This week, Detroit’s own Camilo Pardo was the featured guest on “Jay Leno’s Garage”, a prime-time television series about motor vehicles, starring Jay Leno.
The episode largely focussed upon Leno’s 2005 Ford GT, a project on which Pardo served as Chief Designer. Throughout the interview, Pardo discusses the challenges associated with updating a classic car while meeting modern safety standards, stories of heated arguments with engineers, and the pressures of competing with Ferrari.
At one point, Pardo details his experience arguing for his particular door design, which mimics the shape of the original 1967 GT-40:
“Lots of parts of the car have their story, but the door story was a heavy one, because you couldn’t full-open a door with a car parked next to it. So that was a huge issue, and I was out there measuring parking lots and distances … Everybody that was important in the company hit their head on it: Bill Ford, Jack Nassar, Jay Mayes, all of them. Makes you really nervous because you’re trying to get a green light from this guy.”
Pardo continued with another amusing story about receiving critique from racing legend Niki Lauda, who was leading the Jaguar team at the time.
“He told us paddle shifts is the only way to go right now. But, he respected the [stick] shifter. He had some things to say, and that guy doesn’t hold anything back […] He goes, ‘Why did you do that?’ [referring to the Pardo’s air scoop design] ‘It looks like shit!'”
Watch the full interview above, and check out more available works by Camilo Pardo HERE!