Rear engine cars was the focus of the League’s attention for 2017. The renderings will be displayed at various venues throughout the year. A few mid-engine car designs from previous years are also included in the traveling display to round out the presentation.



Of particular note is the statement included on Bob Ackerman’s red Chevrolet rendering:

Back 2 The Future by Bob Ackerman

I first created this design rendering in the Chevrolet #1 Design Studio at General Motors in 1968. This was also the year my son Adam Dean was born.

Because of my recent blindness, I can no longer participate in the League’s annual design assignments. In my sketch archives, I found this small black & white photo of the Chevy concept. My son, a graphic designer, suggested that he could define, enlarge, and add color to this vintage design rendering electronically.

In offering his assistance, this has truly become a father and son project, spanning almost five decades.



Thanks to David McIntosh.

Designers that participated in the project:

Bob Ackerman

Robert L. Barnes

1968–2005 Design Manager, Ford Motor Company
1965–1967 NASA Development Project
1968 Clevenland Institute of Art Graduate

Richard Beck
1968-2007 Designer, Ford Motor Company
1968 Art Center Graduate
1964 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild 3rd, Nat’l Sr. Award

Steven Brown
Conceptual Imagineering Independent Design Consultancy Automotive and Product design
International Truck Scout concept vehicle
Senior Designer, Chrysler RT Minivan Integration Center Interior design
Senior Creative Designer, GM Design StaffContributed to Buick Bengal show car, Rendezvous Lead Interior Alias designer
GM Advanced Vehicle Engineering
United Technologies Automotive
Findlay Industries
Collins and Aikman
American Truck and Coach

Joan Klatil Creamer
Creamer Design
1966 Cleveland Institute of art, Industrial Design major
1965 GM Design summer Intern
1966 GM Design Staff—First woman exterior designer at GM, working in Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Advanced Buick studios
General Electric Corp—providing design guidance for consumer electronics / major appliance development
Gorham Division Textron—Staff designer Product Manager; Gift / Collectible Division
1987 Joan Creamer Design Office—Providing I.D. consultation

Paul A. Down, FIDSA
Professor of Industrial Design, University of Notre Dame

Virgil Exner, Jr.
International Designer of Automobiles and Power Boats
Retired 1988 as Ford Design Executive
1958–1961 U.S. Air Force Officer
1956 AB, 1957 MA University of Norte Dame

Darwin Hawthorne
1964-2002 Auto Design Executive, Ford Motor Company
1964 Art Center Graduate
1960 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild Award

John Houlihan
2007–present; VP of Design, BullToro Watch Co., LLC
2005–2006 Adjunct Professor at University of Bridgeport
2001–2007 Consultant Designer
1979–2001 Timex Corporation, Director of Design
1978–1979 Milton Bradley Corporation, Manager of Toy Development
1971–1978 General Electric Corporation, Senior Product Designer
1970–1971 GM Design Staff, Exterior Designer
1966 University of Notre Dame, ID Major

Roger E. Hughet
1959-2001 Asst. Chief Designer, GM Design
1959 Art Center Graduate

Donald A. Johnson

1969 Center for Creative Studies Graduate
1968-1984 General Motors Design Staff, Senior designer
Zimmer Corp. Director of Design. Notable design: Zimmer “Quicksilver”
Toyota Distributers—Director of Product Design
D.A. Johnson Design
: Avelate Corvette, Avelate “Fifty-Three” Corvette, Ford racing Technologies—FR 500, Mustang FR 200 Focus, Knudsen Automotive–“Rage” Mustang, Thunderbird “Thunderflite” 1961, “Merc-in-time” 1950 Mercury

Rolph Kneefel
1969–2008 Ford Motor Company, Design
1975 Wayne State Graduate Assistant
1960 Art Center Graduate

