A prestigious group of top automotive designers chose Wayne Cherry, former General Motors vice president of Design, as the winner of the 2013 Lifetime Design Achievement Award for his career in vehicle design. The award was presented to Cherry at the Vision Honored gala, held June 14 at the GM Heritage Center.
The award is given annually by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO). Only vehicle designers who have previously won the award are allowed to vote. Previous GM winners include Chuck Jordan, former vice president of Design and Robert Lutz, former vice chairman of Global Product Development. Lutz presented Cherry with his award.
Ed Welburn, GM’s current vice president of Global Product Development, welcomed the guests at Vision Honored, and congratulated Cherry on his career accomplishments.
The Heritage Center arranged a special display of concept vehicles produced under the auspices of Cherry, including the Autonomy, Solstice, Sky, Curve, Bengal, SSR, Cien, Evoq, Recon, Chevrolet SS, Velite, Nomad, H2, H3T, Cheyenne and Terra 4. The Cadillac Sixteen was featured on the outside dais of the Heritage Center.
Cherry, who was only the fifth vice president of Design in General Motors’ history, joined GM in 1962. He was a member of the teams that developed GM’s first front wheel-drive vehicle, the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, and the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. Both vehicles are part of the GM Heritage Collection and are typically featured at the Heritage Center.
He was transferred to GM' British operations, Vauxhall Motors, then became director of Design at GM’s Opel Design Centre in Germany. During his tenure, Opel became number one in European sales.
He returned to the U.S. in 1991 and was named General Motors' Vice President of Design worldwide in 1992.
Since retiring from GM in 2004, Cherry has continued to design cars, including the VSR Concept Sports rod, expressing the Cadillac design genre and powered by a 400-horsepower Cadillac V-series engine. The vehicle was on part of the Cherry display at the Vision Honored gala.
DIO’s EyesOn Design hosts a week of activities, including the Vision Honored gala. The week culminates in an annual automobile design show, held every Father’s Day on the grounds of the lakefront Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.
EyesOn Design is unique among auto shows in celebrating design, not vehicle rarity, restoration or celebrity ownership. As a benefit for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, EyesOn Design is a major source of revenue for the DIO’s research, education and support group programs for the visually impaired. For more information, visit www.eyeson.org.