Interview with Ford designer Earl Lucas

We have been privileged to be able to chat with the Earl Lucas, Design Manager for the sixth-generation Ford Taurus. We picked the brain of this Ford Motor Company design guru and Earl shared his thoughts with us.

CF – You’ve made a name for yourself for designing the 2010 Ford Taurus. Were you involved with the design process of other Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicles?

EARL – I have worked on a number programs including the interiors for the current Ford Flex, first generation Ford Edge, first generation MK X and 2000 Lincoln Navigator. I have a new Lincoln coming soon but I am very proud to say I even worked on the 2003 Ford F150, where I assisted on the exterior and interior. Being from Texas, working on this project is still one of my big accomplishments.
CF – Before joining Ford Motor Company what other companies have you worked for and did it help prepare you for The Blue Oval?

EARL – Before Ford Motor, I worked for Reese Design, which is a small design firm in Austin, Texas where I designed airplane interiors for the Sultan of Brunei. Cool Job! Designing for the wealthy has it perks! LOL. Before Reese, I worked for Lear Corporation where I did car interiors. This was all good work to prepare me for Ford.

CF – Have you always been gifted with creativity?

EARL – As a kid I was very creative and did drawings all the time.

CF – Did you attend College or receive any formal training?

EARL – I attended College for Creative Studies; a design school in Detroit where I was shown the skills needed to be a car designer.

CF – Why did you choose transportation design as your emphasis?

EARL – I chose transportation design because as a kid I dreamed about what ifs and how it could be all the time. Cars are cool things and I liked the idea of my shapes assisting people.
CF – What inspired you to design the Taurus the way it is?

EARL – The Taurus is a legendary product and we had to reference the original. Get a bunch of us designers together and get them excited about the project and lots of things just jump out of our heads and on to paper. Music and cool people led to the Taurus. I was just excited to be there.

CF – How many team members were involved with the design of the 2010 and upcoming 2013 Taurus?

EARL – It takes about 4 to 5 designers to complete all the exterior parts on a program but we always work under the watchful eye of Mr. J Mays.
CF – There’s a Ford Media release titled “INSPIRED BY MUSIC, TAURUS DESIGNERS FIND HARMONY” in which you describe how music led to more creative stimulation. It said Alicia Keys and Paul Oakenfold influenced the 2010 model. Now which artists or genres did your team listen to for influencing the more aggressive 2013 Taurus design?

EARL – Too many in my iPhone to list but we always have a little Citizen Cope, Cee-Lo Green and Kid Cudi.

CF – Ford Kinetic Design styling elements are being incorporated in Ford’s European vehicles (i.e. Fiesta and Focus) Was Kinetic Design applied to the 2010 – 2013 Taurus?

EARL – Yes as a designer of any Ford product, we all must be aware of Kinetic design but we also know that each car has to have its own personality.

CF – If you can change one thing on the 2013 Taurus, what would it be?

EARL – The only thing I would change on the 2013 Taurus is I think the Ford logo needs to be a little bit bigger on the front grill.

CF – What do you think of a Taurus SHO ST trim?

EARL – Love it.
CF – The Police Interceptor debuted as a 2012 model. But, you guys revealed the new 2013 Taurus which no longer looks like the package of the previous year. Are you still going with the 2012 Police Interceptor or will they get the 2013 package?

EARL – I am not at liberty to discuss the Interceptor but it looks cool. Not sure if I want to ride in it though. LOL.

CF – You’re a big celebrity among my community of SHO enthusiasts. What is like to be praised, worshipped, and have a small cult-like following?

EARL – I am so pleased that the SHO community likes our new SHO Taurus. I have met a ton of them and they are cool people who fell in love with a car that handles all the day to day stuff, but will beat you off the line. LOL, but I am a man of faith and I give glory to him who made us all.

CF – Do you have any last words to share with our CoolFords fans?

EARL – My last words to all CoolFords fans would be, Have you driven a Ford lately…. you should!