Jay Leno Presents Art Center College’s Lifetime Award to Ron Hill at Annual Pasadena Concours

By Jon Konjoyan

Comedian Jay Leno interviews Ron Hill, honoree at Art Center’s Annual Car Classic.

Ron Hill graduated from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design in the 1950s and went on to become an influential figure in the world of transportation design for more than four decades. He joined General Motors after graduation, where he helped design iconic automotive nameplates like the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, the Pontiac GTO and Firebird, as well as a planned mid-engine Corvette and the second generation Corvair, which Car & Driver called “one of the most handsome cars in the world.”

Hill received The Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award from NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno at its annual car classic on Oct. 21. Meanwhile, about 100 classic and custom cars, motorcycles, and bicycles were displayed on the campus’ hillside grounds. Guests could also tour design studios, prototyping facilities, and art galleries.

Among the examples of automotive treasures on view: a 1937 Cord 812, a ’38 “Teardrop” Talbot Lago, and a 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia. This year’s theme of “Inspired Design” drew a parallel between the vehicles on display and the people who created them. With so many students (and prospective students) in attendance, it’s no doubt that some of these rolling works of art will inspire new generations of designers to create for us a very interesting future.

For more information on Art Center, call (626) 396-2200 or go to artcenter.edu.