DB: Where are you?
CP: Somewhere outside of Salt Lake City. I’m driving my Ford GT to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The drive from Detroit to Utah is boring, but from Utah to Pebble Beach is amazing. I keep my GT at a detail shop in Utah during the winter.
DB: What happens at Concours?
CP: I’ve been going since 2003, when we introduced the concept for the Ford GT. I got to know Gordon McCall, who hosts the Automotive Revival Party on Wednesday of Concours week. All the car designers go, and that’s where I got to know Carroll Shelby and I started working with him.
DB: What’s that like?
CP: I love working with Shelby American. I’ve done art cars for them, designed their racing trailers, event posters, and all different kinds of cool projects. Overall, I create paintings, silk screen prints, event posters, art cars, sculpture furniture, sculptures, and fashion.
DB: Do you miss Ford?
CP: I do. It was a fun place to work, and in the Design Studio (in Dearborn) I had an office, like the other designers, that looked into a courtyard. I remember one time we were showing off a number of concept cars to some different people and they set up a bar in my office. I kept kidding the bartenders that they could leave early and leave all the liquor behind.
DB: You’re also designing aircraft in Detroit?
CP: Yes, my good friend, Jon Rimanelli, owns Detroit Aircraft and Airspace Experience Technologies, or ASX for short. I’ve designed (the exterior of) all of his test aircraft models. I can’t wait to design his aerial taxis.
DB: What’s next?
CP: I’m designing a poster for a pre-release party for “Ford vs. Ferrari.” (Set for public release on Nov. 15.) The party will be in Gardena, near L.A. I also continue to visit different race courses like Sonoma Raceway and Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly Miller Motorsports Park). I like Miller because it’s like Le Mans. It’s a 4.6-mile track, it’s not so long you can’t remember the corners, and you can get up to 180 mph on the straightaway.