Revered for his work on the Ford GT amongst other concept cars over the course of his 24-year long career at Ford, Camilo Pardo has also been shaping the world of fashion and art. Here’s Part 1 of our exclusive video interview…
Many of you are probably well familiar with Camilo Pardo since watching him on TV over the summer. Before he won the ultimate prize on Motor City Masters, Camilo was already one of the most renowned American automotive designers. He’s also a good friend.
Revered for his work on the Ford GT amongst other concept cars over the course of his 24-year-long career at the Blue Oval, Camilo was also shaping the world of fashion and art during the same period. So when we caught up with the accomplished artist, sculptor, clothing and furniture designer at his Designer’s Night in 2009 we weren’t too worried he told us he’d decided to leave Ford to pursue his other creative endeavors.
A native New Yorker, Camilo moved to Detroit at the age of 10. He’d already developed a fascination with 60s and 70s era sports cars and modern art, mostly born from his passion for racing. He enrolled in CCS — then known as the Center for Creative Studies — and when he graduated in 1985 he was granted the Industrial Design Society of America Merit Award and hired by Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.
Camilo’s design prowess and ability to innovate soon propelled him to a role within Ford’s advanced design studio, where he worked on the Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln LS. He also spent some time at the company’s design studios in Cologne, Germany, and Turin, Italy before returning to Dearborn as a design manager for the SVT studio, where he designed the 2002 Ford GT concept.
The path eventually led to him becoming chief designer at the Living Legends Studio, where Camilo took on what he describes as “the ultimate assignment” — a state of the art redesign of the classic Ford GT race car. This project developed the 2002 concept precursor and became the 2005 Ford GT production car, an instant success that captured the interest of enthusiasts worldwide.