A Ford GT Supercar — For $25000? – Forbes
Camilo Pardo, the edgy automotive and industrial designer who was chief stylist for the increasingly revered, second-generation (2005-06) Ford GT supercar, is accustomed to being pursued by a wide variety of interests seeking a linkup with his unique design expressionism.
So it was big news last week when Pardo, participating in a design session at an automotive-industry conference in northern Michigan, prodded an executive from Local Motors for an opportunity to style a car for the radical startup company that last fall wowed the world with the first-ever 3D-printed car.
“I’d really like to design a car for you,” enthused Pardo after absorbing a fascinating presentation by Local Motors chief strategy officer Justin Fishkin that detailed the company’s radical manufacturing process that can “build” an entire car (sans engine and about 50 other major components like wiring, lights and wheels), layer-by-layer, from carbon-infused plastic squirted out with digital precision by a large-scale 3D printer.
After first demonstrating it’s possible to build a car with a 3D-printer, Phoenix-based Local Motors, which is funded by several dozen private investors, said last week it plans to make street-legal models available for sale within the next 24 months. The company will do so in tidy “microfactories,” four of which already exist in the U.S. The process is becoming so quick and efficient, Fishkin said, that you could have the car built practically while you wait.
Okay, now look – a Pardo-designed, Local Motors-built (printed?) car wouldn’t have the performance of a Ford GT. Right now, Local Motors isn’t saying much about what kind of powerplants will be available, but since it plans to sell its digitally manufactured cars for the price of a conventional economy car, you can’t expect exotic performance.
But you can bet that Pardo – whose admitted chief design influences are Sixties and Seventies sportscars and Detroit musclecars – would make the thing damn good-looking regardless of the price. Beyond that, there there would be a lot to say for the cachet of driving a car – any car – designed by Camilo Pardo.
Moreover, line up for a Local Motors car and you might be able to drive several models designed by Pardo – for more or less the same investment. Fishkin says Local’s process is so flexible and low-cost, if you grow tired of your current car, you could bring it to one of the company’s microfactories where it could be melted down (about 80 percent of the car’s material could be recycled) and re-printed with an entirely new body style.