Bud Magaldi

David S. McIntosh
1964 Art Center Graduate, BPA, Transportation Design
1964-2003 Asst. Chief Designer (1980), GM Design
Advanced Design Studios (1988–91 Buick Reatta concept and production design; 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix Concept; 1970 Corvair Facelift Proposal; 1990 Saturn Coupe Preliminary Concept)
1991 Monte Carlo Show Car; 1995 Monte Carlo and Lumina
2000 Cadillac Catera (Opel, Germany)
Speed Vision Corporate Strategy and Cadillac 15-Year Vision; Cadillac Cross-Over Concept

William (Bill) Michalak
1966–2001 Senior Creative Designer, GM Design
1966 Pratt Institute Graduate

William (Bill) Molzon
1978–2003 Consultant Design, Concept Engineering, Model and Prototype Development. Designed E=Z-Go Medalist and TXT Golf Cars.
1974–1978 Calty Design Research, Assistant Chief Designer
1973 Rohr Industries, Senior Designer, Mass Transit Projects
1969–1973 Chrysler Design, Assistant Chief Designer
1963–1969 GM Design Staff, Senior Designer. Projects: 1968 Nova, 1970 Camaro, 1971 Vega, Aerodynamic Testing
1963 Art Center Graduate, Automotive Design Major
1960 General Motors Institute, Mechanical Engineering
1959 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild, 2nd National Award, Sr. Division

Howard D. (Buck) Mook
1967-1997 Design Executive, Ford Motor Company
1967 Art Center Graduate

William (Bill) Moraniec
1964–2001 Ford Motor Company Design Manager
1963 Center of Creative Studies Graduate

Bob Munson

Steven D. Pasteiner
1966–1989 Assistant Chief Designer, Buick, Chevrolet I
1989 Advanced Automobile Technologies

John Perkins
1962-1999 Chief Designer, GM Design
1964 GM Institute Graduate
1955 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild Honorable Mention

Elia (Russ) Russinoff
1955-1995 Asst. Chief Designer, GM Design
1954 Pratt Institute Graduate
1949 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild 1st, Nat’l Sr. Award

Stuart Shuster
General Motors, Assistant Chief Designer, Commercial Vehicle Interiors
General Morors Industrial Design Department
University of Cincinnati Design School Graduate

Bernard (Bernie) Smith
1950–1988 Assistant Executive, Design, for all GM Advanced Design Studios
1950 Central Academy of Commercial Art

Gary D. Smith
2009–present Dean’s Garage “Curator”
1988–present Self-employed freelance designer
1973–1988 Sr. Creative Designer, GM Design
1973 Art Center College of Design Graduate
1964, 1966 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild Honorable Mentions


  1. Great job one and all! Wonderful cross section of creative thinking of all types of rear engined vehicles… Such talent needs to be congratulated!

    John M. Mellberg, League of Retired Automotive Designers (Founding Member)

  2. I spent some time in the display at Eyes On Design and thought it was the best Retired Designers show to date. The sketch techniques and creative effort collectively was inspiring.

    I feel fortunate to know many who made the sketches and congratulate all of you for the fine quality and continued effort. Fun stuff!

    All the best,
    Dick Ruzzin

  3. Virgil Exner, Jr.

    Great batch of stuff, guys! Keep it up!

    The Very Best,

    Virgil (Co-founding member L.R.A.D.)

  4. Just fantastic to see such great insight into these iconic designs, especially the Tucker! Incredible talent that still to this day is keeping the legend alive. Thanks to each of these legendary designers who continue to inspire us all with their creations!

  5. Bill Molzon

    Bill Molzon sent these Cadillac proposals from a 2008 League event.

  6. Keith Ashley

    Enjoy seeing all this creativity. It was a pleasure to meet and get to know some of them at the recent CARS as ART exhibit in Northport, MI

  7. Some neat stuff here, but that green [ish] Corvair signed ‘Munson’ if I read it right takes the cake. Very nice, and conceivably do-able. A potential practical beauty.

  8. David McIntosh

    Thanks Gary for the excellent display of our most recent project. AND thanks for all the encouraging comments, much appreciated. The tent for the show was in a perfect place this year, right in the middle of the field, so we got a lot of viewers.

  9. John Lewinski

    Who designed the 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix?

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