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Designed for Speed

Fundraiser for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology

Initially, the idea was to have a car show in a small office parking lot as a fundraiser for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology in Grosse Pointe Park.

Then the design vice-presidents at Chrysler, Ford and General Motors got involved.

Now, more than three decades later, the event has grown into one of America’s top five car shows, according to USA Today, and “one of the best outdoor car events worldwide,” in the words of Car & Driver magazine.

This year’s 35th annual EyesOn Design event resumes its traditional calendar date – Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19 – and will again be held at its traditional site, the spacious grounds of the Ford House, overlooking Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Spread across the large lawn in front of the 60-room National Historic Landmark mansion, the event will showcase more than 150 of the best-looking vehicles of their eras in their classes.

The theme for this year’s show is “Designed for Speed,” celebrating the beauty and design of racing cars through the decades.

These range from early racers of the 1920s to Indianapolis 500 roadsters and classic NASCAR sedans and from winning sports cars to drag racers and street racers.

One category will also display the evolution of the Ford GT, from its first version in 1963 through the 2017 production edition. Early versions of the car are famed for winning the 24-hour Le Mans race in France four years in a row in the 1960s.

Several Chevrolet Corvettes racers that competed at Le Mans will also be shown, along with a one-of-a-kind Corvette, the first to sport a V8 engine in 1955.

The theme for the show is captured in this year’s poster, an impressionistic rendering of a sleek blue 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe. The car was designed by the legendary Peter Brock, who is this year’s Lifetime Design Achievement honoree, as selected by the previous designers who won the award.

The show will display a group of Brock-designed cars, including an exact replica of the poster car, plus the 1959 Corvette Stingray racer seen for the past two years in a Detroit Institute of Arts exhibit, and a spectacular Triumph TR250KR racer, among others.

The car show is the final event of the weekend’s activities, which include a Friday driving tour for enthusiasts on a winding route in southeastern Michigan and the Vision Honored event honoring Brock that evening at the M1 Concourse, a private test rack and garage complex in Pontiac.

Saturday, June 18 brings a design symposium at the GM Design Dome in Warren and an evening “meet-and-greet” with Brock and Corvette designers at the GM Heritage Center.

Sunday also features an elegant Private Eyes brunch for designers, car owners and enthusiasts.

The show honors its unique mission in another aspect – having a category of cars rated by visually-impaired judges wearing white gloves who select their winner by touch.

The car show is 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Father’s Day. Show tickets are $35. Admission is free to active duty military and kids under 12 with an adult.

All other events are limited capacity and by reservation only. Visit for tickets or call 313.824.4710.

The events are a fundraiser for the non-profit DIO, a part of Henry Ford Health’s Department of Ophthalmology.