An Innovative Idea for an Innovative Company

The 2004 American Specialty Cars Open Air Design Studio was an experimental outreach to find the ‘Next Big Thing’ in open air driving and style. The idea was to stray from the typical convertible roof styling to create a roof design deviating from traditional folding canvas.

a unique four season canopy.

My design took the idea of open air driving one step further to incorporate an open cockpit on a vehicle that has always been closed roof, the semi tractor truck. After initial ideation and demographic polling; I decided to build a concept around a full size truck platform, but using wild forced proportions to create a powerful scaled down semi truck vehicle to be used by the general public. The roof system concept used a forced air design; creating a unique four season canopy.

This concept won ASC’s ‘Most Innovative Design’ for 2004. My 5th scale model and presentation was featured in Detroit Free Press among other periodicals.

Initial concepts centered around the traditional semi-tractor trailer truck. Shown here are modular roof pieces forming both collapsible and stow-able roof sections. While the sliding roof panels and forward sliding external glass was unique; the speedster style trucks with the low cut windshields kept my attention.

Form Follows Function

A design element I wanted to continue through the vehicle was the powerful weighted nose, and the use of open, negative space in the rear that gets balanced by powerful rear wheels and tires.

These final sketches captured the entire essence of the vehicle I wanted to create for this studio. With a silhouette resembling near a high heel shoe; this raised cabin, huge engine, open canopy, and massive dual rear tires and wheels symbolizes the perfect balance of proportions needed to pull off such a design. Style studies included touches on the custom retro market for such an extreme hauler, fitting for ASC and their own Chevrolet SSR pickup.

the perfect balance of proportions needed.

Once this side view sketch was penned and presented, I knew that this is was the final proportion to be used. Note the large use of negative space to balance the
extremely bold and weighted nose section, almost asymmetrically inverted in design.

The rendering to the left shows the added roof rails necessary for the forced air system. Thus allowing that speedster feeling no matter the environment. A frequency cancellation system was to be implemented to remove cabin noise.

A Design Winner

Most Innovative Design Winner.

Shown here is the final marker sketch for the hauler vehicle. A twin turbo charged in line diesel engine powers the monster of vehicle and runs the accessory pumps for the canopy. Below the 1/5th scale clay model can be seen at four and half feet long standing near two feet tall; massive in stature for most all concept models. My completed, award winning model is featured above. Complete with vacuum-formed head lamps and wheels, spun in pieces and adorned with real metal hardware. The model still turns heads to this day and has brought many opportunities.