Building a Relationship
I started working for VACCAR as an outside concept artist in late 2009 for the 2010 Model year. Then, it was called Aaron Vaccar signature series which was a styling house and coach works facility located out of Northeast Ohio. Aaron Vaccar being the young entrepreneur behind the name and projects. It was my job to bring their ideas to life via photo realistic rendering and manipulation.
Winning the bid would secure the vehicle for the coach builder to promote the builder, the OEM, and the aftermarket suppliers.
These renderings were then submitted along with a written proposal to the participating manufactures who were entertaining bids on custom vehicle production based on next model year cars for the annual SEMA show. Winning the bid would secure the vehicle for the coach builder to promote the builder, the OEM, and the aftermarket suppliers.
The 2010 Ford Fusion was my first attempt to secure a vehicle for VACCAR and was met with great success!
The completed Ford Fusion featured a unique color scheme, wheels, custom turbocharger system and interior upgrades. Although final decisions during the build made for some variance from the original promotional rendering, the build was extremely well received and set the pace for the next five years to follow!
A design award winner
A design award winner, the Fusion was featured exclusively by the Ford Motor company for display in their main showcase. The build was also featured on Autoblog and a host of other current event based automotive websites.
For 2011, we took our success and ran with it. Instead of just a single pitch to the Ford Motor company, we decided to make proposals to include General Motors and Honda. Although it is difficult for a new-to-the-scene builder to secure the limited higher end and expensive builds, we were determined to get ourselves noticed through my artwork whether we won the promotion or not.
we were determined to get ourselves noticed through my artwork whether we won the promotion or not.
Shown here was a take on the then new Camaro convertible, shown in a triple candy paint, a custom interior and turbo kit. Proposals were also made on the Sonic vehicles. A unique twist on a heritage based Mustang convertible; again shown with a power adder, a custom F150, and a matte black VIP style Lincoln MKS rounded out the additional promotions to Ford. Honda was sent a twist on the new CRZ two door hybrid model.
Our final proposal to Ford was a Fiesta concept featuring a matte silver paint and the European spec front end conversion. An ‘active lifestyle’ promotion showed a custom bike rack and color scheme matching single speed road bike. Matching matte black wheels and headlight bezels were to give the Fiesta a more macho look, while red outlines on the wheels promoted a racy feel.
Like most of the builds, certain aspects were changed by the time it made final production; but the Fiesta was again a noted show winner and placed on display with Ford. Although we were not able to secure a GM product; our efforts did not go unnoticed and put us on track for the next build year.
The following year brought another round of proposals to both GM and Ford Motor Companies. For this year we claimed three factory builds, an Escape SUV from Ford, a Focus sedan, and a Spark hybrid from General Motors. A third build was produced when a relative had passed on a Cadillac Eldorado. The ‘Club’ Cadillac was used as a play on both the ‘clubbing’ or party scene of today’s youth and also to promote a long time sponsor; The Club, a theft deterrent device.
All three builds for 2012 were a huge success in each of their rights.
The spark was one of two vehicles promoted to have a matching drum kit to go along with the car, bringing an all new take on ‘mobile entertainment’. A touring styled Fusion along with a Mustang convertible concept based on the outgoing SS Camaro rendering was also sent to Dearborn, MI for review.
All three builds for 2012 were a huge success in each of their rights. The Rock n’ Spark concept opened up new doors at GM for future builds, while further promoting our social youth platforms. The Urban Adventurer Escape and the Nightstalker Focus paved the way for yet another year of successful partnerships with the Ford Motor Company and showed that we were ready to take on the higher end vehicle lines. Used as a continuous promotional tool, the Escape also served as a company vehicle for VACCAR.
The Club Cadillac is still being used a marketing tool for VACCAR and The Club making rounds on the annual show circuit.
2012 also brought the name change from Aaron Vaccar signature series, to VACCAR; in an attempt to brand a lifestyle design outfit versus a promotional vehicle company.
