Over the weekend of August 15th, 2015, the renowned classic car show, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, hosted the 2nd Annual Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum, which featured inspiring and enlightening panel discussions with the head designers of Tesla, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bugatti, Touring Superleggera, and other esteemed luxury automobiles.
About The Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum
Presented by Credit Suisse and held in a tent overlooking the Spanish Bay Golf Links at Pebble Beach Resorts, the Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum covered a range of topics that interested both car collectors and auto aficionados.
Forums held throughout the weekend ranged from “The Future of Luxury Automobiles” and “Restoration Techniques for Fabric-Bodied Bentleys” to “The Callum Brothers Talk Design with Industry Icons”, and other automobile-focused panel discussions.
To touch on the subject of the future of luxury automobiles, Tim McGrane (Executive Director of the Blackhawk Automotive Museum) moderated a panel discussion with the Director of Design at Bugatti, Achim Anscheidt (pictured above), Head of Design at Touring Superleggera, Louis de Fabribeckers (pictured below), and Director of Design at Aston Martin, Marek Reichman.
The designers were asked how they make updates to the automobiles they design, while still preserving the heritage of a brand’s signature elements. In response, Achim Anscheidt stated, “In order to look forward, you also have to be able to look back.” He went on to say, “Luxury today is personal. How do we, as a brand, tailor things to that customer and create an experience that money can’t buy?!”
Being the head designer for bespoke custom luxury automobiles produced by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, Louis de Fabribeckers shared his viewpoint on the term luxury by stating, “Luxury is not something you need, but it could be an experience; and, in our business, it’s all about the experience.”
The Director of Design at Aston Martin, Marek Reichman, explained his perspective on luxury by stating, “It’s a desire that you quite often can’t resist. Luxury is care, time, and passion.”
He continued by explaining how passion drives creation by saying, “When designers and engineers are passionate about what they do, they’re always thinking about it. It’s a part of your life, it’s not a job. This passion comes out in what we do.”
When discussing paradigm shifts in automobile design, Jaguar’s Head Designer, Ian Callum (pictured below) asked Tesla Motor’s Chief Designer, Franz Von Holzhausen (pictured above) to share his perspective about the future advancements in automotive design that will have to happen as society changes.
Franz explained Tesla’s approach to creating an electronic car that appeals to consumers by saying, “We used design to not only improve efficiency, but also to create something people would be attracted to, and even maybe look at from a far, to get them thinking about other choices.”
For this reason, Tesla made the choice to design contemporary luxury automobiles with a more traditional appearance, rather than coming across as futuristic. While early adopters could get excited about futuristic cars, most consumers would be more reluctant to jump on board.
The conversations continued throughout the weekend, as automotive industry leaders and experts gathered in Pebble Beach to discuss the future of luxury automobiles, and how technological innovations (such as electric propulsion systems and electronic control panels) will play a major role in the automobile design process as we move into the future.
To learn more about Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum, check out Inspirations & Celebrations’ coverage of past #PebbleConcours events.