Ten Questions With: Camilo Pardo

Blue Moose

Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Apr 12, 2006
Nowhere else is it possible to have a discussion with the people directly involved with creating a supercar like the Ford GT. Other makers are half way around the world and speak a different language! (if they are even still alive).

We are all very lucky to have such access to these people through DBK and the forum.

Thank you DBK, Camilo and those who will follow.

What a great group of owners we have:thumbsup


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Mar 29, 2008
kilgore tx
Thanks Dave, great idea


Le Mans 2010 Sponsor * Moderator
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jan 22, 2006
N.E. OH & Naples, FL
Getting these insights really helps to infuse a "soul" into our otherwise inanimate automobiles. Thanks for the idea Dave, and thanks Camilo for your viewpoint and sharing a piece of history.


Well-known member
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jul 22, 2007
Camillo: I met you at the Carlise Ford nationals. It was great to met you and really enjoyed having dinner with you and GT Joey and the rest of the guys.

Kudos to you. You should be proud for designing one of the worlds greatest cars and a car that has become an automotive icon in its own time. Such cars are far and few between.



GT Owner
Aug 18, 2005
Lake Zurich, IL
Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this together. I really enjoyed it. Great idea for a series!


The Favor Factory™
Staff member
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jul 30, 2005
Metro Detroit
Here are ten questions from members of the forum for Camilo Pardo. I tried to choose the ones best suited to his role on the program and the ones I know he's got the most ability to answer:

Ten Questions with Ford GT Chief Designer Camilo Pardo

Ford GT Forum(1): How close was the decision to build the GT vs. the '49 Ford as Ford's choice of it's centennial car?

Camilo Pardo: There was never a decision, you know, to pick the GT or the 49'. The GT was well into it's feasibility. There was two models: feasibility and concept car. The 49' came into the studio and only lasted a few weeks, in the advanced studio for feasibility. There was also the T-bird, considered to be part of that group, the legends group, and the other one was the GR-1 that was going to be coming, and it never made it either.

Ford GT Forum(2): When reflecting back upon the project there had to be many turning points however of all of them which “single” item was changed because of manufacturing issues and or cost that you wish had remained?

Camilo Pardo: We fought heavily over some details, because basically the concept car that came out in 2002 was what the design team wanted. That was, you know, basically if we could have everything. So we lost the second fuel lid. There was a lot of safety issues with that. People said you'll put fuel in the wrong one, and I wanted it to be for washer fluid and they said "look, your windshield will catch on fire!" and all kind of crazy stuff went down.

We fought very hard to not have that rear bumper you know, and we designed it so it could be removed, and look what's happened. I'd love to count how many GT's don't have bumpers on them anymore.

The wheels were probably one of the coolest things on the concept car we couldn't keep. They were very deep and it was a fantastic design. It looked better than both our wheels we have now, but to keep the geometry of the suspension and brakes that was going to be optimum, and you see it on every contemporary car, the wheels are not deep anymore.

Ford GT Forum(3): Why was the exhaust not the bundle of snake design?

Camilo Pardo: We didn't get the bundle of snakes exhaust because Fred made me leave the room. No actually, I went in, it was very early in the development of the package in the engine, and I saw it on the screen. As they rotated the math model I noticed it did not have the exhaust coming over the top. And I expressed you know, my concern to the engineers that that was a very, very key element in the aesthetics of the engine. Configuration you know, and what everyone is expecting to see. And Fred just basically shut it right down.

There was a bit of a discussion there, but Fred was convinced moisture would drip down gravity fed into the ports and cause, you know, corrosion problems in the cylinders. And by the time they had their suspension and everything all laid out, there was no opportunity for the exhaust to come up and over the top.

Ford GT Forum(4): So how come the hot buttons weren’t factory? Was it cost or fear of burnt-bottom lawsuits?

Camilo Pardo: Oh, those things. One thing was that everybody was afraid that in Arizona, when it was 110*, it'd get so hot that you'd come out of the car like a waffle (laughs). And the other part was that, I think there was a safety issue, with a hard part underneath all your weight like that. You want soft foam and leather. You don't want aluminum items under there.

Ford GT Forum: In case of what?

Camilo Pardo: The incredible forces of...whatever, you know. And it's all of Ford's really strict safety requirements. There's a million safety requirements that exceed federal, and Ford wasn't going to be putting anything up against your body. And (someone) said they couldn't be designed and manufactured. And some dude knocked em out, in a MINUTE!

Ford GT Forum(5): When generating a mountain of design sketches for the GT, was there another favorite direction you wanted to see the final design go?

Camilo Pardo:
Actually, there was more of 100 clay iterations. We did a series of sketches and started doing math data really quick. We started milling models, started in scale, briefly jumped in to a full size, and were working a proportional model, working with the engineers, for about a year and a half. And, I mean, it was down to the day we were going to cast the clay for the auto show, where we carved out the shape of the car.

Alot of the sketches were photoshop iterations on how to treat the front end, how much shoulder to have, different graphics, all the vents, the requirements, but I would say that car was 75% designed in clay.

Ford GT Forum(6): What was the most difficult design problem to overcome in keeping the car true to the 1966 GT40?