VACCAR had a different outlook going into 2013 with the name change and branding goals. Although again multiple concepts were submitted to both Ford Motor Company and General Motors for this year; we were ultimately hoping to be granted the award for a Ford Transit Vehicle to help promote the new Blood and Grease line of clothing. Blood and Grease was the first of a new campaign to have the VACCAR name plate reach more potential youth customers on an individual or social level.
For the first time, the company was going to be building a vehicle to span multiple business ideas.
Our hard work paid off that year with the bid for the new Transit vehicle being awarded to VACCAR. We would now not only have a promotional item for VACCAR but also something to directly tie the Blood and Grease clothing line at every venue.
For the first time, the company was going to be building a vehicle to span multiple business ideas, and the execution of the build was to be crucial to the success of each. The Blood and Grease Transit Delivery lived up to its name for delivering outstanding results in both promoting the VACCAR and clothing lines. The vehicle release was also coordinated with the launch of the Blood and Grease social media site in which like minded builders and general automotive community can gather and share builds and ideas. The transit delivery vehicle continues to be a huge asset to VACCAR today as it routinely can be found being used for special activities / VIP shuttle service with Disney World in the Orlando area, the new home of VACCAR.
A new Home
The 2014 concept year brought many changes with the VACCAR brand. The biggest was a relocation from Northeast Ohio, to Orlando Florida where a new headquarters and design studio is currently under development. We hope to see big changes in the future for both vehicle outcome and overall growth in each business model.
now one of Ford Motor Company’s go-to builders annually.
Despite big internal changes, we made submissions to both Ford, Honda and Mercedes Benz for this year. We were able to attain a build for the current Explorer platform as we are now one of Ford Motor Company’s go-to builders annually. The Whitefall Expedition can be found at SEMA this year along with the rest of the VACCAR series vehicles. We also succeeded in clenching a last minute opportunity with Mercedes Benz.
An exciting new venture with VACCAR is the 2014-2015 partnership with Mercedes Benz as this will be the first truly high end marque that will be outfitted with the signature VACCAR touches. The rendering shows a twist on the brand that is abstract from its usual business-like settings. An outdoors theme version will feature a pop up roof based tent, all color matched to a nature toned exterior in color selection and trim. A full working kitchen is to be installed in the cargo area and will include a working sink, flat top stove element, a recessed flat screen and entertainment system along with a selection of cabinets finished to compliment the vehicle trim color.
Also shown to the right is the 2014 Whitefall Expedition parked outside Ford’s off road display at the Las Vegas based SEMA show.
A new manufacture joined the SEMA ranks though the 2016 year, Hyundai. For 2015 Vaccar sent proposals to both Ford and Honda Motor Companies in efforts to gain more OEM awarded vehicles. We saw huge success in 2015 with the Ford Edge. Not only did we gain the vehicle, but my rendering was used by Ford as their sole SEMA promotion imagery with it set as the background on their company website.
The Edge is still widely used today for Vaccar brand promotion and was invited into the 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour by SEMA’s ‘Young Executive’s Network’. Although I remain behind the scenes, I am very proud of my accomplishments with Vaccar. The 2016 SEMA production year was just about to hit full swing here as we currently awaited answers from Ford, Hyundai, and Honda for the big fall show here in November. Annual submittals still total around 3-6 per OEM, each carrying their own unique themes. 2016 yielded 2-3 vehicles to be built this season.
I have helped the Vaccar team make the vaunted 35 under 35 for featured SEMA builders.
Shown here is the 2015 Edge out in public as it has been touring the country along with the Hot Rod Power Tour. I have also found that I have helped the Vaccar team make the vaunted 35 under 35 for featured builders that was just recently released. I expect nothing less than substantial growth in the future as Vaccar grows larger and larger.
2016 and 2017 have been whirlwind years, as we secured more build from Ford and Hyundai including our Veloster proposal. Although we can’t show you 2017 yet; stay tuned with VACCAR as we release towards November of this year for another success at SEMA!