car.

    I like your ’64 car the best, better than ’65.

  7. Geza Loczi

    First, I am a little late to the party, since this morning is the first time that I have seen this posting. I have to thank Gary Smith, whom I admire beyond belief, for not only posting my work, but all those many talents of so many others, over the years.

    So good to hear from those who took the time to comment on this sight. To hear from Roy, and we did have great time in Studio X, was indeed a treat. And Roy you set the standard as how a Studio Chief performed utilizing the varying disciplines within the studio.

    Many thanks to my friend Stewart for our friendship over the years, and to John Houlihan at GM Design over those great years.

    Thank you John, for the invitation to the Automotive Designers Guild. I will contact you regarding this honor.

    To Walter Gomez, thanks for seeing the correlation between my very early designs and the utilization of those in future designs.

    My best to Jeff Jones whom I enjoyed meeting in Scottsdale and our shared laughter.

    Thanks again Gary for all that you do. You are indeed a special person.

    Best,
    Geza

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