GM Design’s Tom Peters honored by Art Center College of Design
Tom Peter’s history at GM Design comprises more than 30 years spent creating some of General Motors’ most iconic vehicles. This year, Peters was the lead of the exterior studio teams behind two of GM’s most important vehicle introductions: the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup and the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Last October, Peters was presented with a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater, the Art Center College of Design, a school that has build a reputation for itself at the international forefront of design and art education for over 80 years. This lifetime achievement award honors Peters for his outstanding history with GM.
Peters, currently the director of exterior design for performance cars, accepted the award from the chair of the college’s Transportation Design Department, Stewart Reed. “Tonight Show” host and prodigious car collector Jay Leno was also at the ceremony to help present the award.
“Through your efforts to promote the very best in automotive design as seen in examples like the 2014 Corvette Stingray, you continue to represent Art Center in the best way possible and serve as an inspiration for our graduates following in your footsteps,” said Stewart Reed.
After Peters graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 1980, he worked briefly at GM before spending two years working with Texas Instruments. After the stint at Texas Instruments, he again returned to GM in 1982. Throughout his long and successful career at GM, he has added many memorable concepts to his portfolio, including the Buick Velite, the Cadillac Sixteen, the Corvette Indy show car, and the Pontiac Banshee. He was also involved with production vehicles like the current-generation Camaro, the Corvette C6 and C7, as well as GMC and Chevrolet’s new full-size SUVs and pickup trucks.
“The list of Art Center alumni at GM is long, but Tom Peters is without a doubt the most visionary designer I have ever known or worked with in my more than 40 years at GM,” vice president of GM Global Design Ed Welburn wrote in a letter that was read at the event celebrating the award. “The men and women who work for Tom share his desire and thirst for winning, and they create incredibly spirited designs.”
Welburn did not only have complimentary things to say about Tom Peters’ history at GM, he also expressed his high hopes for the designer’s future. “Tom has had an impressive career…let’s not forget that he has plenty more to do in the years to come as a valued member of the GM Global Design team,” wrote Welburn.
For more than a decade, Peters had dreamed of bringing back the Corvette Stingray as one of his personal career goals. When he had the chance to do so, he acknowledged the intense scrutiny that came with the task of working on an icon like the Corvette. He found inspiration from looking back into his childhood infatuation with the 1963 Corvettes that a schoolmate’s father owned.
“My focus customer was going to be that 9-, 11-, 12-year-old kid,” Peters told an interviewer earlier this year. “Kids don’t know and don’t care about what’s traditional. When I see kids look at it and point, stop what they’re doing and they go ‘Stingraaaay,’ that’s when I know we got it.”
With his true love of GM vehicles and talent for design, Peters will surely add many more success stories to his portfolio in the years to come.
This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio. http://www.jackmaxton.com