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Beline Obeid

EyesOn Design focuses on revolution

June 13, 2013
The EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition is for everyone’s eyes.

Held for the past 26 years on Father’s Day, the public viewing is from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores. It is hosted by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, the benefactor of the event. Tickets cost $20.

Active military personnel with ID are admitted free.

The show focuses on design with this year’s theme “Revolution over Evolution.” It evokes the periods when there was a dramatic design change in a certain car model from one year to the next, said Carolyn Mulford, Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology administrative secretary who serves on the show’s vehicle selection committee. “Or when the car itself was revolutionary, as with the poster car, the 1948 Tucker, only 51 of which were made.”

Automotive artist Steven Macy was commissioned to create the program’s cover and poster featuring a green Tucker. The poster car is linked to the Ford House because Tucker’s steering column and interior door releases were designed like the Lincolns.

“A revolutionary change in a model is when something major is changed on a vehicle,” she explained. “A tail fin, a roof slope, a front end, change something that changes the model in a revolutionary sense. So the cars on the field this year will represent vehicles with revolutionary changes. In some categories the revolutionary model is paired with its evolutionary partner so spectators will be able to see the difference between the models and note the ‘revolutionary’ change.”

The field of vehicles is broken into categories: classics, hot rods, Thunderbirds, Chris-Craft wooden pleasure boats, European exotics, pedal cars, a special Pure Michigan display called “Cars of Jackson.”

Making a special appearance for fathers and grandfathers is the Little Deuce Coupe, featured on the Beach Boys album cover.

“I know that, as a father,” said Philip Hessburg, “I always enjoy heading over to the Ford House on that day to see the line-up of cars.

“Another thing that’s nice is this is a great Grosse Pointe event — a chance to see a showcase of 230 of the best-designed cars ever made, right here in our neighborhood.”

The fact that the cars are not roped off helps make the show.

“You can go right up to the cars at EyesOn Design,” Hessburg said, “and look inside or under the hood — if it’s open — and also talk with the owners who are usually sitting on camp chairs nearby.

“Another thing that’s different about EyesOn Design is the mixture of cars invited to the show. They range from the typical 1920s cars to 1930s classics to great examples of 1950s cars from the Big Three plus muscle cars, European sports cars and even some hot rods and ‘tuners.’ So in one show, visitors can get a good look at how cars have changed over more than 100 years.”

Another angle to the show is vision-impaired people judge by touch a selection of cars and chose the one they like.

“This fits in with the mission of the DIO which sponsors the show,” Hessburg said, “a major fundraiser for the DIO’s programs for the blind and visually-impaired.”

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