Montrealer becomes Chrysler's new head pen
The passing of the design torch at Chrysler has finally happened: as of this Labour Day, former Montrealer Ralph Gilles will take over from current Veep of Design, Trevor Creed, who retires after coming over from Ford 23 years ago.
Credited with the groundbreaking 300C design in 2004, Gilles moved on to head up the Jeep, truck and advanced interior design at Chrysler.
In addition to this year's all-new Ram pickup and last year's new minivans, Gilles has also been the driving force behind making Chrysler's interiors seem less Toys R Us-like.
Hopefully the rarefied air in his new executive office doesn't stop Gilles from putting on the Nomex. Besides his Canadian roots and creative talents, Gilles is a racer at heart.
The highlight of his car barn is his Viper he often exercises at club events (that's Gilles in the video below, breaking in a new SRT10 ACR.)
He's also a One Lap of America veteran and was one of my teammates in his second run at Targa Newfoundland in 2006, above. (He'll be back on the Rock again this year in a Challenger SRT8, along with your's truly in a Mitsubishi Ralliart—but that's another blog for another time.)
Maybe the best news here: if anyone can fix the Sebring's looks, it's Gilles...