Dick Ruzzin was the Director of Design for Chevrolet and for GM of Europe, among many other design assignments, during his rich career spanning from 1964 to 1979. A true car guy, Ruzzin also owns the world’s only Corvette-powered DeThomaso Mangusta built by the factory, and loves the car so much, that after he retired, he wrote a book about it, Bella Mangusta. During his career, Ruzzin worked on over 140 cars including the Opel Maxx, which inspired the Swatch Car. He also worked on displays, parade floats, furniture, and graphics used in the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise. His illustrious career included work for GM on several ‘cars of the future’ and concept cars. Below are some of his works that are on display at the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan.
ABOVE: In 1972 Hank Haga, Chief Designer at the Corvette Studio, asked Ruzzin to do a sketch of a Corvette“with Italian design character”. Such a request was not typical, the design program was hierarchical and it should have gone through Ruzzin’s boss at the time. Nevertheless Ruzzin finished the sketch. Only years later would he learn that Haga was trying to get Ruzzin assigned to his studio. It was not to be, however, this would be the only Corvette sketch Ruzzin ever produced.
BELOW: A sport coupe designed in 1967 for Buick.
ABOVE: A very realistic-looking scale model of the TASC4GT, GMs Open-designed car of the future, back in 1971. Dick Ruzzin did much of the early design work. TASC stands for Total Automotive System Concept, but the car was also known as the “X-Car”. It saw some car shows, but never made it to production.
BELOW: Ruzzin did this Pontiac Grand Prix concept sketch in 1968. When Bill Mitchell saw it, he told Ruzzin “You know, I can tell how you drive by how you sketch.”
ABOVE: Dick Ruzzin was working in the Overseas Design Studio (GM of Europe) as Assistant Chief Designer when he sketched this in 1967. This Chevrolet Impala concept was typical of Ruzzin’s style, with dynamic angles, vivid colors and high drama.
BELOW: This is a concept for a Chevrolet modular sports car from 1979.
ABOVE: These GM Designs by Dick Ruzzin done in 1974 depict futuristic concept car front end treatments differentiated by division. See if you can tell which is which.