Bill Porter, Shelly Zegart, Kay Grubola at the Kentucky to the World event in July 2015
Bill Porter, Shelly Zegart, Kay Grubola

On July 22, 2015, Kentucky to the World welcomed Bill Porter, a legendary automobile designer at GM, who played a seminal role in the history of American muscle car design, having made his mark with the 1968 Pontiac GTO and 1970-73 Pontiac Firebird 400.  Bill’s impact on auto design continued into the 1990’s with the 1997 Buick Park Avenue and many others.

Bill took us on a grand tour – and what a joy ride it was! – of seven decades of history and culture, and how both have influenced the design of cars in the U.S.  An especially intriguing part of the presentation was when Bill drew connections between the elements drawn from the diversity of the world cultures. The mix of cars we see on the roads today range from the most classic looks to strong references to underwater sea world creatures.

Bill Porter and Scott Hatfield at the Kentucky to the World event on July 22, 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky
Scott Hadfield and Bill Porter hold a wheel signed by Bill Porter from Scott’s 1971 Trans Am

Among the crowd of 180, two men  stood out – a father and son, who drove from Brentwood, TN to attend the event and meet Bill. In June, Brian Hadfield was looking for a great Father’s Day gift for his Dad, who is a huge Bill Porter fan and has had one of Bill’s cars for 40 years that he lovingly cares for. While looking on Google for a Bill Porter poster to give his Dad as a gift, he came upon the Kentucky to the World Bill Porter event. Two tickets to the KTW event were the perfect gift for his Dad! To commemorate their meeting, they brought a wheel from Scott’s 1971 Trans Am for Bill to sign, which Bill was happy to do.

Enjoy more photos from the event on Kentucky to the World Facebook page where you can share them with friends and family!

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