Chaparral 2X Vision Grand Turismo

In November 2014, General Motors and Chevrolet unveiled a concept car that was designed for the PlayStation Grand Turismo video game.  The design was pure fantasy – no specific rules to comply with and intended to work in the virtual world of the video game.  The concept envisions a laster-pulse propulsion system with the driver playing an integral part of the aerodynamics.  In fact, the driver lays on their stomach looking forward which certainly challenges conventional ergonomics.

Once designed in virtual reality, General Motors also created a physical concept car.  As a nod to the technology employed by Jim Hall and Chaparral Racing with Chevrolet power, the Grand Turismo concept was named Chaparral.

A design exercise for the General Motors studio was a rare chance to design a concept race car with very few constraints.  Even more rare, the physical concept car was brought by General Motors to the Art Center Car Classic.  The car doesn’t get shown publicly often, so it was a treat to see in person.  Thanks to GM for their support of the event and for bringing the car (and a few other goodies) to the event.


Best of Art Center Classic 2015

The Art Center Car Classic 2015 took place on October 25, 2015 in the hills above the Rose Bowl.  Chassis001 previously featured a race car – the Nissan R390.  Featured below is a round up of the best of stories and photo galleries from the event scoured from around the internet.  Photos don’t do the event justice, so start making your plans to attend in 2016.

Southwest Star (Mercedes club magazine) – starting on page 14 – Pasadena Art Center Car Classic – Time Travel Made Easy

Story from Autoweek – Tatra Coexists With Peterbilt at the 2015 Art Center Car Classic.


FormTrends story and photos – Art Center Car Classic Provides Inspiration

68 photos in a gallery from Kermaco photography blog.

Special Car Channel Youtube interview with Art Center Almni Henrik Fisker and the Ford Mustang Galpin Rocket.

Hagerty – Art Center’s Car Classic 2015 Showcases what matters


AutoDesignO – Tomorrowland at the Art Center Car Classic 2015 – photo gallery.

Sponsor Petrolicious posted this amazing photo gallery –Dawn Patrol at the Art Center Car Classic.

Fireball Tim Roberts Malibu Video Blog on Youtube.


Central Coast British Car Club – photo gallery.

The Daily Driver Project – story and photo gallery – The past brings about visions of the future.  Page 2 photo gallery.

Car Build Index – Better Late than Never story and photos.

Tim Scribbles photo gallery


Road and Track – Amazing Rides from the most interesting car show you’ve never heard of.

6 Speed Online – ArtCenter 2015 Car Classic – Visions of the Future

Vintech P550 Tribute at Art Center Car Classic

It takes something special to attract a crowd on a field littered with vintage hot rods, the Ferrari LaFerrai supercar, the original first production run Lamborghini Countach, custom coachwork Hispano Suiza, Mercedes 300SL examples, a 3D printed supercar, concept cars brought from the General Motors design warehouse, one of only 25 Mercedes CLK-GTR road car examples, and on and on and on…
20151025-251938249The Vintech P550 Tribute car had a steady crowd of very interested visitors during the Car Classic at Art Center College of Design on October 25.   The car is a concept car built by a French company that specializes in making concept cars.  Think of it as a business card for their business.  They have no plans to produce the car or make it available for sale.
It first was unveiled to the public in Monterey in August 2012 at The Quail during the Pebble Beach/Monterey Historics weekend.  It is a beautiful, well designed and well crafted car with inspiration from the Porsche 550.  It is not intended to be a replica and has many unique or modern features as compared to the original 550, but the inspiration is clear.
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Perhaps the greatest compliment I heard was when a visitor asked one of the gentlemen looking after the car where in Germany their shop was located.  With a humble grin, the Vintech staffer explained that they were located near Versailles in France.
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What a beautiful car.  Thanks much to the Vintech team for bringing it, showing it to the Art Center crowd, and patiently answering any questions.  Vintech is a design firm that operates as part of the D3 Group.
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1974 Lamborghini Countach LP400 at Car Classic

Some cars just need their own post.  At the Art Center College of Design Car Classic on October 25, 2015, the theme was futuristic design.  The staff assembled an impressive assortment of automobiles from many decades, but it would be difficult to think of a car that had the impact of the Lamborghini Countach.  The wedge shape was striking, the scissor doors were dramatic, and it had a 12 cylinder engine. Any model of Countach still turns heads.

This example was a 1974 LP400 – the first production Countach model.  40+ years later, it still has a presence.  The LP400 didn’t have some of the additional wings and flares of later models but it has a very pure shape and the distinctive “Periscopo” rooftop tunnel feature (originally designed to provide vision from a rear view mirror inside the cockpit).  Only 150 or so were built and values have been appreciating.

At Art Center, the car was positioned in nose-to-tail fashion behind a Ferrari La Ferrari.  Decades separate them, but the comparison was compelling.  Thanks much to the owner and Art Center for the look at a special car.

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1997 Nissan R390 GT1 at Art Center Classic

The Art Center College of Design in the hills above the Rose Bowl in Pasadena hosts a car show of sorts known as the “Classic” each year.  The Art Center staff, lead by Stuart Reed – the head of the Transportation Design department – selects a them and invites cars that reflect the theme.  This is a unique show that has unique cars, a chance to mingle with alumni working as designers in the industry, and see the students and their work who will shape the future of transportation design.

Chassis001 will feature several of the cars and exhibits from the 2015 Classic, held on October 25.

Today’s feature?  The 1997 Nissan R390 GT1 that ran at LeMans courtesy of the Nissan Heritage Collection.  The project brought together iconic names like TWR (Tom Walkinshaw) and Ian Callum (of Aston Martin design fame).  The regulations required a road car base, so unlike others who build the race car and reverse-engineered a road car, Nissan build the road car first.  The car was not a success but is remembered fondly by sportscar racing enthusiasts. Of the three cars, only one was classified as a finisher (12th).    #21 was driven by Martin Brundle, Jorg Muller and Wayne Taylor.  It suffered a clutch problem and then an overheating gearbox oil cooler.  In the early morning hours, Jorg Muller damaged the underside of the car running over curbs which added to the car’s problems and forced a retirement.

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Looking for more photos and history?  Check out the Speedhunters three part series from John Brooks:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3