The EyesOn Design charity car show this weekend in the Detroit area will bestow a lifetime achievement award on artist Syd Mead, who was briefly a designer at Ford but became famous for the wildly visionary scene settings he created in Hollywood.
The "visual futurist" who turns 84 next month drew architectural and automotive settings for such films as TRON, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Aliens, Timecop, Johnny Mnemonic and Mission: Impossible III.
But it was Blade Runner that put Mead on the map. Who can forget the flying spinner vehicles in the 1982 sci-fi classic? His fantastic crafts and their futuristic surroundings helped make Mead a hero among many car designers.
"He was not just designing cars, he was designing an entire world," said Kevin Hunter, head of Toyota's Calty studio in California. "He's probably done more to inspire car designers than any car designer in the world."