Corvette-focused Panel Led By GM Executives Offers Unique Experience at Historic Festival 40 presented by Corvette

LAKEVILLE, CONN. (22 August 2022)– As part of its upcoming commemoration of 70 years of Corvette history at the 40th Historic Festival, Lime Rock Park will host a dinner and panel discussion (on Sat., Sept. 3)-  “Corvette Design: Past, Present … and a Hint of the Future” – focused on the iconic car’s design concepts over the years.


This once-in-a-lifetime East Coast event will feature four senior GM Design executives who have kept Corvette on the cutting edge of sports car styling. Joining this very special evening will be Michael Simcoe, the current leader of GM Global Design, as well as his predecessor, Ed Welburn. Also taking part in the panel will be Phil Zak, Executive Director of Global Chevrolet Design, as well as his predecessor John Cafaro, who also served as Corvette Chief Designer from 1986 to 1999.


Between looking back at the Corvette’s glorious past as well as gaining a rare glimpse into its future, this is a unique event not to be missed. The evening will take place following the races on Sat., Sept. 3, in the Lime Rock Park infield at 6:00 p.m. Prior to the dinner, an extensive collection of rarely seen Corvette concept cars as well as historic competitive cars will be on display at the track. Tickets for the event are $100, which includes the panel discussion, dinner, beer and wine. Seats for this exclusive Corvette-focused evening are limited. To reserve seats visit, Tickets | Lime Rock Historic Festival Dinner and Seminar | Lime Rock Park


About the speakers:


Michael Simcoe, Vice President GM Global Design

Michael Simcoe serves as General Motors’ vice president, Global Design, leading teams and studios around the world. His team focuses on all aspects of design including advanced, production and industrial design operations supporting GM’s brands and subsidiaries. Recent designs developed under his leadership include the Cruise Origin, Cadillac LYRIQ, GMC HUMMER EV, and BrightDrop EV600. Simcoe plays a pivotal role in GM’s transformation, challenging his team’s innovation as society experiences a massive shift in mobility, championing new technologies and accelerating speed to market.


Phil Zak, Executive Director of Global Chevrolet Design

As the Executive Director of Design for Chevrolet, Zak is responsible for the exterior and interior designs for all Chevrolet vehicles worldwide.  In this role, he leads design teams in studios around the world as they execute the design of production vehicles and ensure the brand design consistency across the extensive and diverse Chevrolet portfolio.  The creation of new individual vehicle concepts, the future design direction of Chevrolet as a whole and vehicle content strategies are also part of his responsibilities. The design of the Corvette, one of the most iconic vehicle brands within the Chevrolet portfolio is a significant area of focus.


Ed Welburn, Vice President GM Global Design 2003-2016

Ed Welburn was named vice president of GM Design North America on October 1, 2003, becoming just the sixth Design leader in GM history. He oversaw the development of GM products such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac Escalade, and Chevrolet Camaro. He retired in 2016. Today he is president of The Welburn Group and founder and CEO of Welburn Media Productions. He is the only automobile designer to have his archives housed in the Smithsonian. He’s also developing a feature film about the story of African-American race car drivers in the 1920s and 1930s.


John Cafaro, Corvette Chief Designer 1986-1999

John Cafaro was first attracted to Corvettes since first laying eyes on the Mako Shark at the 1965 New York Auto Show.  He joined General Motors in 1977 after graduating from New York’s Pratt Institute and worked on several Corvette design initiatives, starting with the groundbreaking C4 program, where he was a member of chief designer Jerry Palmer’s team. John went on to lead the design initiatives for the C5 Corvette coupe and convertible as well as the C5R racer that scored 31 wins in 55 races, including Le Mans. John led all production Corvette programs until 1999 when he took over design responsibilities for Full-size Trucks.  In 2014 he was named Executive Director Global Chevrolet Design, where he was responsible for the design of all production global Chevrolet programs. Since leaving GM, John has been an active supporter of Corvette concours and history events everywhere.