Rolling Gems

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car at the EyesOn Design event
Courtesy of the EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition

Car enthusiasts looking for some stunning rolling sculpture normally would have headed to the Ford House, the historic estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford, on Jefferson Avenue in Grosse Pointe Shores on June 21 for the 33rd annual EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition. This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has intervened and the event was moved to Father’s Day 2021.

Instead on this Father’s Day, the first-ever “EyesOn Design Sunday Drive: A Father’s Day Pop-Up Event” will take place.

“This will be a casual, with-regular-traffic event,” says Kathy Pecar Lightbody, chairperson of EyesOn Design. “We are allowing 200 cars to come into the Ford House grounds to have their picture taken in front of the estate. Other cars are welcome to make rounds along Lake Shore Drive at their leisure between 2 and 4 p.m., roughly between the Grosse Pointe War Memorial and the Ford House. This should also make a splendid opportunity for spectators who want to watch the cars drive along beautiful Lake St Clair.”

The theme for the Sunday Drive, is the same as it would have been for the full event: Marques of Extinction: Significant Designs of Bygone Brands. Registration for the Sunday Drive is full due to popular demand. Only pre-registered cars may enter the Ford House property June 21. There is no other public access to the estate that day.

Owners of those 200 historic cars can catch a glimpse of the new visitor center under construction on the grounds of Ford House. Construction has resumed after a pause due to the pandemic. A new date for opening has not been determined.

Officials at the mansion say the new 40,000-square-foot visitor center reflects the Cotswold-style architecture of the historic buildings, incorporating a slate roof, limestone exterior, copper gutters, and other features inspired by the main residence. In addition, the interior draws inspiration from the sleek, rich, contemporary feel of the modern rooms in the Fords’ home, which were designed by Walter Teague in the 1930s.

Highlights will include a lobby, an education wing, exhibition space featuring Ford family exhibits, a one-of-a-kind car exhibit, event space, retail space, and The Continental restaurant with views of Lake St. Clair.

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