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Visually-impaired inspectors show skills on Media Day for EyesOn Design

The EyesOn Design Car Show is known worldwide for its creative focus on design themes. Aside from the usual cars and interviews, a special segment on Media Preview Day showed two visually-impaired inspectors feeling gaps, fits and finishes with white gloves a 1948 Fiat Topolino 500.


In preparation for the 24th annual event, which takes place on Father’s Day, this Sunday, June 19, 2011 on the grounds of the historic Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, the media was given a special moment that exuded silence, respect and wonder.

While the annual Father’s Day show will feature more than 200 by-invitation-only domestic and foreign vehicles selected for their unique avant-garde designs, it is easy for those who can see to appreciate how the focus of the show is shared with those who are visually impaired.

My own closest experience with visual impairment was my wife’s childhood friend, Sue (or “blind Sue” as she referred to herself) whenever she called on the phone. She was an extraordinary individual.

Oftentimes we would talk for an hour discussing world events as we waited for Judi to return home. Fact is, Sue was better versed on world events than many people I know.

Unfortunately, her diabetes caught up with her and she passed away this past winter. I actually missed her calls and visiting her when she needed occasional help. She was indeed independent.

The exhibition at Media Day by Nino and Marie Pacini brought about a special moment, and immediately took me back to those who used to work at Holley Carburetor during the early years. My old design mentor, Tony DiGiovanni, told me how visually-impaired inspectors literally checked parts with feeler gages, while their seeing-eye dogs sat beside them. They gave productivity and quality a whole new level of meaning.

For the record, The Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO) is the primary recipient at the EyesOn Design events. It is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in Grosse Point Park, MI founded by Dr. Philip Hessburg; and extremely devoted to matters pertaining to vision and the eye.

The DIO provides support services for the visually impaired through various support groups. In addition, the Institute’s research efforts center on two international research congresses; The Eye and The Chip and The Eye and The Auto.

The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House grounds are located at 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.

Admission is $20 per person. Children 12 and under are free with adult. Active duty military may enter free with ID.

For the record, the theme for this year’s show is “Designing for the Future.”

Event Honors

The volunteer General Chairman for the 2011 EyesOn Design weekend is Frank Valdez. With over two decades of experience at Meadowbrook and other shows, he is one of the most experienced car show executives in the Midwest.

The honorary chairman is Ken Lingenfelter, owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Lingenfelter Motor Sports and The Lingenfelter Collection.

The Head of Vehicle Selection Committee, 2011 EyesOn Design is Werner Meier.

Furthermore, this year’s show will present a Lifetime Design Achievement Award to Walter de’Silva, the head of Volkswagen.

[Photo Source: Frank Sherosky,]

About the Reporter: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks, futures and writes articles, books and ebooks like, "Perfecting Corporate Character," "Awaken Your Speculator Mind", and "Millennial World Order" via He may be contacted here by email: [email protected]
Additional Reading:
Media Day Preview a success for 2011 EyesOn Design
Audi A6 wins EyesOn Design Award for Best Production at 2011 NAIAS
Future vision belongs to students at 2011 Detroit Auto Show
Watching the Detroit Auto Show with design engineering eyes
Porsche 918 RSR wins EyesOn Design Best Concept at 2011 NAIAS