A peek inside Ford GT designer Camilo Pardo's Detroit studio

Car art writ large in downtown Detroit.

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This is Camilo Pardo's studio. It's a bit messy, he says. He just had a show in the space.

An artist this busy gets a pass. Pardo works, a lot. The studio was full of commissioned pieces in various states of completion as well as a huge calendar-like reminder of all the to-be-started commissions he needs to crank out in the next few weeks.

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If the name sounds familiar, it's because Pardo was the design guy behind the Ford GT that became the domestic-bedroom-poster answer to the F40s and Diablos of the decade preceding it. Pardo directed a team of designers and engineers to bang out the GT on a shoestring. The result was a convoluted development process—or at least, it would have been had Pardo not directed resources shrewdly and used his engineers to hack the normal sketch-to-production process.

But that's beside the point. Pardo is first and foremost an artist in demand, and his building (there's a ballroom upstairs) in downtown Detroit is full of the kind of things that he likes to work with. There's an OG Fiat 500 in a corner with half a chromed mannequin next to it. GTs pose on canvasses with World War II planes. Picturesque painting tables litter the room.

Take a quick spin through Pardo's workspace.

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