I had the wonderful opportunity on November 15th to hear a lecture by Designer, Educator and Automotive Historian Raffi Minasian as he explored the fusion of transportation, mobile devices and nanotechnology in automobiles from the past and into the distant future. The Blackhawk Museum audience indeed brought your imagination, dreams, doubts and speculations to the open discussion period and the marvelous tour of the main floor of the museum.
Listen as he offers an explanation of how socio-economic status affected car design in the early 20th century.
Even head shape and hair styles of the wealthy informed car design.
I was most fascinated with his explanation about how the music we listen to has influenced automotive design–with the Swing, Jazz, even Hip Hop rhythms mirrored in the lines of cars produced in their eras.
Raffi’s website is filled with examples of his design portfolio, not only in the the automotive field, but in model cars, toys, and mementos offered by the Franklin mint. An award winning artist and published illustrator, Raffi has taught illustration and design at several noted universities. In 2003 he returned to his roots as a “hands on” designer working on freelance projects. Today, in addition to his ongoing product design work, Raffi manufactures specialty parts for the classic and muscle car aftermarket as well as custom parts for hot rods and customs.
Designed and built to echo the styling of 60’s era sports cars, this fully functional prototype is powered by a 500 hp mid engine with twin turbochargers. This prototype debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Expo in 1983 alongside the original 1953 Pegaso “Thrill Z-102”.
The fiberglass body, steel frame, cast aluminum wheels, and complete interior were hand fabricated over a period of five years. Two additional prototypes were made with various configurations for testing and engineering evaluation. This unique prototype was featured in advertising and packaging for Infinity Car Stereos.