Camilo Pardo:
It was how modern to make it. That was probably the most challenging part, because all the clays we did prior to the clay that went out to be cast for the concept car were smaller, modern versions of a GT40. And alot of them were package driven, and also, we started off with short overhangs and, you know, the basic surface development we had learned in the 80's, that was contemporary and clean, and everything was designed to grid so it all lined up like an Audi TT and everything was making sense. When you put all that together it didn't look like a GT. It didn't look like a GT40.

Ford GT Forum(7): Were any colors left out?

Camilo Pardo: Yeah. We wanted to keep it simple, but Competition Orange, I thought was going to be cool.

Ford GT Forum: Why did you leave it out?

Camilo Pardo: It just wasn't a GT40 color. It was more of a Mustang color.

Ford GT Forum(8): What was the feeling like driving the first mule around the track?

Camilo Pardo: I drove a 1965 GT40 around Deaborn. It was one of the vehicles we kept in the studio. This one we kept two years. It was the baby blue one that we put the orange graphics on, and it was loud, and it drove like a truck.

But when we finally, I don't know which track it was, it may have been the Dearborn Proving Grounds, where I had to drive, we had to make a video with the concept car and one of the new CP vehicles, and I got to drive them both. Yes, and it's there in the Discovery Channel special. And there's Fred Goodnow and I and everybody and we all got to drive the vehicle and that was absolutely great.

Ford GT Forum(9): I'd like to know if the designers felt like they use any significantly new technology on the GT (besides the pressed aluminum A-arms)?

Camilo Pardo: Yeah, well everything is aluminum, and that's probably the first car Ford has ever put into production that is practically all aluminum. And it is the first time that Ford has put carbon fiber in a production vehicle, and there is carbon fiber under the clamshell, and the frame of the seat. We used different types of aerospace technology for welding and assembly. There was a major involvement in different treatments of aluminum.

Stir welding technology was used that keeps the welding at a very low, low temperature so it doesn't change the property of it. Roll bonding welding on the belly panels was used, that was a very, very interesting technology that makes a flat piece of aluminum very strong by bonding it with another flat and separating it with a carbon or graphite template, and they heat it and blow it up like a waffle.

Ford GT Forum(10): From a design/artist perspective , what Ford product (past or present) do you like best and why?

Camilo Pardo: Before the Ford GT? I liked the European Cosworth Escort. I thought that was a great car. It drove really really really good. I had it for almost three years in Europe. It was the best car, in my opinion, that Ford had internationally.

Now, because of my interests, and I'm not a big SUV guy or a truck guy and all that, I think we did everything that we wanted to do with the Ford GT, and it's going to be a long while before you can beat it.


Well that's it for our first session of Ford GT Forum "Ten Questions with". I hope you enjoy the transcript of Camilo's answers to some of your questions! Very cool stuff! We will soon move to yet another round with another Ford GT Team personality, because honestly, those were great answers and it seems really cool for all the members to be able to throw stuff out there. I'll get someone more suited to answer specific technical stuff. :cheers

Aug 25, 2006
Very nice; I enjoyed the comments Camilo

Thank you



Mark II Lifetime
Jan 28, 2009
Tempe, AZ
Ok. I feel all warm and fuzzy ... really.


That was excellent reading.

Thank you.



Defered Ajudication
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 26, 2008
West Texas
Great addition!

Thank you both for the time and effort.


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Feb 5, 2006
Daytona Beach
GT Program Insights

Dave - THANK YOU for setting this up - what a GREAT idea!

Camilo - Thank YOU for designing such a beautiful automobile, that pays real homage to it's roots, and is refreshingly contemporary at the same time. It is most certainly an absolute, 100% BULLS-EYE for it's intended market! We are deeply indebted to you and the entire GT Team for creating an outstanding tribute to the legend of the Ford GT40.



Well-known member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Nov 3, 2005
Renton, Washington
A Great Read.

Thank You Mr. Pardo.

:cheers My Friend.


Active member
Sep 19, 2009
Thanks to DBK and Camilo. Where can I buy some of your art?


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Oct 24, 2005
Camillo already answered my question .My question was how cool is it driving the car you designed ?
Response ;Very cool !!!
Yup that must be be very fricken cool !!
PS Camillo what were those 4 things to remember for track driving ?
Vision ,smoothness ,line and focus !!


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Mar 4, 2008
Thanks DBK and Camilo. Great idea and very informative answers.


Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Enjoyed this immensely:thumbsup Keep em coming:cheers


Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Very enjoyable reading, Thanks Camilo. This type of information makes this Forum even more entertaining. Tomy


GTX1 Owner/Moderator
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Dec 15, 2006
Nev./So. Cal./Minn.
+1000 great idea, and a very enjoyable read! Perhaps in the future there will be interviews with other members of the "team".


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 3, 2007
Northern California
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.


GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Oct 1, 2006
Saddlebrooke, MO
Thanks to both of you! Creative idea and informative to know "the rest of the story."


Well-known member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Nov 3, 2005
Renton, Washington
Camillo already answered my question .My question was how cool is it driving the car you designed ?
Response ;Very cool !!!
Yup that must be be very fricken cool !!
PS Camillo what were those 4 things to remember for track driving ?
Vision ,smoothness ,line and focus !!

Ron - those same words apply to his GT design excellence.:cheers